Hrvatski English Swedish
Hrvatski English Swedish

Dry construction is a term used to describe a specialised method of interior construction, i.e. interior design, based on the use of industrially prefabricated construction systems. Such systems comprise of two basic construction elements – load bearing construction and lining, which, when put together, form a static, functional and aesthetic unit. Dry construction has become synonymous with quick, safe and quality construction of interior and exterior elements. Quality performance and quick and dry assembly, which does not require any additional time for drying of the construction, are important factors in this day and time, characterised by an increased pace of living and working. Gypsum is used as one of the basic materials in dry-assembly works.

Advantages of gypsum

As a construction material, gypsum has several advantages in relation to other materials, which make it the best choice for interior design. Those advantages are:

  • Relatively simple and quick placement
  • Quick drying
  • Low cost
  • Good sound and heat insulation
  • Fire protection properties
  • Natural mineral composition harmless to human health
  • Unlimited possibilities for creating different architectural forms
  • Simple routing of services without the need to make gaps in the walls
  • Works can be performed in previously finished areas
  • Natural humidity regulation in the space
  • A more accurate performance when compared to classic masonry and rendering and plastering work

What is gypsum?

Gypsum is a mineral-based natural material which is compatible with human skin due to its pH value and heat conductivity. It does not contain any toxic or other substances harmful to the human health, which is substantiated by the fact that gypsum is widely used for medicinal purposes (e.g. it is used in casts for immobilization of fractures, where it comes in direct contact with the skin) and in stomatology. Some other important features of gypsum are its porous structure, which makes it a good insulator, and its capability to absorb or release moisture, depending on the humidity in the space. These properties make it an ideal material for the interior space construction, while it makes the already built spaces comfortable to stay in due to the natural moisture regulation which does not require any energy, thus ensuring an ideal microclimate for humans.

Gypsum and construction

Gypsum is a material which, by its chemical composition, is calcium-sulfate (CaSO4×nH2O, where “n” is the number of bound water molecules and, depending on that number, it can receive up to 20% water). It was created by sedimentation during the water evaporation in shallow sea coves in the period from 100 to 200 million years ago. Today, gypsum as a raw material is obtained from underground mines or surface mines. And in view of the hardness of the gypsum, it is placed in the second position on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, which makes it one of the softest minerals, and therefore one of the most workable minerals. Due to these characteristics, gypsum was used as a construction material as early as 11000 years ago in ancient Jericho, where it was used for the construction of walls and ceilings. Ancient Egyptians used it for the construction and decoration of the pyramids, while it had a revival during the baroque period, due to its ability to be cast, and was used as a material for building complex ornaments and decorations with perfect lines, which we still admire today. Presently, gypsum is most commonly used as a material in the form of panels, with both sides covered by cardboard for increased strength, which is then fitted onto the load bearing construction.

Gypsum boards

They are made of gypsum plaster whose surfaces and longitudinal edges are firmly wrapped with highly adhesive special cardboard. Gypsum boards are manufactured in lengths ranging from 1500 mm to 3000 mm and widths ranging from 600 mm to 1250 mm, with various types of edges. Their thickness ranges from 9.5 mm to 25 mm. They are relatively light, highly elastic, can be bent and are easily worked with, cut and fitted. They are non-flammable and, when combined with adapted wood or metal substructure and with adequate insulation materials, they form inner wall and ceiling systems, which meet all requirements with regard to loads, heat, sound and fire protection. Gypsum boards are used in new buildings and for renovations as wall and ceiling casings fixed to the substructure or glued directly to the substrate as partition walls and dry flooring.

Types of gypsum boards:

  • Standard panels
  • Fire protection panels
  • Moisture resistant panels
  • Panels with lined surface (e.g. steel sheeting or plastic)
  • Panels with lined back side (e.g. aluminium foil (barrier to passage of vapour)
  • Dissipative foil (against electrical fields and high frequency radiation)
  • Panels with perforated surface or surface with slits (sound absorbing)
  • Multilayered panels with integrated thermal insulation layer

Other special purpose panels:

  • Cement panels (for exterior use or use in “aggressive” environments; e.g.chlorinated indoor swimming pools)
  • Baryte panels (for protection against radioactive radiation)
  • Kevlar panels (for protection against firearms or other types of piercing)