25 november 2021
The walls of ‘t Centrum are clad with vapour-permeable, magnesium oxide insulated panels. Magnesium oxide has several circular properties and is fire-resistant. Bart D’Haese, an expert in Healthy Houses at EXIE NV, and contractor Joeri Beneens explain the reasons behind this choice.
What are Exie Boards?
Bart: “Exie Board (fibreboard insulation boards) is a magnesium oxide (MgO) board. The raw materials used to produce it are excavated in mines. This virgin material can be reused. The magnesium oxide is pressed and is 100% free from additives. Exie boards are a valid alternative in vapour-permeable conditions, both inside and outside. The magnesium oxide is pressed in such a way that it is very pressure-resistant and has a high stiffness factor. These boards are also often used for (load-carrying) walls. Exie Boards are also fully recyclable and can be used as a soil improver after their lifespan. The material is also easy to process. Thicknesses vary from 4 mm to 24 mm, depending on the project.
What makes this material so sustainable and circular?
Bart: “The material is so sustainable because of the production process, with raw materials being sourced directly from mines. There are no harmful substances involved. Exie Boards are fully reusable. This is a circular material because you can use them in prefab applications, renovations and new-builds. You can reuse the entire wall for another application or you can remove the board during restoration/renovation and replace it with another one or use it somewhere else. The boards can be screwed, stapled and even glued with a circular adhesive that one of our partners recently launched to market. They are also suitable for smaller applications or smaller walls using Velcro connections. It is therefore a circular material and a one-step process: one single board replaces two conventional boards (an OSB and a Gyproc© or gypsum fibre board). With Exie Boards, you reduce your working time, waste, the number of screws required, and the materials used.”
What about the price?
Bart: “MgO boards are currently cheaper than conventional boards, especially if you take working time into account (2 in 1). The boards come in different sizes and thicknesses.”
How are Exie boards used in ‘t Centrum?
Joeri: “The boards were used on the outside of the timber frame walls. Originally, we had intended to use wood wool boards but these were no longer available when we needed them. We were looking for a fire-resistant, permeable alternative.”
Why did the construction team settle on this solution?
Joeri: “Exie suggested this sustainable alternative. After comparing it with a number of alternatives, the construction team accepted their proposal.”
How did you go about finding an alternative?
Joeri: “We requested quotes from various suppliers for alternative options that ticked all the boxes. After receiving proposals, samples and quotes, we made a well-thought-through circular choice.”
Further information: www.exih2.be
Photos: Exie Board magnesium oxide insulated panels in ’t Centrum (copyright Joeri Beneens)
*NB: Correction: Exie Boards are vapour-permeable magnesium oxide insulated panels.