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Eldorado Stone-backed veneer study pegs savings in cement board substrate

Sources: National Gypsum, Charlotte, N.C.; CP staff

National Association of Home Builders Association-affiliated Home Innovation Research Labs finds that using PermaBase Cement Board as a substrate in exterior wall systems with modified veneer mortar reduces adhered stone installation time by 35 percent and total installed cost by 6 percent against traditional lath-and-cement mortar base alternatives. 

A study comparing overall labor metrics and variations between trades on the two substrate types was conducted on behalf of lead sponsor National Gypsum, plus co-sponsors Eldorado Stone, Atlanta-based precast concrete veneer producer, and Laticrete International, Connecticut-based modified mortar supplier. Home Innovation researchers used Group Timing Technique, a fixed short‐interval work sampling procedure, to record worker activities at predetermined intervals on two identical facades of a test house, observing: 

  • A masonry crew installed PermaBase and adhered stone veneer in 39.4 man‐hours and a scratch‐and‐lath system plus stone veneer in 45.0 man‐hours.
  • A carpentry crew installed the cement board on the same section and saved an estimated 3.5 man‐hours compared to the masonry crew.

"Time is money and using PermaBase as a substrate in exterior wall systems with modified mortar can reduce construction time, reduce total installed costs and increase system performance for exterior applications," says National Gypsum Product Manager Tony Fuller. "Given the industry's shortage of skilled labor, evolving building envelope requirements and related construction costs, this is good news for architects, builders, general contractors and their clients."

National Gypsum has posted a labor, materials and building costs calculator, along with Home Innovation research background, at www.permabase.com/exteriors.