David Birkbeck’s use of the Finnish building board Sasmox as a wall/ceiling board is unusual. The UK selfbuild community are keen users of Fermacell, a similar product, made in Germany, and I was interested to make the comparison between the two boards. Sasmox is slightly more expensive than Fermacell: a plasterboard:Fermacell:Sasmox cost ratio would go 1:3:3.5 or maybe that should be 2:6:7. It’s a very simple product made of spruce cuttings (of which Finland has no shortage), waste gypsum and water: it’s pressed together in stainless steel clamps, there are no glues or additives. Whereas Fermacell doesn’t really like water — it tends to belly — Sasmox is virtually unaffected by it. Where Sasmox really wins out over Fermacell is with the finish: it’s smooth and shiny, doesn’t really require any painting other than filling between boards and over screw holes.
The downside of all these heavy boards (Sasmox weighs 1250kg/m3, about 40% more than plasterboard) is that they are really not easy to work with. You need a jigsaw to cut them rather than just scoring with a Stanley knife, plus you really struggle to get the boards onto ceilings simply because they weigh so much.
Sasmox is distributed by the Panel Agency www.panelagency.co.uk, Tel 01474 872578. The contact is Roger Kingsley who is happy to deal with largish (whole house) orders direct. Mark Brinkley
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