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David Axt
Posted on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 02:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Does anybody know any "equivalent" products to James Hardie fiber cement siding?
John Regener, AIA, CCS
Posted on Monday, September 17, 2001 - 03:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

From search of "fiber cement siding" on Google, http://www.gp.com/siding/cem_index.html.
David Cline
Posted on Friday, October 12, 2001 - 11:52 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

CertainTeed has a fibercement product called WeatherBoards. Visit: http://www.weatherboards.com/ for more information.
John Regener, AIA, CCS, CCCA, CSI, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: john_regener

Post Number: 185
Registered: 04-2002
Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 - 06:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I'm looking for fiber cement panels to be used as storefront infill panels. eterboard is one product that has been identified but I don't think it is marketed in the United States.
David Cline
Senior Member
Username: dcline

Post Number: 25
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 06:59 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

For fiber cement panels you might take a look at Swisspearl. Product is made by Swiss Eternit and actively handled in the United States.


They produce a rainscreen product, but I would suggest speaking with Valerie Concepcion
at Western Specialty Fabrication to make sure there is a fit between Swisspearl and your specific application. She can also direct you to local Swisspearl reps. Good starting point for this product.

Valerie Concepcion
Western Specialty Fabrications, Inc.
West Coast Office: 408-294-4606
Midwest Office: 773-665-9411
Randall L. Cox
Senior Member
Username: randy_cox

Post Number: 7
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - 07:56 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

In addition to Hardie and Certainteed, I've found Cemplank www.cemplank.com (although it seems to be related to Hardie) and Nichiha fiber cement panels www.nichiha.com (but I think it's from Korea, and I don't know where it's distributed. I remember a siding product called "Eternit" from years ago, but thought it's siding was bought out by Certainteed.
phil babinec
Junior Member
Username: pbabinec

Post Number: 2
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 01:30 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Nichiha USA, Inc.
Norcross Georgia

One of our Project Architects is looking at it for project in Ohio. Don't know who the distributor is here.
Dennis Hall (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, September 18, 2004 - 10:47 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Nichiha is a Japanese company. There panels are 1/2" to 1" thick. I am meeting with them next week as they have been mainly considered a residential product in the US and is looking at expanding into more commercial projects.
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 10:31 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I apologize for the anon posting, but...

One of the fibercement siding manufacturers has the following warning on its website. Should this be a concern regarding using the product? Is it means and methods? Is it safety? Is this any different from asbestos?


XXXXXXXXXXX products contain respirable crystalline silica, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer and is considered by IARC and NIOSH to be a cause of cancer from some occupational sources. Breathing excessive amounts of respirable silica dust can also cause a disabling and potentially fatal lung disease called silicosis, and has been linked with other diseases. During installation or handling: (1) work in outdoor areas with ample ventilation; (2) use fiber cement shears for cutting or, where not feasible, use a XXXXXXbladeŽ and dust-reducing circular saw attached to a HEPA vacuum; (3) warn others in the immediate area; (4) wear a properly-fitted, NIOSH-approved dust mask or respirator (e.g. N-95) in accordance with applicable government regulations and manufacturer instructions to further limit respirable silica exposures. During clean-up, use HEPA vacuums or wet cleanup methods - never dry sweep. For further information, refer to our installation instructions and Material Safety Data Sheet available at www.xxxxxxxxxxx.com or by calling 1-800-9xxxxxx. FAILURE TO ADHERE TO OUR WARNINGS, MSDS, AND INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS MAY LEAD TO SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH.

It's that DEATH part that has me worried. Any insights?
Helaine K. Robinson CCS
Senior Member
Username: hollyrob

Post Number: 144
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 11:39 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Everything causes cancer and life causes death.
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 11:49 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

D'uh! But we won't get sued if a worker brings a lunchbox full of chocolate and eats 5 pounds of it for lunch every day.

But the conversation on the witness chair might go like this:

But, Mr/Ms Architect, you DID read the warning on the web site DIDN'T you?

And then Mr/Ms Architect you STILL PROCEEDED to specify that material after you read the warning that it could cause death?

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury look at the breaved widow and her children sitting there after this architect specified a product that he/she knew to be potentially deadly...

so on and so on.
Helaine K. Robinson CCS
Senior Member
Username: hollyrob

Post Number: 145
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 11:51 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

For liability reasons, we're not even supposed to look at the MSDS.
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 11:52 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Helaine K. Robinson CCS
Senior Member
Username: hollyrob

Post Number: 146
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 11:52 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

If I drop a CMU on Anon's head, he'll die too.
Robert E. Woodburn
Senior Member
Username: bwoodburn

Post Number: 29
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 11:59 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

It's a standard disclaimer.

However, not all such potentially dangerous substances have yet to be so disclaimed. One substance that has been implicated in a far wider range of hazards (including death - it claims hundreds, if not thousands, of victims every year) and yet is still not subject to either commensurate regulation or disclaimers, is DHMO - dihydrogen monoxide (also known as hydrogen hydroxide or hydric acid).

Talk about scary stuff! For eye-opening information see http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 12:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The disclaimer is on the website in the application instructions, not in a MSDS, so I can look at it.

BTW make sure it's a normal weight CMU. I got a hard head.
Helaine K. Robinson CCS
Senior Member
Username: hollyrob

Post Number: 148
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 12:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Here is an earlier discussion thread on MSDS:
C. R. Mudgeon
Senior Member
Username: c_r_mudgeon

Post Number: 45
Registered: 08-2002
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 12:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

In the cited example, the MSDS explains the hazards and how to avoid injury, as do other MSDS, manufacturers' instructions and recommendations, warnings, and more. Why should the architect be liable? I know, some $#&# attorney somewhere will try to make the case, but that's part of doing business in America.

If that scares you off, you'd better look for another line of work, as every product and tool used in construction has hazards associated with obtaining its raw materials, production, fabrication, installation, use, and/or misuse. Have you looked at what's in concrete? Or what's in the vapors produced by welding? Doesn't leave much to work with, does it?

And do you really think not looking at something will protect you? If you look at case law you will find attorneys are very fond of a phrase that goes something like "knew or should have known," and what you "should have known" is whatever the jury believes.

Continuing the above examination of the witness, "Why did you refuse to look at the MSDS? Is it because you knew it would contain information you didn't want to know about? What other information have you chosen to ignore, knowing full well it would harm my client?"
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 01:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Well said C.R. Much more helpful than "Everything causes cancer and life causes death". But, what is the proper professional response to a warning like this? Does saying in the spec "follow manufacturer's instructions" put the onus for the proper use of the material on the contractor (I vote for this), or does our professional responsibility or standard of care require us to expound on the documented danger more specifically to alert the contractor of the dangers? (This seems to me like taking one step too many) Just trying to get some verification and some balance. Thanks.
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 79
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 10:37 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

On a project I was involved with some years ago, the owner complained about the paint used on the interior walls. One of the paint suppliers offered to provide a different paint (still a water-based latex) with the thinking that the owner could provide the labor. When we provided the owner with the label information, there were all the typical warnings one might find on any house paint available from Sears, Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. The owner did not want to use it because of the warning (similar to the following: "CAUTION contains CRYSTALLINE SILICA. Use only with adequate ventilation.... If you experience eye watering, headaches, or dizziness, increase fresh air, or wear respiratory protection (NIOSH approved) or leave the area.... Avoid contact with eyes and skin. Wash hands after using.... FIRST AID: In case of eye contact, flush thoroughly with large amounts of water. Get medical attention if irritation persists. If swallowed, call Poison Control Center, hospital emergency room, or physician immediately. DELAYED EFFECTS FROM LONG TERM OVEREXPOSURE."). I think the advice to call a Poison Control Center if swallowed especially freaked him out.

As design professionals, we should be aware that almost every construction activity carries some risk to those who actually do the work. The risk varies considerably with the type of activity and the individual. Working high steel construction is risky; attempting to do it with an inner ear disorder would be extremely dangerous. Does this mean that we should not construct high rise buildings? I would suggest not.

The contractor bears much of the risk for "means and methods" and for safety. Should the design professionals refrain from requiring the Contractor to use any "dangerous" product or system (like construction more than 30 feet above the ground)? Or are all products inherently dangerous (as suggested in other postings above)? Should a reasonable design professional anticipate someone drinking house paint on the job? There is a reasonable ground here, I am just not sure how it should be articulated.
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 363
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 08:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

This is not unique to this product. The issue on the dangers of silica dust is well known, and long standing. Any sort of dry cutting or grinding of concrete or products made from it creates the exact same hazard. Proper respiratory protection, or alternative methods such as wet-cutting that do not create the dust hazard, are required. It may be that we've all seen contractors grinding away in a fog of this dust, but it is strictly regulated by OSHA.
David Axt, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 453
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 08:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Cementitious fireproofing bags also have this silicosis warning on them.

I have worked with Hardie board siding on my own house and it is rather nasty. Very fine powder dust and it smelled of burnt material.

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