We manufacture a wide-range of fiber cement building materials for both internal and external use across a broad range of applications, including: external siding, internal walls, floors, ceilings, soffits, trim, fencing, decking and facades. While there are some market specific products, our core products, planks, which are used for external siding, flat panels, which are used for internal and external wall linings, and floor underlayments, are sold across all of the markets in which we operate. We also manufacture fiber gypsum and cement-bonded boards which are used mainly for interior applications such as dry lining walls, walls in timber frame buildings and flooring solutions. In addition, our cement-bonded boards are used in exterior and industrial applications as well as for fire protection.
Products Used in External Applications
We developed a proprietary technology platform that enables us to produce thicker yet lighter-weight fiber cement products that are generally easier to handle than most traditional building products. Further, we believe that our products provide certain durability and performance advantages leading to improved maintenance, while offering comparable aesthetics to competing products, such as wood, and superior aesthetics when compared to vinyl siding.
Performance and design advantages:
Our fiber cement products exhibit resistance to the damaging effects of moisture, fire, impact and termites compared to natural and engineered wood and wood-based products;
- Competing products do not duplicate fiber cement aesthetics and the characteristics necessary for effectively accepting paint applications;
- Our fiber cement products provide the ability to imprint designs that closely resemble the patterns and profiles of traditional building materials such as wood and stucco;
- The surface properties of our products provide an effective paint-holding finish, especially when compared to natural and engineered wood products, allowing for greater periods of time between necessary maintenance and repainting; and
- Compared to masonry construction, fiber cement is lightweight, physically flexible and can be cut using readily available tools, making our products more appealing across a broad range of architectural styles, be it of timber or steel-framed construction.
We believe the benefits associated with our fiber cement products have enabled us to gain a competitive advantage over competing products.
Products Used in Internal Applications
Compared to natural and oriented strand board ("OSB") and wood-based products, we believe our product range for internal applications provide the same general advantages provided by our products for external applications. In addition, our fiber cement products for internal applications exhibit less movement in response to exposure to moisture and impact damage than many competing products, providing a more consistent and durable substrate on which to install tiles. Further, we believe our ceramic tile underlayment products exhibit better handling and installation characteristics compared to fiberglass mesh cement boards. We believe our fiber gypsum products offer superior stability, fire safety and sound insulation properties compared to OSB and gypsum plaster boards. Furthermore, we believe our fiber gypsum flooring solutions offer superior handling properties, especially in the modernization of existing buildings, compared to wet screed solutions.
Significant New Products
In the United States, new products released over the last three years include HardieTrim® NT3® Roughsawn board, custom colors using our ColorPlus® Technology, and an improved touch-up accessory to support ColorPlus® products. In addition, we also launched the Aspyre Collection by James Hardie™, which brings together the modernity of our Reveal® Panel System (now available with color matching Reveal Surround Trim and Exposed Fasteners in 24 colors) with the traditional profiles of our Artisan® siding products (in addition to V-Groove and lap siding, the range has been expanded to include Bevel Channel, Square channel, Shiplap and Beaded lap).
In Australia and New Zealand, extensions to the existing Stria® cladding products have been launched to provide additional cladding profile offerings of Splayed 255mm and Stria® Stonelook cladding. Similarly, Axon® cladding has now been extended to provide Axon® Smooth 133mm, and Axon® Grained 133mm cladding. The new ExoTec® Raw façade panel provides an “industrial look” aesthetic for consumers, and the ExoTec® façade system offers a new lightweight framing member that provides installation improvements for builders. The ease of installation of core product Villaboard® lining has been enhanced with the launch of the VillaboardTM knife.
In Australia, HardieEdge® trim for covering slab edges provides an easy to install solution to unfinished, rough concrete slab edges that would otherwise detract from the appearance of a wall clad with James Hardie products. The formation of the James Hardie Systems business unit has provided the Australian business with a new product category, the Ritek® permanent formwork walling system, a quality durable wall solution, which expands our product and systems offering into the growing medium to high density construction segment. Additions to the range of building science offerings include HardieFire® Insulation, HardieBreak® Thermal Strip, as well as the HardieSmart® Boundary, Aged Care, Intertenancy and ZeroLot® Wall Systems. The launch of new wall systems are also supported by the Compliant System® trademark. The performance of the ZeroLot® wall system is supported by the new Coreshield® protective sealer technology. An improved ZeroLot® wall system, incorporating a thinner 60mm HardieFire® insulation layer and also providing a cavity for running services, while maintaining necessary fire rating performance, has also been launched.
In New Zealand, over the same timeframe, Secura® Interior Flooring, Secura® Exterior Flooring, Axent® Fascia, HomeRAB® 4.5mm Pre Cladding, Stria® Cladding, and Axon® 133 Grained Cladding have been launched.
In the Philippines, new products released over the past three years include the Hardieflex® Filled Wall System (a permanent formwork wall system tailored for the Philippines market), Hardieflex® Wet Area Walls lining and Hardieflex® Vented Eaves. An improved version of their wall jointing compound has been launched under the HardieFlex® putty trademark.
The European business continues to provide HardieBacker®, HardiePlank®, HardiePanel® and HardieTrim® fiber cement products. In addition, Fermacell continues to provide its products and systems under the key brand names, Fermacell® and AESTUVER®. The successful market introduction of the AESTUVER® Tx board in the past three years was a key milestone for our fire protection boards offering.