Case Study


Overlooking Bullfrog Pan in Benoni, east of Johannesburg (South Africa), is a home set to change how South Africans view comfortable, upmarket residential construction.


Instead of using traditional brick and mortar, first-time home builders Ryan and Patrick Fitzgerald used this home as a pilot project to explore how to build an upmarket home using alternative building materials and systems that are able to achieve an energy-efficient, sustainable design. The home combined the use of natural materials and drywalling.

Architect Brent Rahme from Quintessential Design designed the home to maximise the space and to capture the breath-taking views of Bullfrog Pan, while showcasing the benefits of the Saint-Gobain Gyproc products used. Brent has had a long history of working with Saint-Gobain and specifying its various products.


“The reason I chose this building method is that I believe in the system; I’ve been exposed to it before and it is comfortable for building and living. The walls are aesthetically pleasing and it has a nice monolithic look. The Habito™ walls are fully skimmed with RhinoLite Multipurpose plaster and the walls are smooth and straight,” says homeowner Ryan Fitzgerald.


Habito™, an industry-first high-strength drywall, provides a building solution unsurpassed in strength and durability. The superior load bearing quality of this new drywall absorbs knocks and bumps and dramatically reduces wear and tear.

Reiterating these unique attributes, architect Brent Rahme also commented that the Habito™ walls are much denser and do not break under their own weight as a standard plasterboard does. There is also very little wastage during the construction process and the finish quality of the board is excellent.

Louw du Plessis from LSF Building Solutions, a sub-contractor on the project, says: “Although the installation is slower because the board is much harder, the benefit of hanging anything onto Habito™ walls is amazing. You don’t need a stud locator to find specific studs and you can hang anything just where you like it. We also had less material wastage and overall less wastage on site. Because the Habito™ boards were so hard, there were far fewer breakages. The installation of the built-in cupboards directly onto Habito™ was easy and rapid, contributing to an efficient installation. If I were to build a house for myself, I would definitely use Habito™ in it.’’

The main contractor on this project was Garry Hoey from RazorBill, who said that the use of such innovative materials made this a very exciting project.

Not only do Habito™ boards have the strength of brick and the benefits of drywall, they also provide acoustic and thermal comfort by minimising noise transmissions between rooms and enhancing the thermal properties to create a home that is warm in winter and cool in summer.

This home requires no air-conditioning or additional heating, even though it is predominantly west facing.

Besides Habito™, other Saint-Gobain wall and ceiling systems products used in this home included:

Cleaner air provides a more comfortable working and living space with higher productivity and improved healthActiv’Air, a revolutionary Gyproc plasterboard, improves indoor air quality by permanently reducing formaldehyde even after multiple renovations. It is a passive system that is more effective than additional ventilation.