An Interview With Rob Edmonds The Inventor Of SAPBoard
In case you have been on an intergalactic space mission for the past couple of years and missed the new dominant player in town, we would like to introduce you to SAPboard. Standing for SOUND ABSORBING PANEL BOARD SAPboard, this sophisticatedly simple, easy-to-install, subflooring product saves time, reduces cost and helps prevent some of the most common problems that are encountered in many construction projects. Not surprisingly, it has begun to completely dominate the subfloor market. So we decided to sit down and ask Rob Edmonds the inventor what all the fuss is about.
Why has SAPboard begun to dominate the subfloor market in multifamily and hospitality projects?
Put simply it is an easy-to-install product that solves a number of problems for contractors, building owners and architects. We set out to design a product that would out-perform cementitious underlayments and other typical construction methods in every category and we achieved exactly that. SAPboard is quieter, stronger, more durable, less expensive and faster to install.
Where did the idea for SAPboard come from?
I’ve a had a passionate dislike for cementitious underlayments for almost my entire career. It’s fraught with issues and it sits like a giant stop light, squarely in the middle of the critical path of any construction schedule. And, of course, time is not the only drawback with cementitious underlayments. In fact, I’ve had at least two projects where the introduction of moisture has led to mold issues that have cost us a small fortune to mitigate. Between the delays and the increased risk of mold, I just knew there had to be a better way.
How long did it take to develop the product?
We spent over three years of research and development to create SAPboard. It started with the sound performance testing at Riverbanks Lab and Intertek where SAPboard achieved sound absorption rates as high as 58 IIC and 62 STC. We then worked with UL to develop our own specification, performing a full burn test and obtaining our own UL number UL M539. And finally, we performed bending stiffness and strength tests followed by diaphragm load test. Of course, we sailed through with flying colors. Three years may seems a long time but if you are going to do this type of research and development it takes time. We also have 3 patents and, as anyone who has even managed to get one patent knows, that in itself is a very lengthy process.
How are sales going?
Sales have continued to exceed our wildest expectations. People just love SAPboard and, to be honest, it practically sells itself. We have doubled our output in the past 12 months and we’re forecasting it doubling again in the next 12 months.
What is your favorite attribute of SAPboard?
Obviously, I love the sound dampening qualities because that is where we started. But what I think I like best is that SAPboard is better than cementitious underlayments in every category. The team at RSP has put a lot into this product and the performance speaks for itself.
What is your long term vision for SAPboard?
I think I would like to see cementitious underlayments completely replaced in the industry and for SAPboard to help developers and builders save both time and money.