Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1 - 32

Exclusive Features | MGO SYSTEMS

A Better
Way
MGO SYSTEMS WAS BORN OF A
NEED FOR SAFER AND GREENER
MATERIALS. BY JIM HARRIS

I

n 2010, MgO Systems founder and CEO
Todd McKay discovered the materials
used to build his house were highly
flammable when his home burned
down shortly before Christmas.
"Fortunately, it happened during the day;
otherwise his family may have perished
because they had less than 10 minutes to
get out of the house," MgO Systems CFO Jim
Pendergast says. "There was nothing the
fire department could do because it started
in the garage, where there were a lot of
flammable items; once the fire caught there,
it raged."
Following the fire, McKay - a businessman who had founded and operated
several construction companies in Alberta,
Canada - sought out ways to prevent such
a loss from happening to others. He learned
that plywood, particleboard and other
conventional building materials contained
high amounts of glue, formaldehyde and
other petroleum-based substances.
"He wanted to find a better way to build,"
Pendergast adds. "It didn't make sense
to him for people to be building houses,
schools, hospitals, hotels and assisted living
facilities with flammable materials."

MgO Systems
www.mgosystems.ca
* Headquarters: Calgary, Alberta
* Specia y: Building materials

"[The C3 building ystem]
can make up an entire building
envelope from e basement to
e exterior walls and e oof."
- Jim Pendergast, CFO

32

CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM VOLUME 16, ISSUE 1

»

MgO Systems found that magnesium oxide is
non-flammable, mold and mildew resistant,
and stronger than plywood or particle board.

A New Solution
McKay's crusade to find safer building
materials led him to investigate magnesium
oxide-based boards.
"The advantage of magnesium oxide
is that it is non-flammable, it is mold and
mildew resistant, it is stronger than plywood
or particle board, and it doesn't off-gas like
materials that are composed of a lot of glue or
formaldehyde," Pendergast says.
In 2011, McKay formed MgO Systems
- named after the chemical symbol for
magnesium oxide - to produce building
materials composed of the compound. The
company's primary product, the C3 Engineered Building System, is a prefabricated
building system that combines magnesium

oxide boards with an insulated core of polystyrene, lumber and/or steel studs.
"[Structural insulated panel] SIP technology is somewhat common, but typically
people build panels using traditional
materials," Pendergast adds. "Likewise, MgO
sheets are sometimes used as backer board
for bathroom applications, but there are
not too many people combining these two
technologies into one."

Increased Speed
The C3 system is commonly used on a
building's exterior; however, unlike other
prefabricated systems, its use can extend
beyond just vertical walls.
"Because of the materials we use, our


http://www.mgosystems.ca http://www.CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1

Contents
Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1 - Cover1
Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1 - Cover2
Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1 - 1
Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1 - Contents
Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1 - 3
Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1 - 4
Construction Today - Volume 16, Issue 1 - 5
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