Until recently, I had not heard of Ortech Industries or Durra Panel. It was brought to my attention by an architect interested in using one of the Durra Panel systems as a sound absorber for his project. While Ortech Industries has apparently been in business for a couple of decades, it is an Australian company which I had never come across.

Ortech Industries manufactures, and licenses the rights to manufacture Durra Panel. According to company literature, Durra Panel is produced through a dry extrusion process that converts wheat and rice straw into a multipurpose construction panel while not using any water, gas, or chemicals. The result is a strong, impact resistant, fire resistant, panel that can be used when pursuing several of the LEED credits.

Of more interest to me are the acoustical properties of Durra Panels. The panels can be used as wall boards to construct walls with a high sound transmission class (STC). Ortech Industries also offers versions of the panel that have been perforated so that they can act as a protective facing over a sound absorber and they offer versions of the panel that come faced with a sound absorber.

Durra Panel is manufactured and sold in the United States by Durra Building Systems of Whitewright, Texas. Contact information for Durra Building Systems can be found on their website at www.durra.com. Additional information is available on the Ortech Industries website at www.ortech.com.au.

Please be aware that Soundscape Engineering LLC is an independent acoustic consulting firm. We do not have ties to any manufacturer. We sometimes inform our clients about acoustical products that we believe they may find of interest or wish to use on current or future projects. If you are interested in using the product described above, please be sure to conduct your own, thorough evaluation.

If you are in need of noise measurement, vibration assessment, or acoustical consulting services, you can contact me through the Soundscape Engineering LLC website (http://www.SoundscapeEngineering.com).