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Meeting the greenbuilding challenge

PVC meets the challenges of today’s greenbuilding specifications.
Greenbuilding refers to the growing importance of meeting sustainability
requirements in construction materials and practices while at the same time
limiting the impact on natural resources in both the construction and
long-term maintenance and life cycle of a commercial or residential building.

PVC pipe and fittings offer a number of greenbuilding qualities.

• Properly installed PVC pipe and fittings offer an especially long service life. Many systems installed thirty or more years ago continue to provide dependable, maintenance-free service. Long after copper and steel pipe have suffered irreparable damage due to corrosive water and other fluids passing through them or from the aggressive soil conditions in which they have been installed, PVC systems continue to function without maintenance.

• PVC protects potable water and does not allow outside contaminants to
leach into the pipes. Because PVC is an inert substance, it does not
react with chemicals around it. In fact, it’s often the material of choice
for chemical processing. Since PVC is so dependable, it protects
the surrounding environment – soil, sand, etc., -- from sewage and
other undesirable materials.

• Solvent cements and their use have been carefully studied. As a
result guidance for their use is documented in ASTM D 2564 and
ASTM F 656. Concerns regarding the use of solvent cement are easily
addressed by using appropriate ventilation and protection from
skin contact.

• PVC’s long life cycle means that most installed PVC remains in service, delivering water and discarding waste, so the issue of handling discarded PVC materials is somewhat minimized. However, even discarded PVC is recycled. According to the Vinyl Institute, vinyl may be automatically sorted from other recyclables. And the demand for recycled vinyl exceeds the supply.

• No waste in the manufacturing process. Leftover materials are simply reground for more product.


PVC pipe has been successfully tested against the ANSI/NSF 61 standard
and other health effects standards for more than 35 years. While the
safety qualifications of its metal counterparts have been consistently
challenged, PVC has continued to deliver water as pure at the end of the
pipe as when it enters the system. PVC is a thermoplastic material made
from compounds that commonly meet Class 12434 per ASTM D 1784 or
Class 11432 per ASTM D 4396 (for cellular core pipe).