Builders and architects across the country are becoming more interested in green building. Most people aren’t able to invest the money required to go with many of the green building options but there is an environmentally friendly option that is also affordable.
Go beyond the mainstream ideas of what is green and you’ll see an affordable, widely available and environmentally-conscious product in vinyl.
How Do We Know a Product is Environmentally-Friendly?
There are tools used to help consumers and builders make the best decisions possible for their home building and renovating projects. For example, the life-cycle analysis is a tool used to determine the life of a product. This is from the raw material extraction through manufacturing until it is disposed of or recycled.
When using the life-cycle analysis, there are two main features of each product: the renewability plus the durability. A renewable product is green just because of what it is. A durable product lasts longer and requires less maintenance.
Another tool that is used is related to risk analysis. During the manufacturing process and use of materials, there are always risks. This tool puts those benefits and risks into a valid perspective.
Interestingly, we found that vinyl performs well with both the life-cycle analysis and the risk assessment.
More about Vinyl
More than half of vinyl is derived from salt. On top of that, it is an energy-efficient material to produce. Vinyl also has several energy-efficient attributes that make it a great option in the home.
You can expect vinyl to last for many years with little maintenance when compared to other materials. Once it reaches the end of its lifespan, it is managed just like other building materials.
As technology continues to grow and change, we are seeing more options available for recycling vinyl products at the end of life.
So, let’s take a look at the environmental activist’s concerns about vinyl. Most of them have been professionally studied and rebutted.
Industries that produce vinyl are a small contributor to the dioxin levels in the environment. Estimates place the contribution to be between eight and ten grams annually with the United States. Despite those low numbers, the industries continue to work to make the emissions even lower.
Over the past few decades, dioxin levels within our environment have continued to fall. What is more important to object to would be backyard burning, vehicle emissions and power plants. These are your largest source of dioxin.
There are no heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury or lead required to make vinyl.
Many studies show that there is yet to be any evidence that the phthalates found in vinyl products cause harm.
Pros of Vinyl Products
Here are just some of the amazing pros when using vinyl products.
- They score well in all life cycle analysis tests.
- The life cycle is in line with other materials and vinyl often performs better than other applications.
- Vinyl is constantly being improved with the Green Label, Greenguard and Floorscore standards.
- New products are certified as low emission by third parties.
- The vinyl pipe is an effective way to deliver safe and affordable drinking water.
- Vinyl coating is the best option for insulating electrical wiring.
- In a hospital, vinyl is a good option for floors and walls because of how easy it is to disinfect and clean.
- Vinyl is a cost-effective and durable siding option.
- Building with products made from vinyl save energy and costs.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but simply a reflection on what vinyl can do. In this time of life, it is critical that we find renewable and environment-friendly options that are also affordable. We should be encouraging the use of budget-friendly choices whenever they are available.
Just remember that every time you save money on one energy-efficient option, you have more to spend on other add-ons that benefit your life and our world. Use the saved money to invest in solar panels or a ground-source heat pump instead. Then your home contains products to become more sustainable.
For help on what products are best for your needs, simply call us at 702-534-1115 to get an expert opinion. We’ll help you live an eco-friendly lifestyle on a budget.