Defend The Truth About The Inconvenience Of Pvc Vinyl Siding

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Some readers cited LEED to confirm their negative attitude towards vinyl siding. The USGBC's "Technical Basis Evaluation of the Credit of PVC-related Materials in LEED" report has a wide range of contents and made many statements. In general, the report uses a life cycle


Some readers cited LEED to confirm their negative attitude towards vinyl siding. The USGBC's "Technical Basis Evaluation of the Credit of PVC-related Materials in LEED" report has a wide range of contents and made many statements. In general, the report uses a life cycle assessment method.

According to life cycle models, such as BEES (Environmental and Economically Sustainable Buildings, developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, as a way to compare construction products from a life cycle perspective),PVC Vinyl siding is proven to have a lower The environmental impact is greater than most other claddings except wood. But to have a lower impact, the wood must remain unfinished. This means no stains and paint, which is almost unrealistic.

The USGBC report puts forward the following statement on PVC Vinyl siding: “In terms of the relative performance of different material options, the following general conclusions can be drawn. First, the performance of wood siding is quite good; for most impact categories, the maximum value is usually lower than The maximum value of all other material options, and the middle value of its value is usually the lowest value among the middle values ​​of the four materials. Please note that an important warning is that we assume that there is no paint on the wooden siding.

"Another general conclusion is that for most impact categories, fiber cement tends to perform the worst among the options; the maximum value of its range is often at the highest value in each impact category. For most impact categories, the value of fiber cement The range is often higher than the value range of PVC. For the impact of fiber cement on human health, the highest value is based on BEES data, assuming a Portland cement content of 90%. Although other data sources such as MSDS do not specify the content of Portland cement, Since it is reasonable to assume that Portland cement will be used for fiber cement siding, these high values ​​have remained constant."

Please note that the BEES analysis cited in my report is based on public data submitted by individual companies; however, the fiber cement industry does not cooperate and therefore requires assumptions. I like fiber cement for certain applications and have used it, but it is not a better environmental choice than vinyl siding. Science says so.

In the report’s conclusions and recommendations (page 98), the author of USGBC pointed out: “Therefore, the current knowledge system analyzed in Section 3 of this report is related to TSAC’s task group charges, and it does not support the use of credit in LEED to eliminate A rating system for PVC or any specific material. In addition, for PVC-related credits, existing evidence suggests that for certain product categories, this simple credit may guide designers to use relative to most of the impact in their life cycle The category of worse-performing materials"-for example, fiber cement.

Acclaimed for using vinyl siding
The most popular rating systems in the residential market are LEED and ICC 700. Both express appreciation for the use of EPD (or LCA information).

In addition, ICC 700 evaluates products that do not require on-site finishing, recycled ingredients, and termite resistance-which means they all evaluate vinyl siding. I know this because I have taken advantage of it.

Living architectural challenges
On the other hand, the Living Building Challenge created a red list for PVC (USGBC recommends not to do this in their report).

Overall, the concept of the Living Building Challenge is beautiful, and my evaluation of the program is very positive, but it is not one of the most influential rating systems, nor is it developed under any type of consensus or ANSI process, and As far as I know, this is the only place where vinyl siding is prohibited.

Vinyl siding manufacturing process
Some readers mentioned creating effects, especially dioxins. I want to know if any of you have been to a vinyl factory. I have, and I have paper mills, brick mills, and timber mills. Vinyl plants are cleaner and have no obvious impact on the surrounding environment or residential communities. Compared with brick factories, timber factories, and fiber cement factories that I have heard of, vinyl is a clean technology.

But I quote from the Environmental Protection Agency to support my experience:

"Since the 1970s, after EPA regulatory controls and industry actions, the level of dioxins in the environment has dropped significantly. EPA’s best estimates of reasonably quantifiable source emissions indicate that the United States’ dioxin emissions are Between 1987 and 1995 there was a decrease of about 80%, which was mainly due to the reduction in air emissions from urban and medical waste incinerators, and further substantial declines continued to be recorded." ("Dioxins: Dioxin Reassessment Science Summary", Information Sheet 1, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, June 12, 2000.)
"Thanks to the efforts of the EPA and the efforts of state governments and private companies, the known industrial emissions in the United States will be reduced by more than 90% from 1980 levels in the next year or so." ("QA on Dioxins" , Inter-agency Working Group on Dioxins, July 2000).
The phthalate warning has been refuted by other readers, but it is worth repeating that the vinyl siding is rigid PVC and does not contain phthalates.

Fire hazard
Here again, intuition becomes a bad substitute for knowledge. Vinyl siding seems very flammable, but it is not.

Mainly composed of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the chlorine base of vinyl siding makes it harder to ignite and easier to extinguish. PVC will not ignite spontaneously until it reaches 730°F (387°C), and even other flames will not ignite spontaneously until approximately 850°F (454°C). These fire temperatures are significantly higher than ordinary frame materials, which ignite spontaneously at 500°F (260°C) and 770°F (410°C). This explains to a certain extent why most vinyl siding can meet the strict fire safety requirements required by international building codes (adopted by every state). In addition, some vinyl siding is allowed on ASTM E119 fireproof components because it will not contribute to the fire.

Where's the smoke?
Opponents of vinyl siding often claim that the siding emits smoke when it burns and that the steam is highly toxic. Even if you have fire grinding on a siding close to 700°F, you need vinyl to burn. The toxic effect of vinyl is not considered to be any different from that of wood when burned, because all burning materials emit a lot of toxic fumes.

The most important toxic product in any fire is carbon monoxide (CO), which is produced when all organic compounds burn. Compared with most wood products, vinyl releases less CO, so its overall toxicity in house fires is negligible (according to NIST radiation toxicity test results).

Of course, all of this is only important when installing vinyl siding on the interior wall. On external walls, the net toxicity of vinyl siding in a fire is almost zero. In order to enter the field of science, I recommend to you a universally cited authoritative document on this topic, namely "Toxicology-Basic Science of Poisons" by Casarett Doull.

My reference to "blue velvet"
Well, touch: David Lynch's movie "Blue Velvet" has nothing to do with vinyl siding.

But "Blue Vinyl", a film by Daniel B. Gold and Judith Helfand about vinyl siding and a woman looking for alternatives, is partly due to the prejudice against the product today. In any case, I am not sure whether the comic documentary is effective as a basis for selecting construction materials. Consider the fact that the US Environmental Protection Agency mentioned above about the reduction of dioxin in the United States. Although the overall use of vinyl products has risen sharply, the amount of dioxin released has also fallen sharply.
In fact, WPC wall cladding is also a better wood board. If you need it, you can contact us.