Thursday, November 15th, 2012
over other materials in a variety of applications.
The story begins when the head of repairs and maintenance for the town council of Brighton & Hove on England’s south coast wanted to know what the cost differential would be if materials other than PVC were used in the town’s infrastructure. Following a thorough study, a report was produced.
Meanwhile, in the town of Stockton-on-Tees, which is far to the north in England, the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers commissioned a study to compare PVC versus other
materials based on the total cost of ownership (TCO) over the products’ entire life cycles.
Both of these studies were comprehensive, comparing vinyl with other materials in windows, flooring, pipes, doors, gutters, and cables in a variety of applications. The results were very consistent across the two studies. Both of them proved that PVC is considerably more economical and, at the same time, either more environmentally friendly or the same as the other materials.
The town of Stockton-on-Tees found it could install twice as many PVC windows as wood windows for the same cost, and that the ongoing maintenance was lower with PVC—it needs almost no maintenance at all.
Down south in Brighton & Hove, the head of maintenance was happy to find that using PVC windows, doors, pipes, gutters, flooring and cables, as opposed to other materials, resulted in saving more than 30 million UK pounds (about $47.6 million) from the district’s five-year works program, and an additional 1.2 million pounds ($1.9 million) per year from the maintenance budget. The total five-year savings was equivalent to around 315 pounds ($500) for every household in the district.
The British Plastics Federation (BPF) put together a short video, “Making Savings With PVC”, that tells the story of both studies and includes information from a European Commission Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of PVC versus competing materials that found PVC products to be either the best environmental option or equivalent to the best alternative material. It’s only a few minutes long, and here it is:
MAKING SAVINGS WITH PVC