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Wednesday, 22 November 2017 01:19

Developing Affordable Passive Houses

A new house in a Melbourne suburban street has demonstrated that affordable Passive House construction looks within reach in Australia.

Until now passive houses were priced well beyond the means of ordinary Australians, and scared off both builders and home buyers. But retirees Sue and Peter, builder RMH homes, passive house certifier Grun Consulting, and uPVC windows supplier VUE Windows have produced an elegant, spacious home that looks like any normal new build. Unlike those normal new builds, however, the home will produce stellar results in terms of thermal comfort and energy efficiency. In doing so, they have opened the door to more affordable, comfortable, high performing homes in Australia.

The house features an expansive wall consisting of 32.45 square metres of uPVC double glazed windows and doors across the north-facing living and kitchen areas, including openable fanlight windows at ceiling height for purging hot summer air.

The argon filled double glazed uPVC windows achieve excellent insulation value of Uw 1.37 and a solar heat gain co-efficiency (SHGC) of 0.58, allowing winter sunshine to penetrate but not too much solar radiation in summer.

Read the full article about this house, published in Sourceable.net.

Published in News Archive

The Vinyl Council of Australia’s hugely-successful hospitals’ recycling scheme has been shortlisted in the Circular Economy category of the Banksia Foundation Awards 2017.

From its earliest beginnings in 2009, the scheme has overcome challenges to embrace more than 80 hospitals in Australia and 28 in New Zealand. IV bags, face masks and oxygen tubing are collected and recycled by two Vinyl Council members Baxter (multinational and Australian-based manufacturer of IV bags) and Welvic (Australian compounder).

Significant investment and commitment by these two companies and the Council has helped the PVC Recycling in Hospitals scheme to flourish and divert quality PVC from landfill into durable, locally-manufactured products. These include industrial and garden hose in Australia and children’s playground mats in New Zealand, which are exported to Australia and around the Pacific.

It is also being replicated round the world. For example, in the UK 11 hospitals are participating in the growing RecoMed PVC recycling scheme with high-quality medical grade plastic being recycled into horticultural products.

The Vinyl Council’s PVC Recycling Project Manager, Helen Millicer said: “We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for this sustainability award. In terms of significance, this Australian initiative shows that quality material from hospitals can be safely recovered and reprocessed to become durable, locally-made product in Australia and in other parts of the world.

“There is no limit to the demand for this high-quality material as a substitute for virgin in Australia and New Zealand. It’s a great step forward in terms of sustainability for PVC and the environment. It’s a valuable raw material resource that can be given a useful ‘second life’ in new products and that’s good news all round!”

The scheme is aiming to recycle a total of 2,500 tonnes per year throughout Australia. Currently, monthly PVC quantities from both hospitals and home patients (Australia & New Zealand) produces enough for 95 km of garden hose or 4500 cushioned play mats for children’s playgrounds. This displaces 14 tonnes a month of imported PVC resin and additives, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions associated with the PVC in new products by 80 percent.

Winners will be announced at the Banksia Awards ceremony in Sydney on 1 November.


Published in News Archive

PVC Recycling in Hospitals

The PVC Recycling in Hospitals program collects specific, used PVC medical products for recycling safely into useful new products.

Initiated in Australia by the Vinyl Council in collaboration with staff at a metropolitan hospital, the program collects PVC IV bags, face masks and oxygen tubing it is now operating in ~115 hospitals and healthcare facilities in Australia and New Zealand.

These PVC, or vinyl, medical products are readily recyclable due to the quality and transparency of the polymer and the large number of items in use daily. Over 50 million IV bags are consumed annually in Australia alone. Together with the face masks and tubing, at least 2,500 tonnes of locally recyclable material is available for collection and reprocessing.

A 300 bed hospital could easily recycle around 2.5 tonnes of these quality PVC products each year.

Plastics are a significant share of hospital general waste currently sent to landfill at a cost to the hospital, and PVC is the most commonly used polymer in medical products.

At the initiative of an anaethetist, the PVC Recycling in Hospitals program started as a pilot program in 2009 at Western Health, Victoria. The Vinyl Council developed the program in collaboration with Western Health, and is proud to support its growth with members including Baxter Healthcare, Welvic Australia and transport companies and government agencies. It has grown to service hospitals in most states in Australia, and in New Zealand. In 2016, it won recognition as a finalist of the Victorian Premier's Sustainability Awards and as a key element of the 2016 award winner, Melbourne Health's entry. Inquiries continue to come from across Australia and the world.

The material is reprocessed by Vinyl Council member, Welvic in Australia and MattaProducts in New Zealand. It is primarily used in new industrial and garden hoses and play and safety mats for children and workplaces.

Each tonne of recycled PVC will replace about one tonne of virgin PVC compound in new products, consuming 80% less energy and reducing carbon emissions.

Start PVC Recycling in Your Hospital

 

Watch these videos to learn how and why to set up your program

 

Read the latest news on the Program:

 Find out who else is recycling PVC in healthcare facilities - DOWNLOAD the list here

Subscribe to Medical Newsletter

 

Resources to help set up your PVC Recycling program:

The following booklet, training slides and videos have been designed to help hospitals set up and implement PVC Recycling in Hospitals effectively and efficiently.
The Vinyl Council of Australia in conjunction with Baxter Healthcare developed this 'how to" kit with support from program hospitals, NSW EPA, and Sustainability Victoria.

DOWNLOAD the Fact Sheets for staff here

DOWNLOAD the Training slides here

The Business Case for PVC Recycling, prepared by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, April 2017.

Published in Content Page