Health & Safety
Light in weight, PVC facilitates transportation, handling on-site and safe construction. It performs well in lightweight construction systems where durability and strength is needed, such as for large area roofing membranes and its use in permanent formwork construction significantly improves safety and speed of wall construction. With a high resistance to impact, PVC does not splinter, rot or crack reducing the opportunities for accidental injury.
Best Practice Manufacturing
PVC is produced in Australia under regulated and environmentally acceptable manufacturing methods and well within international guidelines for PVC manufacturing. The local resin manufacturer and a number of downstream product manufacturers meet the Best Environmental Practice criteria, independently audited, for manufacturing PVC set by the Green Building Council of Australia's Green Star tool.
Emissions are low and the resin manufacturer publicly provides information on its environmental performance through annual community reports and corporate environment reports (see www.av.com.au).
Indoor Air Quality
Materials that are synthetic or have been chemically treated in any way may emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds) during installation, creating concern about the quality of air in buildings.
While this can also occur with flexible vinyl products designed for building interiors, such as flooring, the VOC levels fall off significantly shortly after installation. Testing on vinyl flooring products has shown total VOC emissions to be well within European and Green Building Council standards. Low and Ulttra Low VOC vinyl flooring is widely available.
Rigid PVC products are very unlikely to emit VOCs.
PVC is recyclable and recycling programs for PVC occur in Australia, diverting waste from landfill. Relatively little end-of-life PVC is available from its building and construction applications in Australia as most is still in service. PVC is, however, collected from waste electric and telecommunications cabling, pipe and conduit and flooring for recycling. Recycled PVC is used in a range of products including commercial vinyl floor tiles, stormwater and plumbing DWV pipe, conduit and pipe fittings.