U.S. Green Building Council
February 27, 2007
USGBC Final Report: PVC an Unhealthy Building Material
The report concludes the work of the USGBC’s Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee (TSAC), which conducted the PVC analysis in order to inform the USGBC’s LEED Steering Committee on a PVC-related credit within the LEEDR Green Building Rating SystemT.
Citing data uncertainties and mixed environmental performance of some of the alternatives studied, the report did not recommend a specific credit on PVC. Instead the TSAC recommended issue-based credits, specifically suggesting “comprehensive approaches to issues such as bioaccumulative pollutants” and incentives for continuous improvement of materials. It suggested areas for further research and acknowledged the Precautionary Principle as a fundamental principle for the USGBC in guiding decisions based on their findings. The report will now go to the LEED Steering Committee to determine next steps.
“This report affirms concerns that the environmental health community has long held about PVC that are already driving substantial market shifts,” said Tom Lent, Policy Director for the Healthy Building Network. “The report makes important contributions to materials analysis with its accounting of human health and end-of-life impacts of building materials. We are confident that an appropriate application of the Precautionary Principle to this body of work can help the USGBC produce sound policies and practices to encourage the development of healthier materials.”
Contact: Tom Lent
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