The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has announced that the use of PVC products in environmentally-friendly projects will no longer be penalised, and DPI Plastics is pleased, as this is in line with the company vision of ‘pipes for life’.
7 February, 2012: Environmentally-conscious building contractors in South Africa can now enjoy the full benefits of PVC piping products, following the announcement from the GBCSA in October 2011 that it will remove the MAT-7 PVC minimisation clause from its green star tool rating system.
The GBCSA developed the green star SA rating toolto provide the local property industry with an objective measurement for green buildings, and to recognise and reward environmental leadership in the industry. The council initially introduced the clause in 2007 to minimise the use of PVC products in buildings, due to environmental concerns with regards to the formulation, manufacturing process and end-of-life disposal of PVC products.
Following negotiations with the South African Vinyl’s Association (SAVA), the GBCSA agreed to adopt recommendations to remove the MAT-7 PVC minimisation credit in its green star tool rating system, provided that PVC manufacturers adhere to best practice conditions. DPI Plastics – a leading manufacturer of water reticulation, drainage and pipe-fitting systems in South Africa – has welcomed the decision.
DPI Plastics product manager for pressure pipe systems, Renier Snyman says: “The MAT-7 minimisation clause impacted negatively on DPI Plastics’ sales, as contractors and architects would have been avoiding the use of PVC pipes, in order to obtain a four or five star green rating for their building. In the past, any projects that used PVC would be penalised; thereby, significantly affecting their rating in an industry that is becoming increasingly environmentally-conscious.”
GBCSA CEO Brian Wilkinson adds: “In late 2011 the GBCSA completed a comprehensive credit review process for the Mat-7 PVC minimisation credit, which is one out of 69 total credits in the green star SA green building rating system. The GBCSA Technical Steering Committee (TSC) resolved to withdraw the credit after considering the outcomes of the credit review, which involved stakeholder engagement through a PVC Expert Reference Panel and precedents set by other green building councils surrounding the treatment of PVC in green building rating tools.”
Snyman points out that the removal of clause now means that the use of PVC products has a neutral impact on the green star rating of a building in South Africa. The neutral rating does; however, only apply to PVC manufacturers that meet best practice based on the manufacture and recycling of the product. “As a founding member of the South African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association (SAPPMA) – established to create absolute quality, trust and integrity throughout the value chain of the industry – DPI Plastics has committed itself to these best practice methods.”
Due to its light weight, high strength, low reactivity, and corrosion resistance, Snyman notes that PVC is the best-suited material for piping. “PVC has become the most popular piping product in South Africa, due to its unique properties. What’s more, PVC pipes are almost entirely leak-proof when joined together, making it one of the most reliable piping products in the industry too.”
Snyman admits that the biggest challenge now facing DPI Plastics is to inform and educate the industry of the benefits of the removal of the MAT-7 minimisation clause. “The most effective method of highlighting the benefits of using PVC products in green star projects will be through word-of-mouth and product displays, in particular to non-residential building projects that are focused on obtaining green star status.”
DPI Plastics will be marketing a wide range of PVC products to green star projects during the course of 2012. These include:
U-PVC: ‘Unplasticised’ or ‘rigid’ PVC has been extensively used in the building industry as a low-maintenance material in South Africa for more than 50 years. U-PVC has strong resistance against most chemicals, and oxidation from water.
M-PVC: Introduced to the local market in the early 80s by DPI Plastics, ‘modified’ PVC is a more environmentally-friendly product, as it imparts greater ductility to the pipe; thereby, resulting in lower hydraulic friction and lower pumping costs, as a result of a larger internal diameter.
O-PVC:DPI Plastics introduced ‘oriented’ PVC, known as Gemini Biax, to the local market in 2003. O-PVC has the thinnest wall thicknesses in the DPI Plastics range, thanks to the pipe molecules being orientated in two directions to provide substantial strength and toughness, which also makes it the most energy-efficient piping material in the DPI Plastics range.
Snyman highlights the fact that DPI Plastics’ entire range of PVC piping products has numerous advantages for environmentally-conscious building contractors. “Firstly, the energy consumed in the manufacture of a PVC pipe is considerably lower compared to a number of traditional materials, which require high heat and energy during the manufacturing process. What’s more, PVC consists of more than 50 per cent salt, which is available in abundance and is; therefore, not as taxing on the environment when compared to other materials. With this in mind, I am confident that DPI Plastics can achieve measurable growth in the sale of PVC products in the short-term future, while keeping a green eye trained on all our long term futures,” he concludes.
About DPI Plastics
DPI Plastics (Pty) Ltd is a leading manufacturer of PVC and HDPE water reticulation and drainage pipe and fitting systems with two ISO 9001 certified South African factories based in Johannesburg and Cape Town.