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21 August 2012

NZ Green Building Council Recognises the Merits of Best Practice PVC

The New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) recently announced a significant change to the Green Star environmental rating system that recognises the merits of 'best practice' PVC pipe, and will now award Green Star points for the use of such accredited materials. 

Does this change your perception of using PVC as a building material? Were you aware that PVC pipe could be and is recycled by the three leading New Zealand manufacturers? Do you think the specification of PVC will increase as a result of this change?

Following is a press release from the NZ Plastics Industry Pipe Association explaining the change in more detail:

The New Zealand Plastics Industry Pipes Association (PIPA) is pleased to announce that, after extensive consultation, the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) has introduced a revised PVC Credit which awards Green Star points for PVC pipe complying with Best Practice Guidelines for PVC in the Built Environment. Green Star is the predominant environmental rating tool for New Zealand buildings.  The new credit will become effective from 1 July 2012.

The Best Practice Guidelines for PVC in the Built Environment were developed by the Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA) PVC Expert Reference Panel and the GBCA, as part of the Australian ‘PVC Minimisation’ credit review. The NZGBC states that adopting ‘the revised PVC Credit allows for the opportunity to minimise the environmental and health-risk impacts of the PVC life cycle by the inclusion of minimum compliance requirements in [the] PVC manufacture and end-of-life management of PVC product.’

PIPA members are currently obtaining independent third-party verification to demonstrate that their products fully comply with the Best Practice Guidelines and hope to have certified product available to market by the 1st of July this year. This verification will provide the New Zealand construction market with a simple way of ensuring they are specifying PVC products that have been manufactured, and can be reclaimed for recycling, in accordance with environmental best practice.

To demonstrate compliance PIPA members will provide either:

  1.  An audit compliance certificate issued within the past six months by a JASANZ (or equivalent) accredited certification body providing written assurance of compliance with the Guidelines and their inclusion within an Environmental Management System (EMS): ISO 14001, or
  2. A Product Declaration and audit certificate: that the producer-specific and product performance-specific criteria of the Best Practice Guidelines for PVC have been met for a specific product that has been independently audited within the past six months, by either an accredited auditor registered by RABQSA or another equivalent national or international auditor, or a JAS-ANZ (or equivalent) accredited certification body.
As part of the commitment to meeting these requirements a PVC pipe recycling service can now be accessed via PIPA members in Auckland, Palmerston North, Christchurch and Ashburton.
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