Vinyl Institute Asks Industry to Join in Opposing USGBC Credit
March 2, 2010

Gregory J. Bocchi, president of the Vinyl Institute, is asking others to join him in opposing the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Pilot Credit 2, which, according to Bocchi, "would reward avoidance of building products made from PVC/vinyl or other halogenated compounds."

According to the proposed credit (CLICK HERE to view it), the intent is to reduce the release of persistent bioaccumulative toxic chemicals (PBTs) associated with the life cycle of building materials. Additionally, materials manufactured without added halogenated organic compounds for at least 75 percent (by cost) of the material totals in a minimum of three of the following four groups would be required: exterior components (including at a minimum, roof membranes, waterproofing membranes, door and window frames, siding); interior finishes (including at a minimum, flooring, base, ceiling tiles, wall coverings and window treatments); piping, conduit and electrical boxes; and building-installed electrical cable and wire jacketing.

The Vinyl Institute met with USGBC staff in December to protest this pilot credit and ask for evaluation criteria.

"We have followed up on that meeting recently and yet continue to be met with silence on the issues that need answering - why the credit was proposed, how it can be justified given USGBC's own life-cycle study, and how it will be evaluated in a meaningful, performance-based way," says Bocchi, who adds that others in the industry need to voice their objections as well.

"We hope CEOs or other top executives of building product companies will jointly sign this letter as a way to make a powerful collective statement against this unjustified and discriminatory pilot credit."

One window industry member who also opposes the credit is Wayne Gorell, chief executive officer for Gorell Windows and Doors.

"I'm at a loss as to why USGBC decided to not allow PVC products to participate in this program. It makes no sense. PVC is an accepted green product, [that has?] less impact on the environment to create great energy-saving benefits, and [is] totally recyclable. I hope they come to their senses and accept PVC as the great material for use in windows and doors."

Bocchi sent a request to all members of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association's (AAMA) Vinyl Materials Council requesting these members voice their concerns as well.

AAMA president Rich Walker encourages AAMA members to express their concerns to USGBC President Rick Fedrizzi.

"The vinyl medical and packaging industry segments lave been attacked by radical environmental activists for years. The U.S. Green Building Council's Pilot Credit 2 is the manifestation of another one of these unfounded anti-vinyl material campaign attacks, which now promotes the avoidance of all vinyl building products. USGBC has no scientific or due process justification for this approach," Walker says.

Bocchi says the Vinyl Institute plans to collect names, titles and companies that agree to support this effort, list them at the end of the letter, then deliver the letter to Fedrizzi.

Those interested in joining this effort can e-mail their name, title, company name and address to leeschilling@gmail.com.

CLICK HERE to view the proposed letter.

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