Home  5  Books  5  GBEzine  5  News  5  HelpDesk  5  Register  5  GreenBuilding.co.uk
Not signed in (Sign In)


Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

Buy individually or both books together. Delivery is free!

powered by Surfing Waves

Vanilla 1.0.3 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

Welcome to new Forum Visitors
Join the forum now and benefit from discussions with thousands of other green building fans and discounts on Green Building Press publications: Apply now.

    • CommentAuthorMike George
    • CommentTimeJul 20th 2007 edited
    I am starting this thread as the subject was beginning to hyjack the warmedge spacer thread.

    My question is this? Which petrochemical products are acceptable for use in the building industry. In particular, is it okay to use insulation derived from oil while condemning the use of upvc windows? Are there other oil based products which are acceptable? Has anyone considered a ranking order of 'plastic' no-no's

    My opinion is that I would much prefer to use naturally derived products, not oil based ones. However the reality is that these are often unaffordable or impractical in use. Hence, I use them.
    • CommentAuthorJohan
    • CommentTimeJul 20th 2007

    I guess I should be the first for this one!! ;)

    The starting point must be to try not to use oil based product, but if you don't have a choice use them. In the case of insulation there are plenty of choice which isn't oil based anyway! In a new build I can't see any particular reason you would need to use many plastic products (soil pipes being one exception).
    Perhaps this is the place to mention "end of life" for building materials? Recently came across a 200 year old stone building that hasn't been lived in for 80+ years, and has been allowed to become derelict. The roof has collapsed in and completely decayed, as has the first floor, lime plaster off the walls, etc. etc.
    The interesting thing is that all that is left has turned to soil, otherwise is a permanent hard material like stone or tile. the resulting debris can be easily sorted into re-usable materials, or soil/sand/hardcore to go on the garden/landscaping (excluding the occasional bit of glass or rusty metal).
    The whole place can be re-instated as a useful house with the minimum of environmental impact.
    It has certainly made me think about what happens to the materials we choose, in a less than ideal situation, however many years down the line it is.
    I think there is a distinction to be made between petrochemical products that can be re-used and recycled easily, I understand EPS can be ground up and reformed if a building was demolished, and those that can't, like PVC window frames. Also, products that will last indefinitely and those that will deteriorate.

    We must have installed hundreds of millions of uPVC windows in the UK alone. Where will they all go when they come out? Contrary to what the public think, they don't last forever. I've just taken down a 10 year old uPVC conservatory and all the frames were full of water at the bottom and none of the handles operated properly. Landfill sites full of the things is what we'll have.

    Thinking ahead, I think the alternatives to oil based products are going to become more popular as we pass Peak Oil because they will become relatively more expensive compared to low embodied energy products.
    • CommentAuthorbiffvernon
    • CommentTimeJul 20th 2007
    Remember that many of our most beautiful houses and most highly prized buildings date from before the first drop of oil was pumped.
    Where there is an alternative natural products I would use the natural (like wool insulation batts) but where I have not found an alternative then I would use oil based product (like EPS for slab edge insulation or inground wing insulation).
    Most of the older houses use energy inefficiently and are designed to use lots of fossil fuels to reach comfort levels, if by using some oil based insulation to reduce energy consumption then I see it as a good use of oil.
    I believe we have to use oil wisely to build infrastructures to create a softer landing post peal oil ( wind mills, hydro dams, pv panels for electricity based economy for instance)!
Add your comments

    Username Password
  • Format comments as
The Ecobuilding Buzz
Site Map    |   Home    |   View Cart    |   Pressroom   |   Business   |   Links   

© Green Building Press