29 Dec Sustainable Urban Development: PVC Piping and Green Cities
With urbanisation across the globe rapidly increasing unchecked, it is no wonder that 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions now emanate from the cities we live in. On top of that, many of these metropolitan areas struggle with environmental, economic, and social challenges like failing infrastructure, traffic congestion, and poor basic services. Thankfully, there is an answer to all these pressing issues: green cities.
Green cities are designed with environmental considerations in mind, resulting in resilient community spaces and maintaining economic growth, all while reducing GHG emissions and waste and preserving Earth’s natural resources. Moreover, green cities are more self-sufficient than the cities of today, making them more resilient against the effects of climate change.
In Singapore, green design, the foundation of green cities, has long been in practice thanks to relevant authorities like the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC). Most importantly, the introduction of the Green Mark Scheme in January 2005, essentially a green building rating and certification scheme, has since encouraged industry stakeholders to create and operate greener structures.
Apart from these systems, the sustainability of green cities begins with their construction, specifically in the materials used to turn them into reality. The reason this matters is that building material production can produce significant carbon emissions in the absence of upgrading production technology and increased use of eco-friendly raw materials. Not only that, choosing materials with the lowest carbon footprint possible is crucial to achieving any kind of sustainable development goal.
Apart from its lower environmental footprint, PVC plastic can also be recycled with ease without a reduction in its technical properties. While PVC holds potential for greener applications, a comprehensive evaluation of the material’s life cycle is essential—from production to disposal. Implementing efficient manufacturing processes, robust waste management, and proactive recycling initiatives are pivotal factors in ensuring the environmentally friendly use of PVC piping in urban areas.
How PVC Piping Contributes to Sustainable Urban Development
1. Lowest Embodied Energy
PVC pipes have a lower embodied energy than many other pipe materials, the total of which is derived from the energy expended in cradle-to-gate, transportation, installation, use-phase, and end-of-life phases. This is thanks to their smooth interior surface design that reduces frictional forces that minimise the overall use-phase energy consumption associated with pumping.
2. Reusable and Recyclable
PVC can be recycled at any time, whether post-industrial or initial manufacturing stage. This unique advantage mitigates the material’s long-term impact on the environment by reducing its production material waste and disposal rate of pipes and other PVC products.
3. Higher Transparency
PVC leads the industry when it comes to transparency on costs and product benefits, and it is the only piping material that offers life cycle assessments measuring a product’s sustainability, longevity, and cost. With many ongoing proactive research initiatives and new findings published regularly, data on PVC’s environmental impact and other factors like water main break rates are readily available.
4. Low Environmental Impact during Production
The efficiency of PVC production has significantly improved, owing to advancements in manufacturing processes that have effectively lowered energy consumption and emissions. Opting for PVC pipes crafted through more sustainable methods serves to further diminish their environmental footprint.
Green cities will likely lean more towards using green infrastructure to capture, filter, and reduce stormwater. However, they will still rely on traditional water management systems for certain applications, like water distribution. This is where PVC comes in to contribute towards the sustainability effort with its many remarkable advantages compared to other water management infrastructures like concrete and steel.
If you seek to source reliable and eco-friendly UPVC pipes, trust in Vicplas, the foremost PVC pipe supplier in Singapore. Our distinguished product line, recognised with the BCA-SGBC Green Mark, sets unparalleled standards in quality. With assurance, our UPVC solutions, including the highly regarded SS213 and S141 uPVC pipes, cater to a spectrum of applications such as underground drainage and hydroponic systems. For detailed information about our products, feel free to contact us today.