Vinyl Siding: Love It or Hate It
A controversial but affordable siding choice
VinylCommon term for polyvinyl chloride (PVC). In chemistry, vinyl refers to a carbon-and-hydrogen group (H2C=CH–) that attaches to another functional group, such as chlorine (vinyl chloride) or acetate (vinyl acetate). siding often evokes strong emotions in green builders. For some, the flimsy feel of a vinyl-clad wall, or the environmental problems associated with the manufacture of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), is enough to dissuade them from using the product. Others, however, are won over by vinyl's many strengths. It's an inexpensive, low-maintenance, well-ventilated siding option. From a building science perspective, it performs extremely well, and moisture problems are rare.
There is no simple answer to questions about the environmental impact of products made from PVC. Its manufacture and disposal raise a variety of potential health issues, and the postconsumer recycling rate is low. However ...