A “Green School” is a healthier and safer environment for students, teachers and administrators. What’s behind the walls or underfoot should not be disregarded. While educational facilities have made strides in school building performance, they may be falling short on a comprehensive approach in identifying potential hazards that are known to be harmful that may affect vulnerable children and teachers and administrators that spend tremendous time in schools.
When materials are selected that appear to be cheaper on the front end, they often end up having unforeseen consequences on the back end. Unfortunately some architects, designers, and contractors are value engineering-out safe, non-combustible cast iron piping only to choose a perceived lower-cost plastic drainage system. There are unintended consequences with the chemistry of polyvinyl chloride piping (PVC) as it is a known carcinogen which off-gasses at every stage of its lifecycle. In addition, plastic piping due to its lack of structural integrity requires complex and costly fire-stopping systems for all wall and floor penetrations.
Cast Iron Soil Pipe vs. Toxic Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Pipe. Cast Iron is non-combustible, easy to install and requires minimal fire-stopping. Compared to PVC that is toxic, requires complex fire-stopping systems, and when burned emits toxic byproducts.
Quiet Cast Iron Soil Pipe vs. Noisy Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Pipe. Cast Iron is known as the “QUIET” piping system due to its intrinsic properties along with separation of the pipe and fittings by the use of a gasket or coupling resulting in a highly effective system and quieter classroom environment. PVC used in waste systems can be noisy and annoying, and detrimental to the learning environment.
Sustainable vs. Chemically Manufactured Plastic Piping. Cast Iron pipe is GREEN as it’s made from nearly 95-percent post-consumer scrap metal and is 100-percent recyclable at the end of service life. Plastic starts as a petroleum product and is manufactured using chemicals.