Technical Blog

Welcome to John’s Blog. Answers to frequently asked questions are periodically posted here. The objective is to share information about PVC pipe with readers as well as with utilities, design engineers and pipe installers. The blog provides the latest information on PVC pipe design, installation, and application for water and wastewater infrastructure projects.

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John Houle: Senior Technical Consultant, PVC Pipe Industry

John Houle holds a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri and an MBA from the University of Oregon. He has more than 25 years of experience in the plastic pipe industry in applications engineering, market development, forensic analysis, technical writing, and standards development.

Technical Paper: Evaluating Life Cycle Assessments for Underground Infrastructure

Posted By John Houle on Feb 21, 2018

Sustainable Solutions Corporation (SSC) is a firm recognized as an expert in environmental impact analysis and life cycle assessment. SSC has just published a paper titled “Evaluating Life Cycle Assessments for Underground Infrastructure.” The paper discusses the importance of using transparent and verifiable standards when determining the environmental impacts of a piping product.

One of the paper’s conclusions is:

No other pipe material has disclosed environmental impact to as transparent and regulated a degree as the PVC pipe industry.

The primary reason for this is the use of standards written by the International Standards Organization (ISO). The authors warn that anyone choosing an alternate method should be aware that:

Many other environmental certifications do not require accuracy and transparency of data to the extent that ISO standards do. For this reason, it is imperative for decision-makers to assess competing claims technically and analytically.

The use of alternate methods puts an undue burden on decision-makers:

In order to select the materials that best align with sustainability goals and initiatives, we encourage decision-makers to consider the sources and accuracy of data when evaluating environmental impact documentation among piping materials, in order to select the materials that best align with sustainability goals and initiatives.

Decision-makers can avoid needing to analyze the different methods used to generate LCA information. The tried-and-true solution: specify the use of the ISO standards.

To access SSC’s paper, please click here