Vinyl Advocates Lobby For Open Consensus Standards In Ohio

Representatives of Ohio vinyl manufacturers gathered in Columbus, Ohio on Jan. 28 to advocate for a state Senate resolution that would require green-building rating systems to be developed through a process conforming to ANSI voluntary-consensus procedures before being used on state public buildings.  It was the first hearing on Senate Concurrent Resolution 25.

In testimony and follow-up meetings with senators’ offices throughout the day, industry advocates told of potential adverse effects of LEED v4’s material disclosure and optimization credit (MRc4) on vinyl products and, ultimately, on Ohio manufacturing jobs and plant communities.  The advocates represented companies and industries making window profiles, wallcoverings, siding and foam backing, roofing membranes, pipe fittings and solvents, and vinyl resin and compound.

According to data collected by the Vinyl Institute, the vinyl industry in Ohio accounts for 246 vinyl manufacturing companies that employ almost 28,000 employees with a net economic value of $4.3 billion.

At the hearing, Rich Walker, President and CEO of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, who has both an Ohio office and home, said, “LEED v4 has provisions that threaten my members’ products – those being familiar, reliable, high quality windows and doors.  The unproven provisions within LEED v4 unfairly tag many of these products as unhealthy.”  He noted that AAMA knows how to develop certifications and standards that are “fair, objective, inclusive, and representative” because of its own work in those areas over the past 51 years.

VI’s Allen Blakey testified that the institute “has engaged with the U.S. Green Building Council at various times to provide life-cycle data on vinyl and information showing the benefits of vinyl products.  Unfortunately, we have seen discriminatory and disparaging treatment of vinyl in LEED credits, even after the council conducted its own study showing vinyl’s health and environmental impacts were in line with the impacts of competing materials, and could be lower than alternatives.”

A second hearing on the resolution is set for Feb. 4.  If you’d like more information please contact Allen Blakey at ablakey@vinylinfo.org.

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