Part 3- Plastics

Pause and Reflect- What are the pros and cons of using plastics in a home renovation project?

We will look at plastics concerning the Life Cycle Thinking and the Five Rs:

Life Cycle- Considerations (A Case Study)

The three First Nations of Attawapiskat, Fort Albany and Kashechewan joined together to build a Power Corporation that serves each community. Part of this project involved the retrofitting of homes to make them more energy efficient. Within each retrofitted home, polyvinyl sheeting was used to help keep the homes free from moisture damage. Mindful usage of polyvinyl represented how some plastics could be used to reduce energy costs by increasing efficiency. Please watch the following video to see the story:



Life Cycle- Material Considerations: Housing construction and renovation uses a fair amount of plastic. These plastics include polyvinyl chloride (PVC), composites, Acrylic, poly-carbonate, and polypropylene. Of these plastics, vinyl is the most commonly used and is used in over 50% of construction projects.

Vinyl’s life cycle begins and ends with hazards, most stemming from chlorine, its primary component. Manufacturing vinyl or burning it in incinerators produces dioxins, which are among the most toxic chemicals known to man. Research has shown that the health effects of dioxin, even in minute quantities, include cancer and birth defects (Kubba, 2009, p.159).

Weighing the pros and cons of plastic usage, is a critical question to ask when engaged in a project.


Greening and Indigenizing the Carpentry Trade Copyright © by adamothomas; Inci Sariz Bilge; and Tyler Ballam. All Rights Reserved.

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