By: Jonathan Simon on January 19th, 2022
ReVISION House Selects FlowGuard Gold CPVC Based on Its Chlorine-Resistance, Flow Rates and Low Environmental Impact
When building science expert Steve Easley decided to retrofit a 3,050-square foot home in Scottsdale, AZ, his goal was to showcase how performance, sustainability, wellness, aesthetics, and durability could be optimized using the most advanced products, systems, and technologies available on the market today.
Among the features Easley and his wife, air quality expert Susan Raterman, are designing into the home are an intelligent solar energy system, advanced ventilation and fresh air systems, and FlowGuard Gold pipes and fittings.
Focusing on Durability
While it may surprise some that Easley identified plumbing materials as an important component of his state-of-the-art “Forever” home, he understands the important role plumbing systems can play in ensuring a home’s durability and comfort. After all, he had experienced a plumbing failure at a previous home and was determined that scenario wouldn’t be repeated in the model home he was designing to inspire other builders.
As he told Green Builder, a partner in the project, two factors are contributing to increased plumbing failures today. The first is the more aggressive water treatment practices being employed by municipalities as their water distribution systems expand, which can increase the rate of failure among chlorine-sensitive plumbing materials such as PEX and copper. The other is the use of low-flow fixtures that result in water sitting in pipes longer between uses, further accelerating the rate of chlorine degradation in those materials.
“It’s no accident that there have been almost two dozen class-action lawsuits related to premature plumbing failures in recent years,” Easley told Green Builder. “Which is why for the ReVISION House Scottsdale, we decided to go with FlowGuard Gold CPVC piping. Because it’s manufactured using chlorine, it’s completely impervious to chlorine exposure during use.”
In a related video, Easley says, “We wanted to select a system with a proven track record of reliability. FlowGuard has been used in homes for over 60 years with over 12 billion feet installed—over one billion of which has been installed for more than 40 years. That ls a great track record.”
The Healthier Choice
Easley wasn't just thinking about durability when he chose FlowGuard Gold CPVC. Water quality and the environmental impact of the material were also important considerations.
“Another unintended consequence of water staying in the pipes longer is the formation of biofilms, which can support the growth of bacteria that enters our drinking water,” Easley says in the video. “Water quality research at Virginia Tech found that CPVC was the most inert of the piping materials that they tested and had the least impact on water quality. EPA research has shown that vinyls like CPVC are virtually impermeable so we don’t have to worry about the pesticides that could be sprayed around the home entering the drinking water.”
FlowGuard Gold CPVC also proved to be the most environmentally friendly choice for the project, supporting Easley’s sustainability objectives. FlowGuard Gold CPVC is the only residential plumbing piping system certified to the requirements of National Green Building Standard (NGBS) by Home Innovation Research Labs and contributes to both LEED and NGBS credits. According to lifecycle analysis data published by the US Department of Commerce NIST BEES database, CPVC plumbing systems have an 8-10% lower environmental impact and 20-30% lower human health impact when compared to PEX over the life of the system, from raw materials to disposal.
Additional Benefits of CPVC
Another important factor Easley considered was flow rates. PEX uses insert fittings that reduce water flow—and create pressure loss—at each fitting. Like copper, CPVC fittings wrap around the outside of the pipe, minimizing pressure loss across the system. While not a determining factor, CPVC’s lower cost compared to copper and PEX makes the ReVISION House plumbing system repeatable for builders working on tight budgets.
The fact that FlowGuard Gold CPVC has such a long track record and yet still finds a place alongside emerging smart home and renewable energy technologies is a testament to the material’s design and quality. Whether your priorities are long life, water quality, low cost, high flow rates or enhanced sustainability, FlowGuard Gold CPVC is the obvious choice.
To learn more about why Steve Easley selected FlowGuard Gold CPVC, read the article
in Green Builder, Why Are Home Plumbing Systems Failing More Than Ever? Look to Chlorine. To learn more about FlowGuard Gold CPVC, download our brochure.