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EcoStud is 100% pre-consumer recycled polyvinyl chloride (PVC) studs and furring for use in non-load bearing exterior walls and interior partition walls… Read more
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  • Pre-consumer (also called “post-industrial”) recycling refers to the reuse of industrial by-products, as distinguished from material that has been in consumer use. The iron-ore slag used to make mineral wool insulation and the fly ash used to make concrete are examples of post-industrial recycled materials. While post-consumer recycled content is preferable, a product that uses pre-consumer content or recycles a seldom-used waste product, especially in an area where recycled products are hard to find, can be considered green.

    Excluded from this category, by FTC definitions, is the use of scrap within the same manufacturing process from which it was generated—material that would typically have gone back into the manufacturing process anyway.

Brent Ehrlich
Products Editor

EcoStud is 100% pre-consumer recycled polyvinyl chloride (PVC) studs and furring for use in non-load bearing exterior walls and interior partition walls. The thermal conductivity of the PVC is approximately 0.19 W/mK, which reduces thermal bridging when compared with carbon steel. The plastic studs do not support mold growth. The furring is available in 8', 10', or 12' lengths and five widths. The 3.5"-wide furring has precut holes for wiring and plumbing. As EcoStud is not for structural use, the company recommends wood fillers be used for extra support around doors and if large appliances need to be supported.

In 2003, the EPA estimated that 26.7 million tons of the municipal U.S. solid waste stream was plastics. Just 1.4 million tons of it was recycled; the rest went to landfills, where it occupies about 25% of the overall landfill space. Plastic lumber makes good use of recycled plastic and is an effective replacement for pressure-treated lumber, protecting timber resources and preventing the use of chemical lumber treatments. Plastic lumber listed in GreenSpec is generally at least 50% recycled content, with post-consumer content ranging from 10%–100%.

Plastic lumber won’t rot, absorb water, splinter, or crack; it’s also resilient to shock, making it an extremely durable component in exterior and marine applications. It can accept most types of fasteners and is workable with standard saws and carbide blades.

Some companies manufacture plastic lumber for structural use, but in general, plastic lumber isn’t a suitable replacement for load-bearing structural components as the physical characteristics of plastic polymers, while durable, don’t provide the rigidity necessary for primary structural support. Some companies have addressed this weakness by reinforcing their products with fiberglass or steel. In addition, plastic lumber experiences greater rates of thermal expansion and contraction, which can give rise to problems in certain applications.

GreenSpec lists wood framing lumber that is made of FSC-certified wood or reclaimed wood. Greenspec also lists Preserved-Wood Framing Lumber that provides enhanced durability without the environmental concerns of conventional wood preservatives.

Some companies listed here may sell both FSC-certified and noncertified products or carry other types of certification that don't qualify for GreenSpec. To ensure the use of environmentally responsible wood products, be sure to specify FSC-certified wood when buying from these companies.

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MRc4: Recycled Content

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