Sustainable building

31. May 2021 | Building

Innovative building products: Future already built in

In the building sector, PVC is one of the most important plastics: The material is used in durable building products such as windows, pipes, floorings, cable sheathrings and coated fabrics: easy to clean, visually attractive, with good performance. All these characteristics offer architects and planners a wide range of design options when realising living spaces and meeting high sustainability standards at the same time.

Energy-efficient windows: technology meets design

Long-lasting energy-saving windows made of plastics are a success story, also in terms of sustainability. They help to ensure that as little heat as possible is lost and also create a pleasant indoor climate – these are essential features, especially in the construction of passive houses. In this way, the material makes an important contribution to energy efficiency in the building sector, which after all accounts for around 40 percent of total energy consumption in Germany.

Energiesparfenster (c) VEKA AG

Not surprisingly, more than every second window is already made of plastics. Because the material offers an enormous variety of colours, surface structures and shapes and can thus be adapted to almost every requirement for the facade design and every room – depending on the preferences of the builder.

Low maintenance floors: success model on a wide scale

Plasticss also stands out when it comes to floor coverings: PVC is considered particularly easy to clean, hard-wearing and durable – especially important for high-traffic areas such as in hospitals, schools, or apartment buildings. In addition, there is an almost inexhaustible range of different designs, colours and decors, which are just as exemplary in their diversity as the formats and installation patterns.

Design floorings in particular are demonstrating considerable market growth for years.


Langelebige Rohre © Funke Kunststoffe

Durable pipes: strength that saves time and money

Strong plastic pipes with smooth inner surfaces transport precious drinking water, drain roofs and dispose of wastewater. They are indispensable for our sewer network. And they last a very long time: with a service life of about a hundred years, they require little maintenance. Plastic pipes enable the sustainable transport of water over long distances – safely and without contamination. Another plus point: pipes made of PVC or polyethylene, for example, are also easy to install. This allows for easy handling on the construction site, ensures efficient processes and reduces construction costs.

Coated membranes: material for lighthouse projects

Plastics for coating fabrics opens up new possibilities for facade or roof design. Among the most impressive examples are impressive stadium roofs that protect both spectators and athletes from the weather and often become landmarks for entire regions due to their unmistakable shape. In addition, textile facades are gaining in importance: with their tensile PVC-coated membranes, they offer good protection against rain or strong sunshine.

Membranfassade Musikschule Erftstadt © AGPU MEDIA / Thorsten Martin
Fassaden © RENOLIT SE

Diversity in construction: Smooth high performance

High-performance films are gaining in importance both for the uniform design of building elements such as windows and garage doors and for the renovation of large facade surfaces: in a variety of designs, colours and surface structures, durable against wind and weather. Cables and wires with insulation or coating made of plastics are indispensable for energy supply, function control and message transmission. Roofing and geomembranes offer reliable protection against moisture and last a long time.

All in all, plastics thus enables tailor-made solutions time and again. Sensual design aspects paired with functionality and resource efficiency make the material the ideal problem solver for the challenges in the building sector.


VinylPlus®, the sustainability programme of the European PVC industry, has been promoting sustainable development in its own value chain for 20 years. The five key challenges of the programme include sustainable, climate-friendly production, consumer protection at the highest level and the use of waste as a valuable resource in the circular economy. VinylPlus Deutschland is the voice of the PVC industry in Germany.