GREEN BUILDING GUIDE

Healthy Home. Healthy Planet.

Santa Monica Residential

GREEN BUILDING GUIDE

Santa Monica Residential

www.greenbuildings.santa-monica.org

ABOUT THIS GUIDE

RESIDENTIAL GREEN BUILDING

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ccording to the most recent City of Santa Monica Sustainable City survey, 93% of Santa Monica residents believe that building healthier and more environmentally responsible buildings is important. If you are reading this you probably agree. Green buildings are healthier, more environmentally sound, and more economical. You will find you can make a real impact without sacrificing quality or breaking the bank. In fact, the principles behind green building promote just the opposite: quality design, pleasing aesthetics, functionality, comfort, and wellbeing.

Finally, a green building can easily reduce monthly utility bills by as much as 25% or more. Many of the energy saving practices also make the home healthier and more comfortable at the same time. So what does it take to achieve a healthier, more environmentally responsible, and energy efficient home? The main ingredient is dedication. If you take the time to set goals for your project, work with your architect or designer to integrate them in the plans, and get your contractor to commit to your goals, a healthy, environmentally responsible home is achievable. While some homeowners use innovative designs and uncommon materials that cost more, there are many green measures that cost nothing to implement and many that save money in operating and maintaining the home. In short, green building is not only a luxury reserved for those willing to endure the extra costs. Clean air, reduced environmental impacts, and lower utility bills are luxuries we can all afford.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF BUILDINGS
65.2% of total U.S. electricity consumption 30% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 136 million tons of construction and demolition waste in the U.S. (approx. 2.8 lbs/person/day) 12% of potable water in the U.S. 40% (3 billion tons annually) of worldwide raw materials use In addition to making an impact on the environment (see inset), buildings can also have an impact on the health of occupants. A California Air Resources Board study showed that indoor air quality can be 2 to 50 times worse than outdoors. They also found that 87% of an average Californian’s time is spent indoors-- making indoor air quality a very real concern.

FINALLY, A GREEN BUILDING CAN EASILY REDUCE MONTHLY UTILITY BILLS BY AS MUCH AS 25% OR MORE. MANY OF THE ENERGY SAVING PRACTICES ALSO MAKE THE HOME HEALTHIER AND MORE COMFORTABLE AT THE SAME TIME.

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ABOUT THIS GUIDE (CONT.)

Purpose of the Residential Green Building Guide

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egardless of whether you are building your dream home or just taking on a weekend project, there are ideas in this guide that you can use. The guide was created by the City of Santa Monica Green Building Program to help residents:

• Make more informed decisions when updating and upgrading their home • Identify health and environmental measures for new construction or remodeling projects • Collaborate with their architect and contractors during the design and construction process to ensure creation of a healthier and more environmentally sound home • Find additional green building resources

The first section of this guide is Green Building Attributes. The attributes are words or phrases used to describe building systems and materials. These terms will help you evaluate products to determine if they meet your green building goals. The terms will also be used throughout the other sections of the guide. The Homeowners: Things to Consider section highlights green building measures that are more commonly or easily achieved. Use this section to set goals for the green building measures you would like to include in your home. It may be helpful to review this section with your architect or contractor. The Detailed Measures will be more useful to contractors and do-ityourselfers. Finally, complete the Checklist with your architect or contractor to ensure your green building goals are clearly documented.

The process of building a more sustainable home will be made easier by using an architect and contractor familiar with green building materials and practices. Be sure to visit the Green Building Resource Center (see Other Resources section for address and hours) during the design process to browse green building products and resources and for referrals to experienced contractors. Other resources are also listed throughout this document.

THE PROCESS OF BUILDING A MORE SUSTAINABLE HOME WILL BE MADE EASIER BY USING AN ARCHITECT AND CONTRACTOR FAMILIAR WITH GREEN BUILDING MATERIALS AND PRACTICES.

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Flooring O. Site B. HVAC K. Electrical G. Plumbing F.CONTENTS I. Exterior Finish E. Natural Heating and Cooling M. Windows J. Other IV. Appliances H. Other Resources Cover photo: Benny Chan/Fotoworks 5 . Green Building Attributes II. Builder’s Checklist V. Indoor Air Quality N. Builders: Detailed Measures A. Homeowners: Things to Consider Construction and Demolition Waste Building Orientation Lighting Heating and Cooling Appliances Plumbing / Domestic Hot Water Building Shell Interior and Finishes Flooring Landscape / Hardscape Outdoor Decks Solar Electricity Furnishings 6 9 10 11 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 22 23 24 26 27 30 31 33 34 34 35 36 40 41 42 44 46 47 50 III. Structural Frame D. Foundation C. Insulation I. Renewable Energy and Roofing L.

should be considered when designing a home. The Energy Star® label used on many products is a good indication that it is more efficient than the standard model. transportation of materials from great distances has a negative impact on the environment. contain dangerous toxins. Look for low or no VOC versions of these materials. Durable Durable materials are environmentally sound because they have to be thrown away and replaced less often. into the raw materials of nature and disappear into the environment.GREEN BUILDING ATTRIBUTES M any attributes describe healthy and environmentally sound materials and building practices that and furnaces. such as CCA-treated lumber. dual paned windows increase home energy efficiency by reducing demand on air conditioners Non-toxic Materials may contain toxins that are dangerous to human health. insulation and low-e. W3 Architects Energy Efficient Almost anything that burns natural gas or is plugged in has an efficiency rating. Low/ No VOC Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are found in paints. When selecting products. Compostable materials are solid biodegradable materials that break down in the process of composting. look for products that use these terms to describe themselves. adhesives. but be careful to make sure the claims are credible. Selecting lumber or wood products made with wood from FSC certified forests will help ensure healthier forests. Buying materials that are produced locally can minimize this impact. and some carpets. Most materials are relatively benign. medium density fiberboard. 6 . Solid biodegradable products can often be composted. Formaldehyde-free Insulation. FSC Certified The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifies managed forests to ensure they are less destructive to forest ecosystems. Also. but some materials. by biological means. Look for formaldehyde-free materials. Be aware that sending biodegradable products to the landfill defeats the purpose. They also reduce life cycle costs by reducing maintenance and replacement costs. Composting is a process dedicated to breaking down organic materials into rich soil called compost. or cabinets and furniture made from these materials can contain the toxin formaldehyde. Biodegradable/ Compostable Biodegradable products have the ability to break down. safely and relatively quickly. Look for the most energy efficient model in everything from appliances and furnaces to light bulbs and televisions. VOCs are toxic to humans and contribute to smog. Local In addition to environmental impacts from the creation of building materials. particleboard. sealants. Ask yourself whether the following can be used to describe the materials and systems you will be installing in your home.

straw. As important as having recycled content is whether a material can be diverted from the landfill (recycled) at the end of its useful life. Renewable Renewable means that we can potentially replace all that we use within a short time without depleting the source. wood taken from old-growth clear cuts are not renewable. steel. Bare concrete floors don’t require additional flooring material. sustainable products should be produced and transported using renewable materials and renewable energy sources. Post-industrial recycled material is a waste product from an industrial process. therefore. Anything mined from the earth (including metals and oil) or any 7 . Sustainable A sustainable product is one that can be produced today without impacting the ability to produce the same product in the future. and geothermal. tile.Post-Industrial/ Post-Consumer Recycled materials can have either post-industrial or post-consumer recycled material or a combination of both. and carpet. appliances and showers can save a surprising amount of water each month. the term “sustainable” is used rather loosely to describe products that rarely meet this definition. wind. Engineered lumber products use a high percentage of the trees harvested for the purpose. Therefore. Recovering post-consumer materials is more difficult to achieve and more likely to reduce landfill waste than post-industrial waste and. Renewable energy is generated from fossil fuel-free sources such as solar. Examples of materials that can contain recycled content are concrete. Salvaging materials during the demolition of an old home saves them for someone else to re-use. Post-consumer recycled content is material that was recovered from the urban waste stream such as used paper and soda cans. Water-efficient fixtures and irrigation conserve water. Water Efficient Water efficient faucets. toilets. bio-based resins. often favored when selecting recycled content materials. Bamboo. Recycled/ Recyclable Many common materials can be selected with or without recycled content. and natural fiber carpets are among the materials that are rapidly renewable. Resource Efficient Products or measures that reduce the amount of natural resources used are good for the environment. Recycled content products mean that the material used has been kept out of our landfills and has reduced the extraction of precious and limited natural resources. Salvaged Reusing materials means that new materials do not have to be harvested or extracted from the earth. Low water landscapes and efficient irrigation systems can drastically reduce water used in the yard. In reality. Rapidly renewable materials are often defined as those that are planted or harvested within a ten-year cycle.

SELECTING LUMBER OR WOOD PRODUCTS MADE WITH WOOD FROM FSC CERTIFIED FORESTS WILL HELP ENSURE HEALTHIER FORESTS .

www. For a more complete idea of measures that can make your home healthier and more environmentally sound. Santa Monica. refer to the Builder: Detailed Measures section. but highlights some of the more commonly or easily achieved measures.globalgreen. The objectives should be kept in mind as guiding principles when making design decisions and selecting materials and equipment. The list is not comprehensive.org/gbrc Photo: Benny Chan/Fotoworks . Below the objectives are some common materials and measures that can contribute to a greener home.Homeowners: THINGS TO CONSIDER The following describes the green building objectives for each given building stage or element of a new home. the Additional Resources at the end of this guide or visit the Green Building Resource Center at 2218 Main Street.

doors. Material/ Measure Salvage useful materials Description During demolition.CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION WASTE OBJECTIVES: Increase reuse of used building materials and reduce the amount of virgin building materials unnecessarily wasted or sent to the landfill. etc.org • City of Santa Monica Solid Waste Division (310) 458. Avoid removing existing trees and plants.org Wood scraps separated for recycling Mixed debris can be recycled by qualified processors No-cost or mandatory Low cost & fast payback Healthy home 10 .8714 • The Reuse People.santa-monica. windows. Divert a minimum of 60% of waste. www. Santa Ana.com • Habitat for Humanity ReStore. dimensional lumber. (888) 588-9490. Use a Santa Monica certified hauler/ waste disposal facility that recycles construction and demolition waste. fixtures.thereusepeople. www. identify and salvage building materials that can be reused. Santa Monica code requires projects greater than 1000 s.greenbuildings. wood floors. from landfills. 2165 South Grand Ave.f. CA 92705 www. Divert construction and demolition waste from landfill References: • Santa Monica Green Buildings.. or $50.000 to submit a C&D waste recycling plan.restoreoc. Reduce waste by diverting cabinetry.

Material/ Measure Orient along east-west axis Description Long axis should face east-west to maximize passive solar effects. save energy used for heating and cooling the home. www. wintertime passive heating. and create a more comfortable indoor environment. These effects decrease the need for electric lighting.org W3 Architects North-facing windows introduce glare-free daylight Santa Monica from above 11 . and natural ventilation. Window placement References: • Santa Monica Green Buildings. Place windows strategically to enable cooling by natural ventilation while also admitting daylight and enabling wintertime passive solar heating. Many lots in Santa Monica have an east-west orientation making this relatively simple. summertime shading. Orient home and place windows to enable natural daylighting.Building Orientation Objectives: Building orientation is one of the most effective ways to improve home energy performance and it costs nothing.santa-monica.greenbuildings.

energy. Fluorescent tube lights reduce energy usage significantly over incandescent bulbs and last longer.greenbuildings.santa-monica.gov Photo: Benny Chan/Fotoworks Daylighting saves energy and improves indoor environmental quality No-cost or mandatory Low cost & fast payback Healthy home 12 . IC Can lights Fluorescent lighting Compact fluorescent bulbs References: • Santa Monica Green Buildings. www. Strive for indirect light to reduce glare. When using can lights in the top-floor ceiling select “Insulation Compatible” (IC) model. www. Material/ Measure Natural daylighting Description The more natural light in the home during the day the less lights need to be turned on.eere. Compact fluorescent bulbs are direct replacements for standard incandescent bulbs but use 75% less energy and last up to 13 times longer. saving electricity and enhancing indoor light quality.org • Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Look for low mercury bulbs. Non-IC can lights require insulation to be a certain distance from cans creating significant breaks in insulation. Use T5 or T8-type lamps for highest efficiency. Look for low mercury bulbs.Lighting Objectives: Improve the energy efficiency of household lighting.

www. www.org • Energy Star.cfm • Soutern California Gas Company.greenbuildings. ceiling fans. www. and can be more energy efficient than conventional forced air units.buildinggreen. www. and attic ventilation to reduce need for air conditioning. Well-installed ducts (straight with taped seams) will reduce leakage of conditioned air and decrease possibility of harboring mold. www. Look for the Energy Star® label. Operable skylights can enhance natural cooling by allowing rising hot air to escape. Look for a heating system with a high efficiency rating: AFUE > 90% (or HSPF > 8). Homes designed to take advantage of this will enjoy lower energy bills. plant trees or orient windows to block direct sunlight from windows in summertime in order to keep indoor temperatures down--reducing the need for air conditioning. Upgrading to R-19 insulation in walls and R-30 in ceiling will result in a well insulated home. References: • Santa Monica Green Buildings. A HEPA filter will efficiently remove particulates from the air.com 13 .com/features/tm/thermal.socalgas.gov • Soutern California Edison. does not blow allergy-inducing particles into the air.Heating and Cooling Objectives: Maintain a healthy and comfortable home while reducing the energy used for heating and cooling.sce. Material/ Measure Natural ventilation Description Santa Monica has the benefit of cool ocean breezes that can reduce or eliminate the need for air conditioning. Orient home and windows to admit solar radiation to passively heat the home without using your furnace. Other ventilation Install whole-house fan. Window shading Passive solar heating Thermal mass Air filters and sealed air ducts Insulation Efficient furnace Efficient A/C system Hydronic radiant heating Hydronic radiant heating is more comfortable. Install an Energy Star® high-efficiency air conditioning system (SEER > 12). thermal mass (often in the form of concrete walls and tile floors) can mitigate fluctuations in indoor temperature reducing the need for mechanical heating and cooling.gov • Building Green Article on Thermal Mass. Use greater than minimum required amount of insulation in walls and ceiling. In the mild Southern California climate.santa-monica.energystar. Install shades.

Overhangs provide shading to keep out direct summer sun. W3 Architects .

Most H-axis washers are also Energy Star rated.com Horizontal axis Energy Star washer and dryer 15 . Material/ Measure Energy Star Appliances Description All major brands have Energy Star options that reduce energy usage over comparable models while providing equal or superior performance. and leave clothes drier requiring less time and energy to dry clothes. www.sce. gentler on clothes.santa-monica.org • Soutern California Edison.Appliances Objectives: Select high-quality appliances that are more energy efficient. www. 50% less energy.smepd. www. use 40% less water.energystar.org • Energy Star. Horizontal-axis clothes washer References: • Santa Monica Green Buildings.greenbuildings. www. Horizontal axis washers are more effective at cleaning.gov • Santa Monica Environmental Programs.

Low flow faucets and low flow or dual flush toilets are required by code in California.com • Santa Monica Green Buildings. improve water quality. Water filters remove chlorine. and reduce indoor water consumption.greenresourcecenter. Required in Santa Monica. have an EF of 0.html • Oikos.greenbuildings. showers and washing machines.oikos.owve.8 or better and take up less valuable space. can be filtered and used to irrigate landscaping. Reduce energy wasted through heat loss. Water from faucets. Consider a tankless hot water heater.org/GreenMaterials. Material/ Measure Water efficient fixtures/ toilets Description Use low-flow showerheads and faucets and ultra low-flow toilets to reduce water consumption. Tankless water heaters are very effective. Required in Santa Monica. not contaminated by human waste.org Solar water heater No-cost or mandatory Low cost & fast payback Healthy home 16 . www.6. soften water. www.water. www. Insulate water heater and hot water pipes Heat Traps High-efficiency hot water heater Dual-flush toilets Water filters Solar Hot Water Graywater system References: • Green Resource Center.Plumbing / Domestic Hot Water Objectives: Improve energy efficiency of water heating. Install an energy efficient water heater with Energy Factor (EF) > 0. Dual flush toilets reduce water use by allowing users to choose a full or half flush depending on the need. and improve flavor of water. Pre-plumb or install solar hot water heater. This can reduce or eliminate the need to use a gas or electric hot water heater.smepd. Install heat traps on storage hot water tanks to prevent cold water flowing back into storage tank.santa-monica. Low-flow faucets and showerheads also reduce the amount of energy used for heating water.ca. www.org • Graywater Guide.gov • Santa Monica Environmental Programs. www.

www.epa. it displaces virgin materials normally used in the concrete and reduces the greenhouse gas emissions caused by concrete when it cures.santa-monica. www. Select light colored “cool roof” materials to reflect heat of the sun-.fsc. FSC Certified lumber. Higher first costs can be offset by smaller mechanical systems and lower heating and cooling costs. Select FSC certified wood or recycled aluminum with thermal breaks for window frames. environmentally preferable exterior siding Entry doors with certified lumber or with Energy Star® label Alternative or more sustainable framing Energy efficient windows made with environmentally preferable materials Foundation/ Slab Roof/ Radiant Barrier References: • Santa Monica Green Buildings. Insulated concrete forms and structural insulated panels are other energy efficient and less lumber-intensive means of construction. consider fiber-cement siding for its durability and termite resistance. recycled. Recycled light gauge steel and engineered lumber joists Durable.gov/epaoswer/nonhw/recycle/jtr/comm/cfa. www. If using wood shingles or other wood siding. Use high fly-ash content in concrete for foundation and slab. When selecting solid wood doors.rmi.org • PATH (Partnership for Advanced Technology in Housing) www. Vinyl siding is not considered a good environmental choice. Material/ Measure Weather stripping Description Weather stripping in either new construction or retrofit is the most cost-effective means of reducing heating and cooling costs.org 17 . Otherwise. look for doors made with FSC certified wood.greenbuildings.Building Shell Objectives: Increase use of renewable.com • Forest Stewardship Council. www. Fly ash is material that would otherwise be landfilled.org • EPA. and sustainable materials while constructing an energy efficient and durable building shell. Use low-e dual paned windows for their superior energy performance.html • Oikos. If using plywood. Use recycled light gauge steel framing. www.htm • Rocky Mountain Institute.oikos.greenresourcecenter. or engineered/ finger jointed studs for framing.reducing heat island effect and keeping indoors cooler and reducing the need for air conditioning. www.toolbase. specify FSC-certified plywood. look for doors that are Energy Star® rated. Select a durable siding. Oriented Strand Board (OSB) for exterior sheathing and subfloor is more environmentally responsible than plywood.org • Energy Star. Look for the Energy Star label. look for FSC certified wood or use hardboard instead.energystar. Otherwise. Coal Fly Ash. www.org/GreenMaterials.gov • Green Resource Center. Install a radiant barrier in your attic to reduce indoor temperatures and the need for air conditioning.

www. Glass or traditional ceramic tiles are available with recycled content. and more sustainable materials. Products that Passed Section 01350 www. www.html • Green Resource Center. Cabinets finished in the factory will cure under controlled conditions and will reduce off-gassing of VOCs in your home. look for recycled content.VOC paints and finishes Entry doors with certified lumber or with Energy Star label Description Use light gauge steel framing with recycled content or FSC-certified lumber to frame interior walls. If using solid wood. Material/ Measure Interior wall framing Low. During design.ca.org/materials/matfinishes.greenbuildings. designate space for placing recycling receptacles Recycled content tile Recycling Center References: • Santa Monica Green Buildings.greenresourcecenter.com •California Integrated Waste Management Board. If selecting tile for countertops and bathrooms.or no.gov/GreenBuilding/Specs/EastEnd Recycled content tile Recycled glass tile No-cost or mandatory Low cost & fast payback Healthy home 18 . Use paints and finishes with low or no volatile organic compounds to improve indoor air quality. Otherwise use cabinets made from particleboard/ MDF with low or no formaldehyde content to improve indoor air quality. org/GreenMaterials.santa-monica. www.html • Oikos.oikos. select cabinets made from FSC certified lumber.Interior and Finishes Objectives: Select low VOC content. formaldehydefree.ciwmb.

com • CRI. www. renewable.Flooring Objectives: Select flooring materials that are nontoxic. www. Use low VOC adhesives during installation. etc.oikos. Concrete floors provide good thermal mass. Glass or traditional ceramic tiles are available with recycled content. Material/ Measure Certified/ Salvaged Wood Concrete floor Description Select FSC Certified wood from sustainably managed forests or wood that has been salvaged. Cork and natural linoleum are also renewable floor coverings. sea grass. jute. and/or recycled/recyclable. Palm wood flooring comes from plantation grown trees. Renewable floor coverings Natural fiber carpet Recyclable/ recycled carpet Low-VOC carpet Recycled content tile References: • Green Resource Center. healthy. Select carpet that has recycled content or has been designed for easy recycling. coir. sisal. org/GreenMaterials. Bare concrete floors are durable. www. They can be stained or polished for a beautiful finish. Select carpet with the CRI Green label indicating it meets strict indoor air quality restrictions. look for tiles with recycled content. and eliminate the need for additional flooring materials.com Bamboo grows to maturity in less than six years 19 .greenresourcecenter.carpet-rug. Bamboo is a rapidly renewable alternative to hardwood floors. Select carpet with natural fibers such as wool.html • Oikos. These natural fibers are renewable. If selecting tile flooring.

Required in Santa Monica in new construction. and other debris into the Santa Monica Bay.theodorepayne. www.com • Santa Monica Green Buildings.oikos. Permeable/ alternative Paving Xeriscape Native/ Drought Tolerant plants Weather-based irrigation Automatic irrigation controls with smart features can moderate irrigation levels based on weather controls and season saving significant amounts of water.org A Santa Monica water-efficient landscape No-cost or mandatory Low cost & fast payback Healthy home 20 . www.com. oil.bewaterwise. www.html • Santa Monica Environmental Programs. Native plants and drought tolerant plants reduce the amount of water that is required for irrigation. Drip irrigation Drip irrigation reduces wasteful overspray and evaporation and can deliver low flow rates for lowwater plants.smepd.greenbuildings. Rainwater storage References: • Theodore Payne Foundation. www. Rainwater can be captured from the roof and used later for landscape irrigation. This decreases the amount of polluted storm water reaching the Santa Monica Bay and replenishes the local aquifer. Permeable paving systems will allow rainwater to penetrate into the soil rather than running off into the street.Landscape/ Hardscape Objectives: Create a well-designed hardscape and landscape that reduces the amount of water used for irrigation and the amount of runoff that ultimately carries garbage. A xeriscape is a landscape designed with native or adapted plants that requires no irrigation after plants are established. Native landscaping provides habitat for native birds and butterflies. Material/ Measure Dry wells Description Dry wells or infiltration basins capture rainwater and help much of it to filter into the ground instead of running off into the street and out to the bay.com • Oikos.santa-monica. www.org/landscape/landscape.org • Bewaterwise.

greenresourcecenter. Treated lumber is often used in landscapes and as supports for decking. Treated lumber References: • Oikos.oikos. Material/ Measure Decking Description Use composite lumber made of 100% recycled plastic or of plastic/wood composite for decking material. Traditional CCA lumber is being phased out because of its toxicity and is being replaced by less-harmful ACQ treated lumber.Outdoor Decks Objectives: Make decks from certified wood or products that substitute for wood and treated lumber that does not contain highly toxic substances.com • Green Resource Center. www.html Composite lumber decking uses no wood 21 . www. select FSC certified wood.org/GreenMaterials. Also look for composite lumber options such as Polywood. If you must use wood for the deck.

Purchase furnishings made with FSC-certified wood or formaldehyde-free wood products.org/renewable/estimator/index. non-polluting solar power. References: John Friedman .org • National Renewable Energy Laboratory.nrel. that may cause cancer and disrupt endocrine system. Avoid synthetic foams that contain fire retardants. Sustainably harvested wood used in furniture No-cost or mandatory Low cost & fast payback Healthy home 22 . www.Alice Kimm Architects • Clean Power Estimator.consumerenergycenter.html Residential solar electric system Furnishings Objectives: Look for furnishings made with natural fibers or recycled content. Material/ Measure Solar Electric Panels Description Solar panels are most often installed on rooftops.k. with local.Solar Electricity Objectives: Use solar electric (a. Solar electric panels convert sunlight directly into electricity displacing electricity generated by burning fossil fuels at distant power plants.consumerenergycenter. www. photovoltaic) panels to reduce the amount of electricity purchased from the power company. www.gov/clean_energy/solar.html • Consumer Energy Center (for rebates). Qualified solar installers will evaluate whether solar will work on your rooftop.a. called PBDEs. They can either come in roof-mounted panels or building integrated systems that are a relatively seamless part of the roof.

Builders: DETAILED MEASURES This section describes many green building materials and techniques that can be used by contractors when building a home. . It is intended to assist owners or their contractors with green building design and construction measures that may be incorporated into their project.

Benefits: Preserving existing. identify areas to be paved as a place to store native topsoil during construction. Recycling reduces pressure on landfills. maintains existing sources of natural cooling (e. 1. Recycle Job Site Construction and Demolition Waste Construction waste generally consists of wood. Applications: Complete a landscape survey to determine the feasibility of preserving or relocating mature trees and shrubs. Amend soil with compost and re-spread topsoil after construction. valuable trees and plants can be preserved and incorporated into new developments and neighborhoods. including cars. metals. and adds a unique character to the community. Allocate space for recycling bins and containers. shade from a mature tree). Separating waste at the site is the most effective way to ensure high recycling rates. Donate Unused Materials Unused or salvaged materials such as surplus wood. beginning a cycle of high water and chemical dependency. Donations may be tax deductible. a building site is cleared of vegetation and the topsoil is removed. construction is coordinated with a landscape professional to protect the soil. Ideally. Benefits: Preserving native soils. to areas that will be paved or built over. Materials should be clean and in good condition. Identify the types and quantities of materials generated at the job site and recycle at least 60% of the construction and demolition (C&D) debris. After building. diverts waste from landfills. improve water quality and conserve irrigation water. When grading is unavoidable. Minimize Disruption of Existing Plants and Trees Description: Through careful planning and construction practices. windows. dirt and cardboard – materials that can be reused or recycled if prepared properly. sod is laid on subsoil. living resource. Donating unused materials reduces landfill deposits and helps local charitable organizations. reduce fertilizer and pesticide requirements. mature landscape features helps prevent soil erosion. Refer to the Resource List for local organizations. and provides raw materials for future building products. Fence trees and shrubs for protection from equipment. doors and other uninstalled materials can be donated to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.A A: SITE Description: Application: Benefit: Description: Applications: Benefit: 3. drywall. along with nurturing the health of disturbed soils. saves money by reducing tipping fees.g. Delineate and limit the construction footprint. 2. Applications: Design for minimum building & hardscape footprints and little or no grading. Protect Native Soil Description: Typically. which is a valuable. Retain native vegetation. restrict heavy equipment that compacts soil. Contact local recycling facilities and haulers to identify terms and conditions required for recycling materials. 24 . C&D waste recycling is required in Santa Monica. can significantly reduce storm runoff. 4. concrete.

However. broken concrete can make a very attractive retaining wall or path. walkways and driveways) and other landscape structures. Stormwater management is required in most projects in Santa Monica. Recycle yard trimmings by grasscycling. Give plants plenty of room to mature. Avoid invasive species and hedges that require constant shearing. Benefits: Properly managing water on site saves money in avoided engineering costs downstream. and make sure all subcontractors are aware of their locations to prevent pollutants from entering them. Resource: 6. while replenishing soil moisture and local aquifers. reducing the need for pruning. Benefit: Allowing stormwater percolation reduces the volume of polluted water that flows into rivers or the Bay. This results in excess water and fuel consumption. Benefit: Sustainable landscape techniques are in harmony with the local environment and help conserve water. Stormwater retention is required in most projects in Santa Monica. Design infiltration basins and berms. Design with perennials instead of annuals. non-source pollution as well as lower risk of flooding. and driveways. Keeping pollutants out of the storm drains minimizes erosion and water pollution and protects the Bay. Store hazardous waste in drums and covered bins and contract a company to dispose of it properly. mulching and composting. 7. Recycled tire rubber “mulch” is available as a durable low-maintenance ground cover to retard weed growth. water pollution and waste generation. and ground glass cullet can be used for walkways. Application: Specify plants that are appropriate for the climate and soil. Protect Water Quality with Landscape Design Features Description: Designing landscapes to allow irrigation and stormwater to soak into the soil recharges groundwater systems. Limit turf to the smallest area that will meet recreational needs. which allows water to percolate into the soil. Additional benefits include reduction in irrigation 8. decks. choose and site trees to reduce building heating and cooling energy. and prevent runoff pollution at the source. Application: Use salvaged or recycled content materials for hardscapes (patios. Design Resource-Efficient Landscapes and Gardens Description: Conventional landscapes have high inputs of water and chemicals and are often over-planted or planted without regard for climate and soil conditions. and filters out pollutants. patios. reduce use of chemicals. Reuse Materials or Use Recycled Content Materials for Landscape Areas Description: Plastic or composite lumber makes a very durable landscape edging. Minimize roadway width and avoid contiguous impermeable surfaces. Application: Use permeable paving. Protect all storm drain inlets using filter fabric cloth to prevent sediments from entering the storm drainage system during construction activities. 25 . drought tolerant. Implement Construction Site Stormwater Practices Description: Stormwater runoff is part of a natural hydrologic process. select slow-growing. and increase bio-diversity in landscape areas. preferably California native plants. requirements. land development and construction activities can significantly alter natural drainage patterns and pollute stormwater runoff.5. for walkways. Applications: Identify all storm drains located near the construction site. create healthier soil and plants. Install like conventional pavers. Keep materials out of the rain.

significantly reducing water waste from overspray. Application: Install wherever there is guttered roof runoff and room for the cistern. 3. 15%-50% of cement can be replaced with flyash in residential concrete mixes. B Description: Application: Benefit: Description: Application: Benefit: B: FOUNDATION 1. Special forms are available that are designed for re-use. Application: Install low-flow drip. 10. they can be reused several times. Stored water is used for landscape irrigation. or low-flow sprinklers in place of standard sprinkler systems for all landscape applications. crack or splinter. By carefully removing and separating the forms.Benefit: The durability of plastic or composite lumber is greater than wood as they do not rot. Using flyash reduces the amount of cement needed. Salvaging or buying recycled content landscaping products conserves natural resources and strengthens markets for recycled materials. thereby decreasing the overall environmental impacts of cement production. Provide for On-Site Water Catchment / Retention Description: Rainwater is channeled through gutters and downspouts to an aboveground cistern or underground gravel dry well. Reuse of forms saves money and conserves resources. 9. Base watering levels on moisture sensors or weather based controllers. Benefit: Water catchment reduces the need to use drinking water for irrigation of lawns and gardens. Cement use is a leading industrial source of carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) emissions. 2. Benefit: High-efficiency irrigation systems dramatically reduce landscape water use. Group plants by water requirements. Form boards can also be used as structural members if they are recovered from the form carefully. Forms are used whenever concrete is poured. Flyash increases the strength and durability of the concrete. Typically. Solid sawn lumber is becoming increasingly expensive and scarce. 26 . Reuse Form Boards Form boards are often 2x10 or larger solid sawn lumber typically cut from old-growth trees. sub-surface drip. They can be used repeatedly. Incorporate Flyash (recycled material) in Concrete Flyash is a by-product of coal burning power plants and can be an inexpensive substitute for a portion of Portland cement used in concrete. Install High-Efficiency Irrigation Systems Description: New irrigation technologies apply water to the soil at the plant root zones at the rate the soil can absorb it. Use Aluminum Forms Description: Aluminum forms come in all sizes and shapes and produce a smooth finished surface on the concrete. Use captured rainwater. and are critical to preventing disease & minimizing weed growth.

6. despite higher initial cost. aluminum forms reduce wood use and. Using recycled instead of virgin materials saves money. such as double 2x6. Application: Use recycled aggregate for applications where CalTrans Class 2 base rock is specified. Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) Description: Rigid foam forming systems hold concrete in place during curing and remain in place afterwards to serve as thermal insulation for concrete walls. Install Rigid Foam. Recycled concrete and asphalt crushed to 3/4” minus satisfies the California Department of Transportation’s (CalTrans) specification for Class 2 Aggregate Base. Insulate Foundation / Slab Before Backfill Description: All foundations. laminated veneer lumber. natural resources and energy. 5. These products include glulams. can be insulated to minimize heat loss. pay for themselves quickly. and other manufactured wood fiber structural materials. including slab floors. Application: Use rigid foam forming systems wherever an insulated foundation is desirable. Benefit: Even though a large percentage of asphalt and concrete are recycled. Benefit: Insulating the foundation minimizes heat loss from the floors and basement. on the other hand. wood I-joists. therefore. Engineered lumber products. there is still some that end up in landfills. reduces energy loss and. Most of the recycled material is used as base material for road products. C: STRUCTURAL FRAME 1. parallel strand lumber. 2x10 and larger lumber are typically used for floor and ceiling joists and some seismic applications. Floor Joist Unlike untreated lumber. Use Recycled Content Aggregate Description: Recycled aggregate consists mainly of crushed concrete and crushed asphalt pavement. C Description: Application: A. B. Large size lumber can be replaced with engineered lumber in most applications unless required by seismic codes. Application: Insulate foundation with extruded polystyrene insulation of at least R-4 (1” or greater). Benefit: Because they can be reused many times. Benefit: 4. 27 . ICFs are not subject to rot and result in a better insulated foundation. reduces utility bills. unless solid 4x6 are required by seismic codes. come from small-diameter and fast growing plantation trees. oriented strand board. Non-Load Bearing Header Solid sawn 4x6 are often used for headers when smaller dimension lumber would suffice.Application: Aluminum forms can be used in most applications to replace wood forms. Substitute Solid Sawn Lumber with Engineered Lumber Solid sawn lumber in sizes of 2x10 or greater typically comes from old-growth forests.

5. Benefit: FSC certification guarantees that forests are managed in a way that will assure the long-term availability of precious woods while protecting oldgrowth forests. Application: Use OSB as an alternative to plywood for sheathing or subfloors. They typically use oriented strand board (OSB) for the web and either laminated veneer lumber or solid sawn lumber for the chords (top and bottom pieces). walls and roofs. Benefit: Wood I-joists use 50% less wood fiber to perform the same structural function as similar sized solid sawn lumber and will never twist. Engineered lumber uses wood fiber more efficiently than conventional lumber. Use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Wood for Framing Description: FSC certification assures that the forest from which the wood is produced is managed in a sustainable and socially responsible manner. OSB reduces the need for large diameter old-growth trees required for plywood. 28 . Application: Replace solid sawn lumber with wood I-joists for floor and ceiling joists. 3. resulting in stronger and higher quality homes. warp or split. They reduce the pressure on old growth forests by replacing 2x10s and 2x12s traditionally used for floor joists. Use Wood I-joists for Floors and Ceilings Description: Wood I-joists are engineered to use only the wood fiber necessary for the structural function required. Often they can be used at 19. Benefit: OSB is as strong as traditional plywood sheet material and is less expensive. Some OSB uses lower formaldehyde content adhesives that contribute to healthier indoor air quality. OSB comes in sheets and is used for sheathing and subfloors.2” centers to save material. They substitute for 4x12 in most interior applications such as the structural framing of floors. 2. Application: Use FSC wood where solid wood framing is required. Structural Headers and Beams Engineered lumber should be used whenever structural members are required. Benefit: Web trusses eliminate waste since they are made to order. Application: Use primarily for long-span floor joists. Use Oriented Strand Board (OSB) for Subfloor and Sheathing Description: OSB is manufactured from fast growing farm trees. Use Steel Interior Web Trusses Description: Steel web trusses use wood or laminated veneer lumber top and bottom chords that are connected by steel webbing for structural integrity. They are stronger and lighter than 2x10 or 2x12 and can span greater distances. 4. Benefit: Reducing demand for large dimensional lumber decreases pressure to cut down old-growth forests.C.

6. Steel often contains 75% or higher recycled content. New products are beginning to penetrate the market that have the same thermal properties as wood making them a better choice for exterior walls. Benefits: 8. Application: Use SIPs for structural exterior walls and roofs in place of stick framing. 29 . Use Recycled-Content Steel Studs for Interior Framing Description: Steel studs can be either stand-alone or provide a “c” channel over wood studs. Reclaimed lumber is often of higher quality than new lumber. 7. Engineered studs are particularly appropriate for tall cathedral wall applications. Benefit: Engineered studs and finger-jointed studs are straighter than conventional studs. They can be erected quickly. They save wood by eliminating much of the conventional framing lumber. use less lumber. Use Reclaimed Lumber Description: High quality dimensional lumber in long lengths can often be salvaged from old buildings that are being deconstructed or salvaged. Application: For use in non-insulated interior walls. Application: Finger-jointed and engineered studs may be used wherever conventional studs are typically used. provide excellent soundproofing and reduce infiltration relative to frame construction. 10. 9. They save wood by using smaller pieces of lumber. SIPs can be designed to meet Spacing 2x6” studs at 24” on center will provide a perfect fit for batt insulation with greater R values that those made for 2x4 walls. Benefit: Steel reduces the need for wood and provides strong interior walls. in place of new material. to avoid water penetration. walls and roofs in residential buildings. Note: It’s important to seal the joints well. seismic Zone 4 requirements. Use only thermally advanced light gauge steel studs in exterior walls. Benefit: Reclaimed lumber from deconstructed buildings reduces resource consumption and landfill deposits.2” or 24” centers to reduce the number of framing members used and provide ample space for insulation. load-bearing sheets that consist of a core of foam insulation with OSB on either side. Use Alternatives to Standard Wood Studs Description: Use engineered studs and finger-jointed studs. Use OVE Framing Techniques Description: Optimum Value Engineering (OVE) framing minimizes the amount of wood while maximizing the amount of insulation. Application: Studs can be spaced at 19. Application: Use reclaimed lumber for non-structural applications. Benefit: SIPs are more energy-efficient. allowing for faster construction. and be structurally sound. Use Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) for Walls and Roof Description: SIPs are high-performance. in vertical applications. SIPS can be used for floors.

Install House Wrap under Siding Description: House wrap protects the sheathing from moisture and allows vapor from inside to escape. Special products have been developed for wrapping window and door openings and for stucco applications. B. Use appropriate precaution when working with and disposing of treated lumber. sill plates. These products accept screws and nails. while composite lumber is made by combining recycled wood fiber and recycled plastic resins. do not require staining and are not treated with potentially toxic chemicals. Benefit: FSC certification guarantees that forests are managed in a way that will assure the long-term availability of precious woods while preserving old growth forests.D Description: Application: Benefit: Description: Application: D: EXTERIOR FINISH 1. and is a better alternative to lumber treated with chromium and arsenic. crack or splinter. They will not rot. and cut like wood. 30 . Use recycled content decking in all non-structural deck applications. which are detrimental to human health. it needs to be lapped and edges should be taped with manufacturer’s tape. Use FSC Certified lumber for all exterior decking applications or as structural deck members in conjunction with recycled content decking. Application: Use non-chromium/arsenic treated wood for any application that specifies treated lumber including decking. sustainably harvested lumber comes from forests managed in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. and site furnishings. particularly for children who play on or near decks. Benefit: House wrap provides a continuous drainage plane that diverts water away from openings and protects the home from mold. Benefit: ACQ uses copper as its main component. Using recycled content decking also reduces pressure on old-growth forests. It can also help reduce moisture build up in stud cavities by allowing water vapor to migrate through the material. Recycled Content Decking 2. Recycled plastic lumber contains only recycled plastic resins. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Wood Decking Certified. fencing. To provide an effective drainage plane for water. Both products can be used in place of old-growth redwood. cedar and pressure treated pine. There are two types of recycled content decking: plastic lumber and composite lumber. The durability of these materials is greater than wood. Use Sustainable Decking Materials A. 3. Application: Install house wrap according to manufacturer’s specifications over all sheathing before exterior finish is installed. Follow manufacturer recommendations closely regarding the amount of expansion that will occur when using plastic lumber. Use Treated Wood That Does Not Contain Chromium or Arsenic for Decking and Sill Plates Description: Alkaline Copper Quatenary (ACQ) is an alternative treated wood that does not contain chromium – a heavy metal – and arsenic.

etc.4. termite resistant. split or warp and holds paint longer than solid wood siding. Dust protection and control are required when cutting with a circular saw.5 gpm 2.5 gpm Limit showerheads to one fixture per shower Flow reducers can cut water usage of faucets and showers by as much as 40% with little noticeable effect. thereby reducing hot water heating costs. 31 . 2. B. Use Recycled Content Siding Description: Recycled content siding is often called hardboard. snapper shears or with a guillotine cutter. non-combustible and warranted to last 50 years. Use Fiber-Cement Exterior Siding Description: Fiber-cement siding is composed of cement. The water does not need to run as long to get hot water to a distant faucet. Application: Fiber-cement siding can be cut with a carbide or diamond-tipped saw blade. Heat traps are installed on hot water heaters to prevent cold water from flowing back into the hot water heater. E Description: Application: Benefit: Description: Application: Benefit: E: PLUMBING 1.0 gpm 1. Specify low-flow water conservation devices: • Kitchen faucets • Bathroom faucets • Showerheads 2. Using fiber-cement siding reduces the demand for old-growth redwood or cedar siding. Insulate hot water pipes in all runs through unconditioned spaces: basements. Install Flow Reducers in Faucets and Showers Flow reducers fit into the aerator at the tip of the faucet and reduce the rate of water flow through the faucet. Hardboard includes varying amounts of recycled content materials and looks and performs like wood siding. crawl spaces. It may also reduce homeowner’s insurance rates due to fire resistance. attics. It is usually textured to look like wood siding or stucco finish. sand and cellulose fibers. Insulate Hot and Cold Water Pipes and install heat traps Insulating water pipes reduces heat loss or gain in the pipes while the water is standing. Low-flow showerheads replace standard showerheads. Application: Use hardboard where wood siding is installed. Insulated pipes and heat traps save energy and water. Benefit: Fiber-cement siding is more durable than wood. therefore reducing maintenance costs and resources. Benefit: Siding that has been manufactured with recycled wood fiber will not crack. Use Alternative Siding Materials A.

Gas tankless water heaters typically have more capacity than electric tankless heaters. It is essentially recycling water at home.6 gpf (gallons per flush) or less. Tankless water heaters often are quicker and more reliable. It has been shown that chlorine absorption can have adverse health effects on some people and especially children.3. 5. showers. They reduce chlorine and many other chemicals. Some manufacturers offer dual flush toilets that allow for half flushes (. Benefit: Conventional water heaters lose 15% of their energy through standing tank losses. Install Chlorine Filter on Showerheads Description: Water filters on showerheads reduce chemicals and particulates from the water stream. Application: Graywater plumbing separates the waste pipes from sinks. Benefit: Graywater utilization cuts down on the use of potable water for outside irrigation and lawn watering. lawns and gardens. Graywater drains are run to a holding tank similar to a septic tank. House filtration systems reduce the health threat of these contaminants. Application: Whole house filters are for drinking water and plumbing (not for hose bibs or toilets). is used to water plants. Benefit: Ultra-Low-Flush toilets reduce the amount of water usage. 4. Install Water Filtration Units at Faucets Description: Water filtration units can be installed at individual faucets or for the whole house. and washing machines from the toilet waste. Install Ultra-Low-Flush or Dual Flush Toilets Description: New high-efficiency toilets use 1. Their capacity to provide hot water is virtually unlimited. in turn. which. Benefit: Agricultural run-off. particulates and microorganisms. Application: Install tankless water heater as close to the point of use as possible.6 gpf and performs well. 32 . 6. showers and washing machines that is not contaminated by human waste. Benefit: Chlorine is absorbed 6 times faster through the skin than through the digestive system. 7. Application: Install the water filter between the pipe and the existing showerhead. whereas tankless heaters use energy only for immediate hot water needs. Install Tankless Water Heater Description: Tankless water heaters (flash or on-demand heaters) heat water as needed rather than having a tank in which hot water is stored. Check with the building department for requirements. The device should have a variable-set thermostat and be appropriately sized. chemical leaching and microorganisms increasingly contaminate public water systems across the country.8gpf) when a full flush is not needed Application: Ensure the model actually uses no more than 1. Install filtration system between the cold water line and the main drinking water faucets in the house. Install a Graywater System Description: Graywater is wastewater from sinks.

Applications: Use air-tight IC fixtures in soffits and under insulated spaces. They can be adjusted to either draw warm air upward during summer months or push it downward during the winter. Benefit: Both water and energy are saved since water doesn’t have to be wasted until it reaches the correct temperature for use.8.e. 4. without wasting water while waiting for it to get hot. Lighting controls are especially applicable for exterior uses. i. Compact and standard fluorescent bulbs are a profitable investment. allowing insulation to be blown on top to keep the heat in. Install CFLs in place of standard incandescent bulbs. a busy bathroom. Air-tight IC fixtures dramatically reduce the amount of heat loss/gain through these openings. Benefits: Typical recessed fixtures lose heat as well as allow hot attic air to infiltrate into the house in summer months. It stops when water reaches a pre-set temperature. Install Insulation-Compatible (IC) Recessed Lighting Fixtures for Compact Fluorescent Lamps Description: Conventional recessed fixtures allow heat to be exhausted into the attic space. F: ELECTRICAL 1. Install Lighting Controls Description: Lighting controls use dimmers. CFLs are not recommended for fixtures that are turned on and off many times per day. sensors and timers to turn lights off in unused areas or during times when lighting is not needed. Application: Install lighting controls either at specific locations or as a whole house system. It uses a pump to rapidly move water from a water heater to fixtures. Air-tight IC fixtures are sealed. Application: Install the pump at the furthest faucet from the water heater. Install Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (Cfls) And Standard Fluorescent Bulbs To Replace Incandescents CFLs screw in like conventional bulbs but consume up to one-fourth of the electricity used by incandescent bulbs to produce an equivalent amount of light. Install High-Efficiency Ceiling Fans Description: Ceiling fans improve interior comfort by circulating cold and warm air. Hot water arrives to the fixture 5 times faster than on average. Dimmable CFLs are available at a premium. Install On-Demand Hot Water Circulation Pump Description: An on-demand hot water circulation pump can send hot water to fixtures in seconds. saving several times their purchase price through reduced electricity bills and fewer replacement bulbs because they last at least eight times longer. Choose a CFL that is one-fourth the wattage of the incandescent bulb. Application: Preferable locations are bedrooms and living rooms where occupants spend time. 2. Ceiling fans must be supported adequately between ceiling joists. Standard fluorescent bulbs are even more efficient. Only one pump is needed to supply hot water to any fixture and can easily be installed. Benefit: Lighting controls reduce energy use by having the lights on for shorter periods of time. 33 . F Description: Application: Benefit: 3. Install fixtures that are designed for standard fluorescent bulbs.

Application: Select ENERGY STAR® horizontal axis washing machines. Install Recycled Content. Upgrade Wall and Ceiling Insulation to Exceed Title 24 Requirements Description: Insulation in exterior walls and ceilings can reduce the demand for air conditioning and heating and make homes more comfortable. formaldehyde-free binders. and makes the home quieter. Formaldehyde-Free Fiberglass Insulation or Cotton Batt Insulation Description: Many fiberglass insulation products include recycled glass. Application: G. Benefit: Formaldehyde-free insulation reduces indoor air quality problems. saves money. They use up to 40% less water and 50% less energy than conventional top loading washers. APPLIANCES 1. 34 . Install ENERGY STAR® Appliances Description: ENERGY STAR ® appliances use water and energy more efficiently. decreases heating and cooling requirements.H G Benefit: Ceiling fans can reduce the need for air conditioning and heating. INSULATION 1. Benefit: Horizontal axis machines save resources by using less water and energy. Manufacturers claim that there is less wear and tear on clothes compared to the traditional agitator (top loading) machines. Insulate walls and ceilings to exceed Title 24 Standards: Increase wall insulation from R-13 to R-19. Both can be used for any typical insulation installation. specify recycled content and no formaldehyde. Install Horizontal Axis Washing Machine Description: Horizontal axis machines load from the front. Benefit: Increased wall and ceiling insulation improves comfort. Benefit: Energy Star appliances perform as well or better than other models but use significantly less energy. H. is very effective and has no formaldehyde and is safe for installers. Increase ceiling insulation from R-19 to R-30. Application: When using fiberglass insulation. Recycled content removes material from the waste stream and decreases burden from extraction of natural resources. 2. spinning clothes in and out of the water to tumble them clean. Cotton Batt insulation uses recycled denim cutoffs from blue jeans. translating into lower energy and water bills for the resident. Application: Select ENERGY STAR ® appliances. non-asphalt adhesives or colored dyes. 2.

Using cellulose insulation makes the home quieter. Use Advanced Infiltration Reduction Practices Description: Expandable foam and caulk are used to prevent infiltration where wood connections are made or framing is drilled to provide for plumbing and electrical runs. they can allow unwanted heat into the house. avoid ammonium sulfate treated cellulose. thus reducing air infiltration. Application: This installation is appropriate for new construction.3. Use boric acid treatment only. When selecting windows. Avoid damp-blown cellulose during wet months and install drywall only after testing for 25% (maximum) moisture content. manufactured I I. which is common in many fiberglass insulations. Application: These methods are especially important when fiberglass insulation is installed. Benefit: High quality double-paned windows make the whole house quieter and more comfortable during all seasons. Application: Spread cellulose over ceiling joists or blow into tight cavities to increase ceiling R-value. Use boric acid treatment only. B. avoid ammonium sulfate treated cellulose insulation. look for models with the following energy saving features: A. 35 . Caulk top and bottom plates on all floors. windows can account for as much as 25% of the heat loss. It also reduces air leakage and contributes to a more comfortable and energyefficient home. Application: Install double-paned windows whenever possible. since fiberglass does little to reduce infiltration. Install Energy-Efficient Windows Windows play a big role in the energy efficiency of homes. Ceilings Description: Dry-blown or loose-fill cellulose is treated with borates for fire and insect resistance. In the summer. while saving energy and money. more comfortable and reduces energy use by 20-40%. reducing moisture intrusion and flame spread. with recycled materials. provides up to 22-55% higher fire resistance. Cellulose does not contain formaldehyde. Benefit: Cellulose insulation is formaldehyde-free. It is important to maintain attic or ceiling ventilation pathways. WINDOWS 1. especially in cathedral ceiling applications. Best to use 5/8” drywall only over dryblown cellulose insulation. 4. Damp-blown spray cellulose wall insulation is mixed with low toxic binders to adhere to stud and joist cavity surfaces. and in the winter. Avoid excessive blown-in cellulose behind netting as it may make it difficult to achieve flat walls and ceilings with drywall. Walls Description: Cellulose is a highly effective insulation made out of recycled newspaper. Benefit: Spray insulation completely fills cavities and penetrations. Benefit: Reduction in infiltration increases comfort and reduces energy bills. The binder in the insulation also reduces the air movement within wall cavities. Seal holes between floors and between stud cavities around wire runs. Use Cellulose Insulation A. Double-Paned Windows Description: Double glazing insulates almost twice as well as single glazing.

double-paned glass coating increases glass R-value to 3 compared to R-1 for single-glazed windows. are installed inside the air space of a double-paned window. Benefit: Low–E windows reflect heat.B. Application: Specify films that have the qualities you desire. reduce UV radiation. Well-sealed ductwork also keeps the house more comfortable. Low-Conductivity Frames Description: Most window frames and sashes are made of wood. Duct tape loses its effectiveness in 3-5 years. D. Low-Emissivity (Low-E) Windows Description: Low-E coatings. Install Ductwork within Conditioned Space Description: Ducts in exterior walls. Low-E. The cost premium for low-E glass typically pays for itself in a few years. virtually unnoticeable to the eye. Application: Install mastic at every duct joint and around the bends in elbows. Application: Consider specifying wood windows or thermally broken aluminum windows. Wood. attics and in uninsulated spaces lose a significant amount of heated or cooled air capacity. Benefit: J Films can cut glare. Use Duct Mastic on all Duct Joints Description: Leaks in the joints between ductwork allow conditioned air to escape into attics and basements. fiberglass or aluminum. Application: Use low-E. slow heat loss through windows. double-paned windows. and spectrally selective coatings can be applied to windows in either new construction or retrofit applications. vinyl is not a preferred material. 2. The low-E coatings help prevent heat from escaping through the glass in winter and block heat from entering the home during summer. reduce cooling loads. Benefit: Wood windows create greater comfort and better energy efficiency and are an environmentally preferable material. Benefit: Leaky air ducts can cause negative pressure in the house which can allow carbon monoxide from gas water heaters and furnaces into the home. Duct runs require chases to be designed into 36 . Thermally broken anodized aluminum frames are a great choice for durability and thermal insulation. reflective coatings. vinyl. Due to life-cycle impacts. C. Application: All ductwork for heating or cooling should be run through conditioned space inside the insulated envelope. and reduce the fading caused by UV rays. HVAC 1. High performance window films Description: Tints. and provide shade. Films can be applied to windows prior to or after installation. vinyl and fiberglass generally insulate better than aluminum frames. Mastic maintains the seal for decades. making the home more comfortable in cold weather and on hot summer days. J. It is important for all ducts to be sealed. There are special coatings that can cut heat gain.

3. Moving large volumes of air can achieve indoor comfort at higher temperatures without air conditioning. Benefit: Range hoods improve indoor air quality. An insulated. Application: The fan must be mounted in a hallway ceiling on the top floor. Clean all Ducts Before Occupancy Description: Debris and dust from construction can cause allergic reactions in occupants. Benefit: An average whole house fan uses one-tenth the electricity of an air conditioning unit. Benefit: Children are especially sensitive to micro particulates like drywall dust. The code requirement of 1 square foot of net free area of venting for every 150 square feet of attic floor area should be doubled. 6. Install Sealed Combustion Furnaces and Hot water Heaters Description: Sealed combustion furnaces and water heaters duct fresh air directly into a sealed jacket around the combustion chamber eliminating the use of house air for combustion. Application: Install equal amounts of ventilation between the soffits/eaves and the gables/ridges. Keep a window open at night to avoid backdrafting of carbon monoxide in gas appliance flues. airtight seal is necessary to prevent air leakage in winter. Clean ducts before carpet is laid and finishes are applied. Install Attic Ventilation Systems Description: Soffit and eave ventilation and gable/ continuous ridge ventilation exhausts excess heat and moisture from attic spaces by natural convection. 7. Application: Range hoods are particularly important for gas stoves and can be installed where stoves are adjacent to exterior walls. Benefit: Attics can reach 140º-160º F on a hot summer day. 5. 4. Eave and soffit venting and continuous ridge venting increases comfort. Vent Range Hood to the Outside Description: Steam. Fans should be sized to produce between 4-5 air changes per hour and should have two speeds: low speed for continuous ventilation and high speed. Application: Clean or vacuum all ductwork before occupancy to eliminate dust. Keep insulation from blocking the soffit vents. That heat migrates into the house. Install Whole House Fan Description: Whole house fans can cool a house without using an air conditioner by bringing in large volumes of fresh air at night. reduces air-conditioning costs and reduces problems associated with excess attic moisture. 37 .the home from the beginning. Reduce dust build-up by temporarily blocking registers at time of duct installation. prevent overheating and excess moisture build-up. exchanging air with the living space. smoke and other combustion byproducts (such as unburned hydrocarbons) can result from cooking. gases. Stovetop range hoods expel these by-products to the outside. Cleaning and vacuuming ductwork reduces dust around the house after occupancy. Benefit: Locating ducts in the conditioned space significantly reduces energy loss and improves occupant comfort.

high-efficiency furnace costs less to operate. on very hot days. R-410A. reduces air emissions and contributes to a cleaner environment. TXV is a refrigerant regulation device that can help ensure that the air conditioning system operates at maximum efficiency over a wide range of conditions. Sealed furnaces and hot water heaters eliminate that condition. 38 . Application: Install high efficiency furnace in place of conventional furnace. under the Clean Air Act. Benefit: A properly sized. When a negative pressure situation is created in the home by exhaust fans. thereby improving indoor air quality and reducing the danger of carbon monoxide contamination.Application: Install in place of conventional furnaces or hot water heaters. Zoned AC systems allow 2 to 4 zones to be conditioned at different temperatures so only the spaces being used are cooled. Benefit: High SEER units save money and energy and reduce peak load problems for utilities. 8. The higher the SEER/EER number the less power is required to provide comfort. always select a reputable dealer who employs service technicians that have achieved Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification to handle refrigerants. Application: Higher SEER air conditioning units are installed like any other AC equipment. Application: Some new AC units already use the alternative to R-22 refrigerant. dryers or leaky ducts. carbon monoxide can be pulled into the house from the combustion chamber. Some AC equipment comes with a factory installed TXV and others accept a TXV that can be bolted on. These require thermostats in each zone. In 2010. Install Greater than 12 SEER Air Conditioning with a Thermostatic Expansion Valve (TXV) Description: Air conditioning equipment is one of the greatest loads on power grids. It saves natural resources. High EER systems not only save money and energy but offer more cooling when you need it most. Benefit: Using alternatives to HCFC refrigerants eliminates depletion of the ozone layer in case of leakage during replacement. Check with your local utility company for rebate information. 10. Installing the proper size of furnace for the home is just as important as its efficiency. SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) measures cooling system efficiency at low temperatures while EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) is a high temperature performance rating. Install Air Conditioning with Non-HCFC Refrigerants Description: R-22 is an HCFC refrigerant used in residential heating and cooling systems. Additional care should be taken when handling refrigerants. 9. R–22 contains chlorine which is an ozone-destroying chemical. HVAC manufacturers can no longer produce new air conditioners using R-22. Installing air conditioning systems with a TXV lowers utility bills and saves energy. Install 90% AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) or Greater Furnace Description: High efficiency furnaces convert gas to heat with greater efficiency. Benefit: Natural gas furnaces and hot water heaters use indoor air for combustion. such as the trade brand Puron. This assures that the air conditioning system operates at high efficiency during the full range of summer temperatures.

Car exhaust contains many known carcinogens and can migrate into living spaces through doors and cracks in walls and ceiling adjacent to the garage. The system must be designed before construction starts. Install Zoned. Application: Install EPA certified wood stoves. Application: Use hydronic. Some units have an air conditioning setting for the fan that will handle the retrofit filter. Install High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filter Description: HEPA filters remove over 90% of dust and particulates from the air. It is typically installed as baseboards or in floors. Hydronic.S. which should be sized to handle the reduced air pressure caused by the filter. Application: The unit should be designed into the HVAC system to capture heat from exhausted air from the house. By removing these particles. 13. an attached garage is the single most significant contributor to poor indoor air quality. Install Separate Garage Exhaust Fan Description: According to the U. 15. Heat is captured from the exhausted air stream and transferred to the incoming air.35 Natural Air Changes per Hour (NACH). Benefit: The EPA has identified microparticulates as a leading cause of respiratory discomfort.11. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). which measures the air tightness of the house. Note: Use of this equipment is particularly appropriate with blower door test results of less than . Install Heat Recovery Ventilation Unit (HRV) Description: An HRV is a mechanical ventilation system that recovers heat from exhausted indoor air and transfers it to the incoming fresh air stream. 14. generating up to one-third of the particulate matter on cold evenings. Benefit: Hydronic heating is more comfortable and saves energy by heating only the zone that requires heat and does not blow dust into the air like traditional forced-air units. fireplace inserts. the HEPA filter makes the living space healthier. 12. pellet stoves or natural gas units. These units should have outside combustion air vented directly into the insert or unit. radiant heating instead of forced air heating. Application: HEPA filters are installed in the return air stream at the air handler. Eliminate Wood Burning Fireplaces Description: The burning of wood in fireplaces is a major source of air pollution during the winter months. Benefit: The amount of pollutant particulate matter will be reduced significantly compared to that of a standard wood burning fireplace. Benefit: Air-to-air heat exchangers provide for fresh air in winter while exhausting stale indoor air. Radiant Heating Description: Hydronic heating forces hot water through radiators located in different areas or zones throughout the house. 39 .

Provide south-facing roof area for collectors and access for piping to a mechanical room.m. K Description: Application: Benefit: Description: Application: An exhaust fan creates a healthier indoor environment by reducing the potential hazard of car exhaust from entering the house. East and West facing roofs can work if the south is unavailable or shaded for panels. 4. Benefit: Benefit: Solar hot water systems can pay back in as little as seven years and reduce the use of gas or electricity for water heating. RENEWABLE ENERGY & ROOFING 1. The hot water is stored for use at a later time. Excess electricity can be sent back into the utility grid. angle-flat to 60 degrees. Install Photovoltaic (PV) Panels Description: PV panels contain hundreds of small cells that collect the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity. Benefit: PV panels can be used as a means to decrease reliance on conventional power plants that contribute to air pollution. sloped roof. This option allows the homeowner to install an active solar system at a later date if they desire. at some point in the future. Application: Run two pair #10 THHN wire plus #8 ground in conduit from the south facing roof to a junction box near the panel (don’t wire the panel).Application: Install exhaust fan on the opposite wall from the door to the house. 40 . Solar hot water pre-plumbing can save money for the homeowner if. orientation-anything but North. Water pre-heated by a solar system can also supplement use of a standard water heater. adequate roof area-depending on type of PV selected (monocrystal. Application: Typical PV installations include flat roof. K. they want to install a solar system. 2. building integrated PV and ground mount. Install Solar Water System Solar water heating systems use solar panels to collect heat from the sun. 3. Provide sufficient south-facing roof area for collectors. Items to consider when installing PV include: sunlightminimum of 4 hours required during peak period (8 a. polycrystal or amorphous). Homebuyers may not be able to afford the system today but may be interested in the future when the price comes down. It can be wired to an electric garage door or put on a timer to run for 15 minutes after door has been opened or closed. Pre-Wire for Future Photovolatic (PV) Installation Description: Running wires from the roof to the electric service entrance/circuit breaker panel can save costly installation of photovoltaic panels at a future date. and allow space in a hot water closet for the additional hot water storage tank.m. Benefit: Photovoltaic panels and systems will continue to drop in price over the next few years. to 4 p.) with no shade. Pre-Plumb for Solar Water Heating Insulated copper pipes are installed from the attic to a hot water closet or mechanical room for future solar installation.

but allow heat to enter in the winter. NATURAL HEATING & COOLING 1. saving energy and money. The overhang or awning design should keep out summer sun by shading the entire window during the hottest month(s) of the year. keeping the whole home cooler and reducing energy consumption for air conditioning. Install Radiant Barrier Roof Sheathing Description: When radiant energy from the sun strikes a surface. Benefit: Passive solar design can reduce heating requirements by 30-50%. slate. Application: Radiant barrier sheathing can be used in place of conventional roof sheathing. Application: Lights can be placed anywhere without the need to run wires as long as they receive sunlight during the day. Radiant barrier sheathing is a roof sheathing material with a reflective layer (film or foil) applied to the underside. where it can be 41 . Benefit: Radiant barrier sheathing reduces heat build-up in attic spaces by not re-radiating heat from to roof to the attic. Incorporate Passive Solar Heating Passive solar design provides heat to the structure through south facing windows in conjunction with thermal mass. These shade control devices can be oversized roof overhangs. Select Safe and Durable Roofing Materials Description: 40-50 year asphalt composition. Application: The house must incorporate windows that face within 30 degrees of due south and have the ability to store excess heat in massive elements such as a slab floor or stone fireplace.5. Install Overhangs or Awnings over South Facing Windows Properly sized overhangs or awnings on south facing windows are important components of passive solar heating and natural cooling. Application: Applicable anytime roofing material is specified. Benefit: PV lighting is cost effective and reduces the need for grid-provided electricity. It can prevent up to 97% of the sun’s radiant heat from entering the home and can bring attic temperatures down as much as 30 degrees on hot days. L Description: Description: Application: L. Benefit: A durable and safe roof is cost effective and reduces landfill deposits. Overhangs and awnings help keep the heat of the sun from entering the home during unwanted times. Install Solar (PV) Walkway Lights Description: Solar walkway or exterior lighting use photovoltaic cells (PV) to create electricity during the day and store it in batteries for night time use. A radiant barrier reflects radiant heat and does not emit it to the cooler surfaces around it. or adjustable or demountable awnings made of fabric or metal. fiber-cement and metal are examples of safe and durable roofing materials. Size overhangs or awnings above south windows so that winter sunlight is allowed into the space. wood trellises/arbors with deciduous plants. 7. Apply reflective material to the underside of rafters. tile. Avoid cedar and wood shake shingles. 2. it is converted to heat energy. 6.

Whole house vacuum systems must be vented outdoors. New generation portable vacuum cleaners may have HEPA filter that reduce the size of dust particles blown back into the house. Use Low/No-VOC and Formaldehyde-Free Paint Most paint releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs). cadmium. Every finish and most colors are available in low/no-VOC paints. and not to any area where air may be taken back into the house. Often low/no-VOC products are manufactured without mercury or mercury compounds. Avoid planting trees too close to the home or utilities. Install Whole House Vacuum System Whole house vacuums exhaust the dust from the house outside rather than collecting it in a bag that may not filter the dust effectively. High washability should be specified for bathrooms. The additional cooling demanded by low-angle sun penetration of west windows in late summer afternoons create the most significant summer peak utility costs. Keep trees three feet from the foundation to avoid introduction of pests and root intrusions. Trees offer the best solution for keeping out low-angle sunlight from west and south windows in summer. Most vacuum cleaners do not filter the dust effectively and merely redistribute the dust that is most harmful to the respiratory system. and make the home more comfortable in the summer 3. Removable/retractable fabric awnings offer a low cost solution to reduce heat gain. The most important areas to shade are windows and paved areas. VOCs react with other pollutants. Benefit: Overhangs. Paint with low/no-VOCs is available from most major manufacturers and is applied like traditional paint products. Application: Plant shade trees on the west and south sides of the home to provide shade and summer cooling. This can aggravate asthma and other respiratory problems. producing ground-level ozone that also affects human health. the sun shines on the south and west sides of the home causing the home to heat up which in turn makes air conditioners work their hardest.absorbed by thermal mass. Whole house vacuums expel the dust outside the house. 2. 42 . into the home. M Description: Application: Benefit: Description: Application: M. a major indoor air pollutant. INDOOR AIR QUALITY & FINISHES 1. and be re-radiated as heat. not into a garage. especially in hotter climates. Through shade and evapotranspiration. Plant Deciduous Shade Trees on the West and South Sides of the Home Description: During summer months. or pigments of lead. awnings and trellises are an integral part of making passive solar heating and natural cooling work. Trees provide numerous additional benefits to the environment including cleansing the air. Also consider shading devices on the west and east facing windows to protect from morning and afternoon heat. trees can create a microclimate that is up to 15 degrees cooler than the surrounding area. kitchens and children’s bedrooms. creating habitats for birds and play places for children as well as adding aesthetic beauty to the neighborhood. chromium. Benefit: Planting shade trees can reduce summer air-conditioning costs by 25% to 40%. or their oxides. Once outside. lower energy bills.

Use Solvent-Free Adhesives Description: Unlike solvent-based adhesives that offgas toxic compounds for months. and can be harmful to children. 3. Use Exterior Grade Plywood for Interior Uses Description: Exterior plywood uses phenolic resins that offgas much less than interior plywood. 6. Application: Low VOC wood finishes can be used in most applications where solvent-based finishes are typically used. improving indoor air quality. The formaldehyde is continuously released. a suspected human carcinogen. “Offgassing” means the solvents are continuously released into the air. cabinets and substrate for countertops. Use Formaldehyde-Free Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) and Materials Description: Most MDF is made from sawdust and an adhesive that contains urea formaldehyde. countertops. Benefit: Using low VOC wood finishes reduces offgassing into the home. 7. improving indoor air quality and reducing the formation of urban smog. which contributes to poor indoor air quality. a suspected human carcinogen. Benefit: Elimination of particleboard reduces formaldehyde exposure to residents. Particleboard is typically used for cabinets. and reducing the formation of urban smog. 4. such as 43 . and reduce the potential harmful impacts on the health of the occupants and installers. wall coverings. 5. Other alternatives include certified plywood and boards made from agricultural waste. they should be left to offgas for three to four weeks prior to occupancy. such as water-borne urethane and acrylic.Benefit: Low/No-VOC paint reduces the emissions of VOCs into the home. Benefit: Solvent-free adhesives are often stronger. which contributes to poor indoor air quality. Use Low VOC. and shelving. stair treads. MDF without formaldehyde binders is now available. Substitute Particleboard with Formaldehyde-Free Materials Description: Particleboard is made from wood fibers and an adhesive that contains urea-formaldehyde. Interior plywood typically uses urea-formaldehyde glue which offgasses into the house. countertops. solvent-free adhesives reduce toxic gasses such as aromatic hydrocarbons or solvents that contribute to air pollution. who are most susceptible. Application: Substitute interior plywood with exterior plywood for custom cabinets and shelving. particularly children. Water-Based Wood Finishes Description: Conventional solvent-based wood finishes can “offgas” for months. emit fewer pollutants. are lower in toxic compounds compared to conventional solvent-based finishes while providing similar durability. Application: Use solvent-free products in place of standard adhesives for all interior applications such as installation of flooring. Application: Whenever possible. eliminate new particleboard inside houses by using solid wood for stair treads. Low VOC finishes. If solvent-based wood finishes must be used. certified exterior grade plywood or formaldehydefree medium density fiberboard (MDF) for shelving. Benefit: Formaldehyde is a suspected human carcinogen and should be avoided whenever possible. paneling and tub/shower enclosures.

Use FSC certified wood in place of conventional hardwood flooring. stairs. seal all exposed edges of cabinets. Use tile. Application: Use finger-jointed or recycled content trim in any application where trim is to be painted. MDF is typically used for cabinets. etc. 10. Application: Whenever possible. old growth forests. formaldehyde-free MDF. knot-free trim as this material is typically harvested from non-sustainable. low permeability paint or sealer to seal exposed particleboard or MDF will reduce the release of harmful gasses and is the next best solution to elimination of particleboard. with at least two coats of less-toxic. Certified wood flooring products are available in a wide variety of domestic and exotic species. N Description: Application: Benefit: Finger-jointed or recycled content trim is straighter and more stable than conventional clear wood. N. It is particularly important to specify certified wood instead of clear. Use Finger-Jointed or Recycled Content Trim Description: Finger-jointed trim is manufactured from short pieces of clear wood glued together to create finished trim. particularly children. or wheatboard for shelving and cabinets. low permeability paint or sealer prior to installation. Benefit: Sealing all exposed particleboard reduces exposure of harmful emissions to residents. Recycled content trim is made from recycled polystyrene/plastics. Some boards made from agricultural waste are superior to wood-based particleboard in moisture resistance and structural properties. who are most susceptible. Select Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Wood Flooring Certified wood flooring comes from forests that are managed in accordance with sustainable forest practices. trim. Sustainable forest certification assures that the forest from which the flooring is produced is managed in 44 . and provides for the reuse of a former waste product. particularly children. Application: Use FSC certified materials in any application that normally uses conventional stain-grade materials Benefit: Sustainable forest certification assures that the forest from which the trim is produced is managed in a way that will assure the long-term availability of these precious woods while protecting ancient. and uses materials more efficiently.wheatboard. Seal all Exposed Particleboard or MDF Description: Using less-toxic. Benefit: 8.g. undersides of countertops. Use alternatives such as certified plywood. concrete or natural linoleum for countertops. shelving) come from forests that are managed in accordance with sustainable forest practices. and shelving. stone. Application: Whenever formaldehyde-based MDF or particleboard is used. eliminate formaldehyde-based MDF inside the home. trim. who are most susceptible. old growth forests. Benefit: Reduces formaldehyde exposure to residents. Use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Wood Products Description: FSC certified materials (e. FLOORING 1. 9. doors. shelving. a straw-based particleboard manufactured with non-formaldehyde and emission-free binders.

Additionally. Finish must be designed and constructed when slab is being poured. Bamboo is a fast growing grass that can be harvested in three to five years. Use Exposed Concrete as Finished Floor Description: For slab-on-grade construction. it is durable and easy to clean. Install Recycled Content Carpet or Natural Fiber Carpets with Low-VOCs Description: Recycled content carpet is made from recycled plastic bottles. finished with expansion joints in various patterns or stained with pigments to make an attractive finish floor. Recycled content carpet does not differ in appearance or performance and the price is comparable to conventional carpet. Benefit: Some recycled content ceramic tile is very dense which significantly reduces the amount of moisture and stains that are absorbed into the tile. durable. Linoleum can last up to 40 years. recycled nylon/wool or recycled cotton. Benefit: When using the slab as a floor finish. This approach is especially appropriate for radiant. 4. making it more durable and easier to maintain. oldgrowth forests. recycled content tiles are very durable and wear well in residential applications. which may be produced during the manufacturing of vinyl. it eliminates the need to use other flooring materials. 45 . rapidly renewable floor substitutes are attractive and reduce pressure on hardwood forests. Make sure that a durable finish is used on the product Benefit: Fast growing. in-floor heating systems. 6. Bamboo is as durable as wood. whereas vinyl lasts typically 7-10 years. Use Recycled Content Ceramic Tiles Description: Recycled content ceramic tiles can contain up to 70% recycled glass. Use Rapidly Renewable Flooring Materials Description: Bamboo and cork flooring are alternatives to hardwood flooring. Natural fiber carpets and rugs 3. cork is naturally fire and moisture resistant as well as sound absorbing. 2. and stain resistant. Unlike vinyl. which may be a source of VOC offgassing. Cork is a natural flooring material that is obtained from the outer bark of the cork oak tree that is regenerated every 10 years. easy to repair. Install Natural Linoleum in Place of Vinyl Flooring Description: Natural linoleum is manufactured from natural materials such as cork and linseed oil. linoleum does not contain petroleum-based products or chlorinated chemicals such as PVC. Application: Install recycled content tiles wherever conventional tiles are specified. Application: Use this approach for slab-on-grade construction. the concrete can be polished. Application: Use natural linoleum in place of vinyl flooring. Originally developed for high traffic commercial conditions.a way that will assure the long-term availability of these precious woods while protecting ancient. Benefit: Linoleum is low-toxic. Application: Use these alternative flooring materials in place of conventional hardwood. The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) has a Green Label Indoor Air Quality Test Program which labels the VOC (volatile organic compounds) content of carpeting. There is also concern of by-products such as cancer causing dioxins. 5.

sisal. Approximately 40 two-liter soda bottles are recycled per square yard of carpeting. Choose carpet that meets or exceeds the CRI Green Label requirements. O Description: Application: Benefit: O. as well as stand-alone units in the garage. 46 . OTHER 1.made from wool. A built it recycling center keeps materials separated and free from contamination. making it easy and convenient to recycle. Recycling bins can be built into kitchen cabinets. Application: Use recycled content carpet in all applications where conventional carpet is specified.com Benefit: Recycled content carpet saves resources and diverts waste from landfills. Install Built-In Recycling Center Built-in recycling centers provide bins for separated recyclables and food waste.carpet-rug. Resource: www. Recycled carpet is often more resilient and colorfast than carpet made from virgin fibers. etc. are rapidly renewable and naturally low in VOCs.

Reuse Form Boards 3. Reuse Materials or Use Recycled Content Materials for Landscape Areas 9. Insulate Foundation / Slab 6. Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) o o o o o o STRUCTURAL 1. Use alternatives to standard wood studs 7. Use Steel Interior Web Trusses 5. Minimize Disruption of Existing Plants and Trees 5. Design Resource-Efficient Landscapes and Gardens 8. Install Rigid Foam. Install High-Efficiency Irrigation Systems 10. Use Reclaimed Lumber 10. Provide for On-Site Water Catchment / Retention o o o o o o o o o o FOUNDATION 1. Substitute Solid Sawn Lumber with Engineered Lumber 2. Protect Water Quality with Landscape Design Features 7. Use Recycled-Content Steel Studs for Interior Framing. 8. This list is best completed by the homeowner and contractor or architect working together to set achievable goals. Use Wood I-joists for Floors and Ceilings 4. Donate Unused Materials 3. Use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Wood for Framing 3. Use OVE Framing Techniques o o o o o o o o o o 47 . Recycle Job Site Construction and Demolition Waste 2. Protect Native Soil 4. Incorporate Flyash (recycled material) in Concrete 2. Use Oriented Strand Board (OSB) for Subfloor and Sheathing 6. Use Aluminum Forms 4. MEASURE SITE 1. Use Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) for Walls and Roof 9. Implement Construction Site Stormwater Practices 6. Use Recycled Content Aggregate 5.BUILDERS CHECKLIST o SELECT Check the measures that you would like to include in your project.

Install Water Filtration 8. Install Horizontal Axis Washing Machine o o 48 . Install Chlorine Filter on Showerheads 5. Use Sustainable Decking Materials 2. Use Treated Wood That Does Not Contain Chromium or Arsenic for Decking and Sill Plates 3. Install a Graywater System 7. Insulate Hot and Cold Water Pipes and install heat traps 2. Use Alternative Siding Materials SELECT o o o o PLUMBING 1. Install Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) and standard fluorescent bulbs to replace incandescents 2. Install Tankless Water Heater 6. Install Lighting Controls 4.MEASURE EXTERIOR FINISH 1. Install Flow Reducers in Faucets and Showers 3. Install Insulation-Compatible (IC) Recessed Lighting Fixtures for Compact Fluorescent Lamps 3. Install On-Demand Hot Water Circulation Pump o o o o o o o o ELECTRICAL 1. Install ENERGY STAR® appliances 2. Install Ultra-Low-Flush or Dual Flush Toilets 4. Install House Wrap under Siding 4. Install High-Efficiency Ceiling Fans o o o o APPLIANCES 1.

Hydronic. Install Whole House Fan 7. Eliminate Wood Burning Fireplaces 12. Install Zoned. Install Heat Recovery Ventilation Unit (HRV) 15. Install Solar Water System 3.MEASURE INSULATION 1. Use Cellulose Insulation 4. Pre-Wire for Future Photovolatic (PV) Installation 4. Install Greater than 12 SEER Air Conditioning with a Thermostatic Expansion Valve (TXV) 9. Install 90% AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) or Greater Furnace 11. Radiant Heating 13. Vent Range Hood to the Outside 4. Install High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filter 14. Install Energy-Efficient Windows o HVAC 1. Clean all Ducts Before Occupancy 5. Install Recycled Content. Use Advanced Infiltration Reduction Practices SELECT o o o o WINDOWS 1. Install Separate Garage Exhaust Fan o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ROOFING 1. Install Ductwork within Conditioned Space 3. Upgrade Wall and Ceiling Insulation to Exceed Title 24 2. Install Sealed Combustion Furnaces and Hot water Heaters 8. Pre-Plumb for Solar Water Heating 2. Install Photovoltaic (PV) Panels o o o o 49 . Install Air Conditioning with Non-HCFC Refrigerants 10. Install Attic Ventilation Systems 6. Formaldehyde-Free Fiberglass Insulation or Cotton Batt Insulation 3. Use Duct Mastic on all Duct Joints 2.

MEASURE RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ROOFING (Continued) 5. Use Exposed Concrete as Finished Floor 6. Use Solvent-Free Adhesives 5. Water-Based Wood Finishes 4. Plant Deciduous Shade Trees on the West and South Sides of the Home o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o INDOOR AIR QUALITY AND FINISHES 1. Use Exterior Grade Plywood for Interior Uses 7. Select Safe and Durable Roofing Materials 7. Install Radiant Barrier Roof Sheathing SELECT o o o NATURAL HEATING AND COOLING 1. Select Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Wood Flooring 2. Incorporate Passive Solar Heating 2. Install Built-In Recycling Center o 50 . Substitute Particleboard with Formaldehyde-Free Materials 6. Install Recycled Content Carpet or Natural Fiber Carpets with Low-VOCs OTHER 1. Use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Wood Products 10. Seal all Exposed Particleboard or MDF 9. Use Low VOC. Install Solar (PV) Walkway Lights 6. Install Overhangs or Awnings over South Facing Windows 3. Use Recycled Content Ceramic Tiles 4. Install Natural Linoleum in Place of Vinyl Flooring 5. Use Rapidly Renewable Flooring Materials 3. Use Low/No-VOC and Formaldehyde-Free Paint 3. Install Whole House Vacuum System 2. Use Finger-Jointed or Recycled Content Trim FLOORING 1. Use Formaldehyde-Free Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) and Materials 8.

org 51 .naturalhomemag.gov/CalMAX Rocky Mountain Institute www.com Natural Home Magazine www. magazines.consumerenergycenter.OTHER RESOURCES Green Building Resource Center 2218 Main Street. AIA. Fri.org/erprebate/ California Energy Star New Homes www.ca.org PATH (Partnership for Advanced Technology in Housing) www.socalgas.8 PM. and knowledgeable staff to help you in your green building project. product information.toolbase. http://www.eco-structure. (310) 452-7677 The Green Building Resource Center has material samples.greenbuildings. books. Designed by Xtrapolate.santa-monica.santa-monica. Sun 10 AM . Santa Monica Wed.shtml Energy Efficient Mortgages www.energyefficientmtg.ciwmb.ca.buildinggreen.greenbuildings.oikos.htm Clean Power Estimator www. Isabelle Duvivier. Thu 5 PM .rmi. Inc.gov California Materials Exchange (CalMAX) Home Page www.com FINANCIAL RESOURCES City of Santa Monica Green Building Grants www.org/mainpages/ whatsnew.greenbuilder.org/renewable/estimator California’s Renewable Energy Rebate Program www.org/gbrc PUBLICATIONS Environmental Building News www.consumerenergycenter.com/sourcebook California Integrated Waste Management Board Recycled Content Products www. Printed on EVERGREEN paper with 100% post consumer waste content and Soy-Based inks.com — Creative Director John Hillmer INTERNET RESOURCES Santa Monica Green Building Website www.ciwmb.com Eco Structure Magazine www.globalgreen.3 PM. Syndesis.com City of Santa Monica Key Phone Numbers Green Building Program (310) 458-8549 Water Conservation (310) 458-8972 Stormwater Management (310) 458-8223 Planning (310) 458-8341 Building and Safety (310) 458-8355 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Special thanks to the Alameda County Waste Authority for providing content for this guide and to the following for their review and feedback. lists of local building industry professionals.org Oikos Green Building Source www.com Green Builder Sourcebook www. Duvivier Architects David Hertz.com/construction/energystar.

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