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Green Building
A Guide to Sustainable Building Materials and Methods in Santa Cruz County

Funded through waste reduction grants from the City and County of Santa Cruz Departments of Public Works, and in cooperation with Ecology Action.

Green Building: A Guide to Sustainable Building Materials and Methods in Santa Cruz County © 2004, Ecology Action of Santa Cruz Principal Authors: Barry Hooper & Karsten Mueller, Ecology Action Editor & Kiosk/Graphic Designer: Jenny Shelton, Shelton Design

Table of Contents
General Requirements
Introduction to Green Building Construction Waste Reduction Recycled Content Materials Reusable, Recyclable, & Biodegradable Materials Deconstruction 2 4 5 6 7

This booklet, which offers a broad introduction to green building materials and waste reduction methods, was funded through waste reduction grants from the County and City of Santa Cruz Departments of Public Works. A basic overview of environmental considerations and an outline of environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional techniques are included, as well as resources for further investigation. For additional information, and to see samples of many of the sustainable building materials and methods found in the guide, visit our area planning departments and browse the informational kiosks on display there. This project was made possible through generous contributions of funding, time and materials from many organizations, most importantly the County of Santa Cruz Departments of Public Works and Planning, City of Santa Cruz Departments of Public Works and Planning & Community Development, and Ecology Action. Many thanks to Ana Maria Rebelo, Dick Stubendorff, Mary Arman, and Virginia Johnson. Thank you, reader, for your attention. We hope to inspire your interest and collaboration to support green building in our region, conserve our environment, strengthen our economy, and create a healthy community.

Grading & Paving Resource Efficient Landscapes 8 9

Structural Elements
Earthen Building Materials Straw Bale Construction Concrete Concrete Formwork Pervious Concrete Insulated Structural Systems Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) Advanced Framing Techniques Lumber & Engineered Wood FSC Certified Wood 10 11 12 12 13 14 14 15 16 17 17

Exterior Elements
Decks & Fencing Recycled Plastic Lumber Roofing Metal Roofing Recycled-Content Roofing Green (“Living”) Roofs Siding Reclaimed Wood Siding Fiber Cement Siding Insulation Windows 19 19 20 21 21 24 25 25 25 26 27

Interior Elements
Gypsum Wall Board Homasote Tile Bamboo Reclaimed Hardwood Carpet Linoleum Cork Earthen Flooring Paint Natural Wallcovering Vinyl Maintenance & Cleaning Products Adhesives, Stains & Sealants 28 28 29 30 30 31 32 33 34 35 35 36 37 38

Equipment and Plumbing
Appliances & Office Equipment Water-Efficient Fixtures Solar Photovoltaics Passive Solar Design 39 40 41 41

Green Building Checklist 42 Illustrated Building Section of Materials 22

Online access to this material is available at

Introduction to Green Building
Green Building Techniques and Materials are Resource Efficient: • Durable • Salvaged for reuse, refurbished, remanufactured, or recycled • Easily recyclable or reusable when no longer needed • Manufactured from a waste material (such as straw or fly ash) or a waste-reducing process • Sustainably harvested from renewable resources • Minimally packaged and/or wrapped with recyclable packaging • Able to reduce or eliminate the need for another material (e.g., panel construction, or finished concrete flooring) • Locally extracted and processed • Energy efficient in use • Use less energy in extraction, processing, and transport to the job site (low embodied energy) • Generate renewable energy • Water-efficient • Manufactured with a waterefficient process

What is a Green Building Material?
The ideal building material would have no negative...
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