Posted by Norman Fong, February 6th, 2013
The trend is to consider green practices when constructing a new building or when remodeling your kitchen, bathroom or home.
In 2014, California will require major changes in building codes. These are the biggest changes since the rules were created in 1978. These rules apply to new construction and major building renovation. Among the new requirements are:
- Buildings will have to be 25% to 30% more energy efficient
- $2290 in additional costs may be needed achieve the new requirements
- Office buildings will have to allow more natural light, reduce lighting, and lessen air conditioning use
- Homes will need improved insulation and whole house fans
- Roofs will have to be more reflective, utilizing coatings and material
These standards are important much of the nation watches California and incorporates its changes into their building codes.
California 2011 Green Building Requirements
As of January 1, 2011, California is requiring more green aspects to new commercial buildings. CALGreen mandates reducing water use, diverting construction waste from landfills, and rewards bike storage, non-toxic paint, and solar energy. The code is established to reduce construction waste, make buildings more efficient in the use of materials and energy, and reduce environmental impact during and after construction.
Here are some useful green construction resources:
- Build It Green has some very good guidelines and checklists for Green Construction, remodeling and building new homes. They are a non-profit dedicated to help all of us out even though they focus on California. They have extensive lists of building material recommendations and sources.
Also very useful is the Green Product Directory for construction supplies and suppliers. They also have a list of Certified Professionals that have completed training.
- Advanced house framing techniques for new homes, require half the wood of the past.
- Build it Green NYC has information on low cost salvage and surplus building materials.
Using salvaged or reclaimed items helps cut down on resource utilization.
- DiggersList is a Craigslist for home improvement.
- TheStoneBroker helps you find countertop remnants at discount prices.
- Heritage Salvage in Petaluma sells reclaimed building materials.
- Driftwood Salvage in Palo Alto sells surplus construction items.
- Urban Ore in Berkeley sells surplus items.
- List of other San Francisco Bay Area Salvage yards.
- CalMAX – California Materials Exchange – One business’s trash is another business’s treasure.
- Green Demolitions – A Connecticut based recycler and dealer for kitchens and home items.
- Handmadetile - Creates custom made tiles to match existing tiles color and shape.
Remember to donate your spare items after your remodel back to these salvage yards.
Free Green Home Plans
Building a new home? FreeGreen has free energy efficient, healthy new house plans for free. You need to join their community to access the plans. Architects usually charge upto 15% of the cost of a home for plans.
Of course it’s probably far more eco friendly and green to buy an existing home given all the resources needed to build a new one, not to mention the current housing crisis.