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Materials & Products

Homes should be well insulated in the attics, walls and underfloors to avoid heat loss in winter and to keep heat out in summer. The effectiveness of insulation material is measured in R value. The higher the R value, the more effective it is. Building codes in most mild climate jurisdictions require attic insulation to be R- Read More »
Energy efficient appliances can offer energy and money savings. While it may not be economical to replace a piece of appliance, when the appliance is reaching the end of useful life or when new appliances are purchased during a remodel, choosing an energy efficient model is the perfect time. The energy efficient model may cost Read More »
Cabinets can be expensive to replace so it is important to pick the right ones. From the green remodel perpective, two areas deserve attention. The first is the source of the material which is typically some form of wood. Using material from sustainable source is highly desirable. For instance, the Forest Stewardship Council Read More »
A main issue with household paint is that many ingredients are added to improve the look, longevity and ease of application of the paint. Some of these ingredients are volatile organic compounds (VOCs). According to the EPA, VOCs can cause respiratory, skin, and eye irritation; headaches; nausea; muscle weakness; and more serious Read More »
Incandescent light bulbs, which have been standard for over a century, will be phased out of manufacturing in a couple of years in the US to give way to more energy efficiency products. Compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs consume only about a quarter of the energy of incandescent bulbs producing comparable amounts of light. Read More »

Sustainable And Non-toxic Materials For Your Home

Selection of materials and products for a remodel should meet these criteria:
  • Meets the needs and budget objectives of the occupants.
  • Does no harm to the occupants – the materials should not be toxic even long after installation and be safe.
  • Does no harm to the environment – the materials should be sustainable throughout the acquisition, manufacture and installation.
  • Makes the home energy efficient.
This section contains comparative information about some common types of materials and products used for remodels based on the above criteria. Use the menu to find the type you are intereted in.
This forum provides you with resources about home renovation, improvement, makeover and repair topics such as bathroom design, cabinet replacement, countertop selection, drought tolerant landscape, finding contractors, flooring, furnace, gardening, heating system, home design, hot water heater, interior design, kitchen design, landscape planning, landscape replacement, low flow toilets, plumbing, retrofit, roof replacement, roof tiles, saving water, solar hot water, solar panel, water conservation, window replacement, and many others. While we focus on issues in California, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose, Oakland, Contra Costa, Danville, Dublin, Los Gatos, Menlo Park, Orinda, San Mateo, San Ramon, Santa Cruz, San Rafael, Sunnyvale, Walnut Creek, most information is applicable in all parts of USA as well as the rest of the world.