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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
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Such a material would be infinitely reusable or recyclable.1 “Perfect” materials are rare, but in practice, there are a growing number of green materials that reduce or eliminate negative impacts on people and the environment. As manufacturers, building professionals, and owners constantly strive for better buildings, we encourage others in the supply chain to join us in pursuit of a better world. Incorporating green products into a project does not imply sacrifice in performance, or aesthetics, and does not necessarily entail higher cost. While one can spend considerably more for green materials, careful shoppers will find cost-competitive environmentally-preferable options. For example, a joint US EPA/Army study of more than 2200 paints showed environmentally preferable options cost an average of $1.76 less per gallon 2 gallon.

This booklet offers simple suggestions to help select greener options for a wide array of common materials, and provides references to resources for more detailed information. For materials not included in this document, the checklist in the appendix and the sidebars of pages 2-3 can help you to organize your analysis. The evaluation of materials is based upon three questions: • Is the material renewable and resource efficient in its manufacture, installation, use, and disposal? • Does the material support the health and well being of occupants, construction personnel, the public, and the environment? The most critical
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