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I’ve been busy at the office researching/googling a host of different aspects to green building–in the hopes of gathering research for my sustainable apartment kitchen project.  I have stumbled across a good amount of interesting websites and articles, and thought it would be a good idea to share it with you all.  My first “green building bucket list” goes as follows:

  • GreenPoint Rated: If you think you own a “green” home or are considering building one, try putting that “green”-ness to the test with the systemized rating system from The Green Building Council.  This GreenPoint Rated system certifies that the property you own or plan to build is more comfortable and healthier, while simultaneously lessening your impact on the environment.
  • PG&E sham(?): An interesting article from SFGate exposed a PG&E carbon offset program to be more marketing sham than sustainable function.  This “ClimateSmart program highlights the complex and murky relationships among big business, state regulators and conservation groups working on climate change – a relatively new and untested system in which a huge amount of money is traded without much public scrutiny.”
  • Noise Abatement: If you are looking for some way to muffle your neighbor’s noise next door, Keene Building has a line of products called Quiet Qurl that are made out of 40% recycled content and are designed to absorb sound in apartment or dormitory complexes.  This polymer matrix that you apply between walls or under flooring in conjunction with gypsum concrete can also help if you are looking for LEED certification.
  • Alternative Countertops: On the subject of kitchen countertops, few consider using butcher block.  “Butcher block countertops are natural, beautiful, practical, renewable, economical, and, contrary to popular belief, one of the safest, most sanitary kitchen work surfaces available.” Helmut has also noted other cool alternative countertops to the traditional laminate or granite.

That is all I got for now. More soon.



Some things are easily taken for granted, and countertop are one of them.  When thinking about sustainable building and combating global warming, countertops probably do not rank up high on the list…but there are green options out there that are beautiful AND sustainable.  For the 2139 39th Ave sustainable house I chose a Vetrazzo recycled glass product :

“All of the glass used in Vetrazzo is recycled, and it makes up about 85% of the total material. Most of the glass comes from curbside recycling programs. Other glass comes from windows, dinnerware, stemware, windshields, stained glass, laboratory glass, reclaimed glass from building demolition, traffic lights and other unusual sources.”

Other choices include  Sonoma Cast Stone’s Earthcrete which combines high recycled content and lower Portland cement use to manufacture some really interesting looking surfaces; Richlite a company that builds a very chic line of FSC Certified Paper countertops and CaesarStone whose line of Quartz surfaces pushes the sustainable product envelop and is featured in the bathrooms of 2139 39th Ave.

You have choices other than granite shipped from God knows where, or laminates made up of God knows what.  Choose wisely, because every remodeling step is an opportunity to build sustainably.