Green Materials and Resources

The environmental impacts of building materials occur in their extraction, manufacturing, processing and transportation. Renovations offer the opportunity to reuse and retool building materials, adding personality and historical depth while diverting valuable materials from landfill. These not-so-new steps of a local remodel incorporate Douglas Fir reclaimed from interior paneling. (Photo courtesy of Shift Design Studio).Utilizing materials that are salvaged, contain high recycled content, are extracted and manufactured regionally, are made from renewable resources, or are certified by organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council are practices that help reduce or even eliminate these impacts.

Reusing and repurposing components, architectural elements, and even whole buildings avoids the impacts of manufacturing new materials while helping San Francisco retain and celebrate its history. Construction and demolition waste make up about 22% of all solid waste in California. For example, the construction of a new 2,000-sq. ft. custom home produces an average of 7,000 pounds of waste. Most waste (in many cases all) can be avoided The former commissary for the Presidio was remodeled in 2000 as the Crissy Field Center. Recycled building materials pictured above include: stained and sealed concrete floors, formaldehyde-free carpet installed with a low VOC adhesive, wheat board cabinetry, and seating made from recycled polyester. (Photo courtesy of Mari Collings).through careful planning, construction management, and strategic specification of materials.