Eco Building Resources

Exploring Greenland

I just toured a new showroom in San Francisco that is a one stop shop for earth-friendly flooring, cabinetry, counters, fixtures, paints, and more. It’s called Ecohaus [now Green Depot] and has outlets in Seattle and Portland as well as SF. Here are some of the items that caught my eye. I have mentioned one or two of these products in previous posts but having them all in once place makes shopping so much easier…

Marmoleum (made from linseed oil, a natural ingredient) is a type of linoleum and though not a new material now offers a wide range of

colors and patterns. The image above shows the huge array of glue-down sheets. Marmoleum also offers click-together planks for easy installation.

An expanding variety of recycled woods are now available, through a company called Eco Timber.


Their newest introduction is  FSC-certified Strand Woven Poplar

with its attractive multi-toned, vividly figured grain. It’s made from post-industrial furniture scraps!

Eco-friendly counter options are multiplying. Squak Mountain Stone offers this seductive warm gray.

It’s a composite of recycled paper, recycled glass, and low-carbon cement and comes in full and half slabs that are 1 3/8 inches thick. It has the smooth cool touch of burnished concrete.

Low-flow and dual-flush toilets are now routine, but here’s a water saving example that has also been shown at recent Home Builder shows. It uses the run-off from the sink to fill the toilet tank.

It’s from a company called Caroma, which also offers  a variety of other bathroom sinks.

Using a table as a kitchen island is a simple strong idea and this table would fill the bill for me nicely.

It’s handsome enough for an elegant meal and durable enough to use as a work surface. Made by Windfall Lumber, it’s composed of wood from shipping pallets and crates.

No- and low-VOC paints are important finishing touches and among the choices are lime based paints by Olivetti, which have a rich texture.

Something to consider for an accent wall like the one above (courtesy Ecohaus). See how the texture adds depth and richness to the hue.

New Plans to Explore

These green materials would be especially suitable for some of our latest exclusive plans, like the Vermont Simple House 1 (plan 500-1) by architect Robert Swinburne.

Bob, who started out as a carpenter before becoming an architect, is interested in creating super simple, flexible, adaptable modern and traditional designs that can be affordably constructed.

The  layout is very efficient, with a good-sized front porch.

Upstairs are three bedrooms.

He says: “My designs are green without gimmicks other than some degree of passive solar and Passive house insulation.” Which reminds me of one of my nervous tics, I mean, mantras: good design is green all by itself.


One response to “Eco Building Resources

  1. I love ecohaus and have just purchased marmoleum in two colors for my kitchen floor from them-love it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s