November 8, 2007

UPDATE: Gregorio Residence Near Completion

We are nearly finished with our adaptive-reuse remodel in the Lake Balboa area of the San Fernando Valley. The crew from Green That House is filming us for an upcoming episode on Discovery Home.

Once work on the addition got underway, the homeowners opted to implement a green remodel of the entire structure. This enabled them to make several decisions affecting the structure as a whole; for one, they wisely chose to insulate not only the exterior walls with Ultratouch recycled denim insulation – they insulated the interior walls as well, further stabilizing indoor temperatures and adding a measure of privacy: the denim will effectively deaden sound between the rooms in the house.

To further conserve Southern California’s precious water supply, we installed three dual-flush Toto toilets with flushing options for liquid or solid waste. One of the bathrooms will feature glass bricks to maximize privacy and admit natural light, and the master closet will be outfitted with a Solatube skylight to utilize available light when possible, cutting energy demand in those rooms.

Throughout the home we have installed double-paned windows to reduce temperature fluctuations due to outside weather conditions. The windows are glazed with a low-e coating, a microscopic layer bonded to the glass surface which filters infrared and ultraviolet rays from passing through. This keeps heat out during the summer and keeps UV rays off your furnishings and artwork, preventing fading and sun damage.

October 19, 2007


The Gregorio remodel is proceeding apace. We installed Ultratouch insulation, a natural cotton fiber insulation made of 85% recycled cotton. Since it is made of recycled material it is a more sustainable approach to insulation in contrast to traditional fiberglass batting. Some fiberglass insulation manufacturers are taking steps to make their product more environmentally-friendly, using 20% recycled glass and minimizing off-gassing by using different binding agents. Pound for pound, Ultratouch is a greener product overall.

With Ultratouch our crew didn’t need to wear protective clothing or worry about aspirating stray fiberglass particles; indoor air quality is improved from the beginning, not just for our workers but for the homeowners as well.

Ultratouch is fire resistant; each fiber is treated with a natural fire retardant and is “flash-dried” giving it a Class-1/Class A fire rating; the fire retardant also acts as an excellent pest and mildew inhibitor. The fibers “breathe”, naturally shedding moisture instead of trapping it. This natural insulation was selected by the homeowners as part of the overall effort to make this remodel as “green” as possible.

September 17, 2007

UPDATE: GoGreen Home Project Underway

The Go Green Home is a 4,391 square foot home we are building in the Playa Del Rey area of Los Angeles. It is a living laboratory of green design, materials and innovation; check our website for more info at Today we met with Shellie Collier, our LEED A.P. (Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design – Accredited Professional) who will guide us through the process of becoming LEED certified. We are aiming for Platinum, the highest rating granted by the United States Green Building Council.

Shellie documents the entire pre-construction and construction process, and at its conclusion submits a notebook to the USGBC for review and certification. This notebook details each step taken, from preservation of existing landscape to ordering of materials to installation of Forest Stewardship Council-certified framing products.

We are maintaining our own notebook to mirror Shellie’s, page for page, notation for notation. Every detail is documented: for example, one LEED requirement stipulates the home must be located near open space. This is established using Google maps; the page is printed, the URL noted and copies inserted into each notebook. LEED demands this same attention to detail for every aspect of the building that has the potential to earn points.

Shellie is an independent contractor working for Davis Energy Group, a USGBC-designated LEED for Homes organization in California. She is a designer-builder-project manager in her own right; check out her webpage at

UPDATE: Jobsite Reycling

When we started the Gregorio remodel on June 25 we implemented jobsite recycling -- it’s a basic component of our environmentally conscious philosophy. Since construction began we’ve diverted over 7.5 tons of construction waste, keeping it out of landfills. This includes copper – steel -- drywall – lumber – anything that can be recycled and reused in another form.

Our partners at this and other jobsites are the men and women of Looney Bins, Inc.; the actual sorting and recycling takes place at their Downtown Diversion facilities in East L.A. and Pacoima. Click for an informative video on their award-winning recycling process.

August 21, 2007

UPDATE: Gregorio Progress Report

A time lapse view of where the Gregorio remodel is at today from when we broke ground on the project in June (click to enlarge).


Master Bedroom Suite

View Into Master Bedroom Suite

Panorama of Master Bedroom

Complete Kitchen Rehab

Front with beginnings of new roof and facade

Go Green is on the job!

July 11, 2007

UPDATE: Gregorio Concrete Foundation Poured Today!

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We are pouring the concrete foundation of the Gregorio residence remodeling project in Lake Balboa, CA. We utilized a high-fly ash content concrete as part of our commitment to make this remodel as “green” as possible.

Over half the electricity produced in the U.S. comes from coal-fired power plants. Fly ash is a byproduct of coal burning and can be substituted for more than half of the Portland cement typically used in a concrete mixture. Use of fly ash in concrete is beneficial to the environment in several ways:
1. It keeps the fly ash from entering the waste stream
2. It saves the energy ordinarily used to manufacture Portland cement
3. It needs 10% less water than traditional concrete

Because less water is used with high fly ash concrete, and because of the chemical reaction between the fly ash and lime which is given off in cement hydration, the end product is denser and stronger than traditional Portland cement-based concrete. Fly ash is made up of tiny, glassy beads; its physical composition creates a lubricating effect which enables the concrete to flow and pump better, filling the forms more completely. Additionally, high-fly ash concrete costs the same as or sometimes slightly less than traditional concrete.

Click To Enlarge
According to Headwaters Resources, for every ton of cement manufactured about one ton of carbon dioxide is released. Replacing that ton of cement with fly ash saves enough electricity to power the average American home for 24 days, and reduces carbon dioxide emissions equal to two months’ use of an automobile.

Click To Enlarge

Here’s a picture of producer R. J. Bain from Discovery Home’s “Green That House” program filming the pour – they’ve been tracking the progress and filming various “green” elements as the remodel moves forward.

June 25, 2007

UPDATE: Excavation Underway at Gregorio Residence

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The mini-excavator and our crew were busy on June 18 preparing for the foundation of the green addition to the Gregorio residence. Below is a close up of the Structural Insulated Panels (or SIPs) that will be assembled to create the floors and walls of the addition. These panels consist of dense, 10" layer of foam sandwiched between large sheets of engineered wood panels. This combination creates an insulation barrier that outperforms traditional fiberglass batt insulation up to 300%.

Closeup of SIPs Onsite (Click To Enlarge)
Check back for more pictures of our progress on this exciting project!

June 12, 2007

NEWS: Groundbreaking on "Green" Remodel


Go Green Announces Groundbreaking on Green Residential Remodel


Leslie S. Glennon
Go Green Construction, Inc.
Tel: 818.718.7477
Fax: 818.718.7117

Los Angeles, CA, June 12, 2007 - Today we break ground on a green addition to an existing single-family home in the Lake Balboa area of Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley. The crew is excavating in preparation for pouring the footings next week; over the next few days a mini-excavator and a few crew members will be readying the site for construction.

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We will de-construct instead of demolishing any portion of the house which abuts the new construction. These de-constructed materials will be sorted and recycled in lieu of being sent to the landfill and adding to the waste stream. This project calls for adding 820 square feet to the existing 1,115 square foot home; we’ll give the owners a new master suite and bath plus a new laundry room. The “green” aspects of the project include construction of the addition with SIP (Structurally Insulated Panels) panels which are manufactured offsite and generate less waste than conventional stick framing. SIP panels offer superior "R-Values" (the measure for insulating capabilities) compared to traditional insulation methods, which adds to the long-term energy efficiency of this structure.

Click To Enlarge

We also intend to install and/or utilize a restricted flow showerhead; a dual-flush water conserving toilet; low- or no-VOC paint finishes in all rooms; a strategically placed skylight to minimize need for interior lights during daylight hours; dual-pane, low-E windows; a front loading water-conserving washer and energy efficient dryer; and a tankless water heater to service the new bath and laundry facilities.

A television crew from Green That House may be stopping by to film our progress – watch for us on Discovery Home.

ABOUT GO GREEN CONSTRUCTION - We are providers of sustainable building solutions for Southern California. We pride ourselves on delivering quality craftsmanship using renewable materials. Our creations offer an attractive alternative to traditional construction while promoting a healthier environment for our clients and the planet. We have 33 years’ experience serving the high-end residential market in Southern California, providing expert consulting, design and construction services. Contact us today at or 818.718.7477

- END -

June 11, 2007

DESIGN: Gregorio Residence

LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
COMPLETION: Target 2007

GOAL: Adapting an existing 1950s structure to meet a growing family’s needs rather than demolishing the entire structure and building from the ground up. We will utilize sustainable materials and techniques to decrease energy costs, to create a more comfortable, healthier indoor environment, and to minimize costs associated with transporting debris to a landfill.

SCOPE: Addition of 820 square feet to an existing 1,115 square foot 2 bedroom, 2 bath single family residence. The process will involve careful “deconstruction” of the existing structure, sorting and diverting material to recycling facilities; framing with structurally insulated panels (SIP); installing a dual-flush toilet and other water-reducing plumbing fixtures; selecting materials and finishes that have minimal impact on natural resources and that expose neither the homeowner’s family nor the manufacturer/installer to toxic chemicals.

  • Modification of an existing structure has less impact on the environment than construction of an entirely new home because there is less material harvested, manufactured, or transported.
  • Carefully deconstructing portions of the existing structure and sorting by material type enables valuable resources to be recycled, keeping them out of the landfill.
  • Because they are prefabricated to exact specifications offsite, SIP panels generate less construction waste and thus save trees.
  • SIP panels are more energy efficient than conventional wood-framed walls with fiberglass batt insulation because they have a higher insulating capacity, or R-value, for the same wall thickness.
  • Use of sustainable materials such as bamboo flooring, which rapidly renews itself, lessens the impact on the natural environment.
  • Use of materials having little to no harmful chemicals prevents those chemicals, during their manufacturing phase, from entering the waste stream or contaminating the water supply.
  • Plumbing fixtures with “low-flow” features reduce household water use and thus preserve the water supply in an arid region

June 8, 2007

DESIGN: Feldman Residence

LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
COMPLETION: Target 2008

GOAL: Creation of a LEED for Homes Silver certified residence that will incorporate the most thoughtful and innovative building materials, finishes, fixtures, HVAC and lighting systems to ensure that the environment inside the home promotes the comfort, health and well-being of its occupants.
SCOPE: Construction of a 3-story, 4,360 square foot single family residence with an indoor elevator designed for accessibility. This home is designed to minimize, and even eliminate altogether, the impact of the construction and operation of the home on the surrounding community and the environment in general.


  • Passive solar design strategies
  • Heat sink via ground floor foundation/slab
  • Heat vent via operable skylight above stairwell
  • Energy Star-rated low-E glazing
  • Photovoltaic system for power generation
  • Electric car recharging station in garage
  • Tankless water heating
  • LED and compact fluorescent lighting
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures, including dual-flush toilets
  • Energy Star-rated appliances
  • Graywater recycling system
  • Landscape consisting of drought-tolerant, native plants
  • Fly-ash content in concrete foundation
  • Re-use of existing cement driveway
  • “Living Wall” on NW façade of building
  • Permeable paving and hardscape elements
  • Recycled or sustainable hardscape elements
  • FSC-certified lumber
  • Wood framing 24” on center
  • Engineered truss system
  • Insulated wall panels, polyurethane foam or organic fiber insulation
  • Formaldehyde-free sheathing, subflooring, etc.
  • Low, Zero-VOC finishes & adhesives
  • Deconstruction and reuse/donation of existing structure materials