Author Archives: santacruzarchitect

7 Smart Strategies for Kitchen Remodeling

Homeowners spend more money on kitchen remodeling than on any other home improvement project. And with good reason: Kitchens are the hub of home life and a source of pride. A significant portion of kitchen remodeling costs may be recovered by the value the project brings to your home. A complete kitchen renovation with a national median cost of $65,000 recovers about 62% of the initial project cost at the home’s resale, according to the National Association of Realtors. Continue reading

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New ADU rules for Santa Cruz County going to Coastal Commission

If you are waiting to create an accessory dwelling until Santa Cruz County has adopted new rules to make the process easier and less expensive, you’ll have to be patient a little longer. The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 Tuesday to adopt new rules for ADUs to comply with new state laws, SB 1069 and SB 229, aiming to make ADUs easier and less costly. Continue reading

What is Aerogel Insulation?

Aerogel is a low density solid state material derived from gel in which the liquid component of the gel has been replaced with gas. The result is an extremely low density solid with several remarkable properties, most notably its effectiveness as thermal insulation. Continue reading

Understanding the Living Building Challenge and Its “Petals”

The Living Building Challenge (LBC) is a certification program that defines the most advanced measure of sustainability—providing a framework for design, construction and the symbiotic relationship between people and all aspects of the built environment. It is one of most rigorous performance standards in the industry, as it requires net-zero energy, waste and water by every project. Continue reading

Top Five Green Building Mistakes

How to avoid the five most common errors builders make when it comes to energy, health, and resource efficiency.

While green building technology continues to improve and new green products continue to evolve, they’re only “lipstick on a pig” if the home isn’t also energy efficient, built to last, healthy, safe, and affordable to maintain. Continue reading

Easy Ways to Seal Air Leaks Around the House

A typical family spends about a third of its annual heating and cooling budget — roughly $350 — on air that leaks into or out of the house through unintended gaps and cracks. With the money you waste in just one year, you can plug many of those leaks yourself. It’s among the most cost-effective things you can do to conserve energy and increase comfort. Continue reading

Glass Block Makes a Comeback

Glass unit masonry has been used more frequently in the last few years for several good reasons. It offers various levels of light transmission into buildings and, depending on the pattern or color in the glass block, can also provide more privacy than conventional windows. Glass block are low maintenance, durable and provide energy efficiency comparable to double pane windows. Continue reading