Sustainable Sidebar: LED Pendants...

If you’re looking to light up your home with a pendant, consider choosing an LED. You save in the long run while keeping it elegant! This dining room is beautifully lit with the Moooi Raimond mimicking the city lights in the background. A centerpiece like this will surely make your home feel more complete, while keeping it green. (more…)

On Demand Retrofit Hot Water Recirculation Systems...

Photo by Paul Dyer Photography

For many older homes built before the advent of hot water recirculation systems, lag times while we wait for hot water to come out of a faucet is something many of us deal with in our homes every day.  This not only wastes our time, but it also wastes energy and a lot of water, 6+ gallons of water a day on average per household.  This equals 700M gallons a day, nationwide, dumped down the drain because the water was not hot enough for its application. (more…)

Rainwater Diversion in the City of San Francisco...


With a typical roof shedding hundreds of gallons of water in a major rainstorm, an important and potentially expensive issue arises in many San Francisco remodels: where does it all go?

Rainwater diversion can be a cost-effective and sustainable solution. In this post, we will walk you through the definition of rainwater diversion, its benefits, and the permitting issues and methods necessary for execution.


The Spirit of Earth Day: Revitalizing our communities...

A volunteer helps rehabilitate a yard during the Rebuilding Together prep day.

In the spirit of Earth Day and being good stewards of the environment, it is important to also remember to be good stewards of our community. Rebuilding Together San Francisco is a non-profit organization that connects volunteers with construction projects focusing on the rejuvenation of communities.  With projects ranging from single family homes to non-profit organizations and school facilities, the San Francisco chapter has helped over 1,000 houses and 250 facilities since its inception in 1989. (more…)

Passive Air Cooling – It’s not Just for the Birds...

Photo by Matthew Millman Photography

In 2007, Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders worked out of a loft-like industrial space in the Mission that lacked sufficient air flow on the handful of warm San Francisco days.  During those San Francisco “heat waves,” we had to haul out 6’ tall industrial fans in a feeble attempt to move the air. With the fans howling, it felt like working in an old airplane hangar with prop planes readying to taxi out to the runway. (more…)

Water Heater Basics: Gas or Electric?...

Photo by Paul Dyer Photography

Most households in the U.S. use natural gas to heat water. Other fuel types include electricity, propane, and heating oil. A typical gas storage water heater has an Energy Factor (efficiency rating) of about 0.6, while a typical electric storage water heater will be rated about 0.9. Based on these Energy Factors it would seem an electric water heater uses less energy.  Actually the opposite is true, here’s why: (more…)

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