Ecology Action, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the environment, transformed the 50-year-old Sentinel Building in Santa Cruz, California into its new green headquarters. Work on the project began in March 2010 and in just over a year, the building has reopened as the New (and greener) Sentinel Building.

Some of the eco-friendly construction and design features used during the green renovation include a cool roof, operable windows and skylights to enhance the natural light, solar electric panels and a rainwater catchment system. One service offered at this new facility really caught my eye, on-site laundry. The purpose of the laundry service is to promote the use of cloth products instead of paper.

While I enjoy looking at new eco-friendly buildings, I love it when an organization takes an existing building and renovates it with the environment in mind. This takes the concept of reuse to a whole new level.

Photo: Sara Dent