Double standards hamper green building

Part 1: Salvaged fixtures often conflict with city codes

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(This is Part 1 of a two-part series. Read Part 2, "Green credits would help recycling efforts.") "Green buildings use durable materials that are salvaged, have recycled content or came from rapidly renewable resources. These materials significantly reduce the environmental destruction associated with the extraction, processing and transportation of virgin materials." So reads a prominent display in the building department of one of America's most environmentally progressive cities. It's meant to exhort architects, builders and homeowners to reuse building materials that already exist -- an extremely worthy goal, to be sure. The trouble is that the building codes enforced by this very same department often make it difficult or impossible to follow the advice. This is not just one city's problem. Current building codes simply aren't formulated to accommodate the reuse of salvaged materials, leaving well-intentioned green builders caught in a classic Catch...