Semmes & Co: Green Builders on the Central Coast

The Central Coast View
Winter 2011 | San Luis Obispo, CA
Passive Solar Design
Home Management Program
Solar Hot Water
New Green Building Code
Pacific Wildlife Care Gets Solar Hot Water Installed
Paloma Community Garden

Building or remodeling a home in San Luis Obispo County, Southern Monterey, or Northern Santa Barbara areas?

We would love to hear from you!

805-466-6737 x 207 or


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Welcome to the Central Coast View featuring news and sustainable building resources from

Semmes & Co. Builders.


For more information and additional resources visit us at


Upcoming Event

5-Cities Green Living Event, March 8th 2011 

Coming soon to the Ramona Garden Park in Grover Beach from 6:00 - 8:30pm


Green Living educational event hosted by

Semmes & Co Builders, Green Goods, Idler's Appliances, Sage Ecological Landscapes and SLO Green Build. 


Watch for an event invitation to come later this month! 


Passive Solar Design by Semmes & Company
Passive SolarPassive solar design and construction is the proper use of orientation, insulation, ventilation, and mass in a building during the design stage. These practices do not necessarily add anything to the price of construction and can save the homeowner enormously in energy costs over time. The goal is to have the house naturally heat and cool itself as much as possible without the use of mechanical systems or fossil fuels. Read More...
Semmes & Company's Home Management Program
Home Management Program
Are you concerned about your home's health?

We are kicking off a new service at Semmes & Co. Builders Inc., Your Home Management Division. You have a family physician for your health and a trusted mechanic for your car, why not an expert advisor for your home. The program will help you with all your property related needs such as: on going maintenance, repairs, small projects, and remodeling. In addition, we offer professional design, energy efficiency upgrades, wild fire protection strategies, earthquake mitigation services, and landscape services.

Bringing our experience in green building to the Home Management Division, Semmes & Co Builders can improve your energy performance, resource conservation, and indoor air quality.

For more information email Kenny Northcote at

Solar Hot Water
Solar Hot Water Plentiful rebates subsidize the installation of a centuries old technology

Solar hot water, first implemented for domestic use in the 1760's, continues to be a simple and efficient solution. California offers a rebate of $1,260 and the Federal Government offers a 30% tax credit; making installation in new and existing structures nearly irresistible.

Carol King, of Vista Del Ray Vineyards told us, "With all of our guests and company, we never run out of hot water. We have such peace of mind knowing that we are doing everything we can to conserve precious resources."

With improved innovation, the solar hot water systems have become much more attractive and dependable than the bulky models that roosted upon rooftops in the 1970's. Today's versions are made of a closed loop of glycol that circulates between the roof-mount panels and a heat exchanger in the domestic water tank which releases the heat collected from the sun into the tank and returns to the panels to reheat. hot water panelsFor those days when there just isn't enough sun to adequately heat water for the household, the backup system kicks on. Some clients even take this technology to the next level and use the solar heated water to heat their entire home!

Join the many proud Semmes & Co solar hot water clients; give us a call to set up your consultation today, 805-466-6737 or
California's New Green Building Code
CalGreenEffective January 1, 2011, all new buildings in the state of California must comply with the 2010 California Green Building Standards Code, CALgreen. This new code is the nation's first mandatory green building standard. Among other provisions, CALgreen will require 20% mandatory reduction in indoor water use, diversion of 50% of construction waste from landfills, and the use of low-pollutant emitting interior finish materials such as paints, carpet, vinyl flooring and particle board.

According to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, "With this first-in-the-nation mandatory green building standards code, California continues to pave the way in energy efficiency and environmental protection. Today's action lays the foundation for the move to greener buildings constructed with environmentally advanced building practices that decrease waste, reduce energy use and conserve resources..."

It is estimated that CALgreen will curb greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 3 million metric tons by 2020, helping the state reach its goal of 33% GHG reduction this decade.

While much of what this new code makes mandatory has been standard practice for Semmes & Co Builders for many years, we are excited by the move toward a more sustainable built environment. For more information on these requirements contact Emily Marks with Semmes & Co Builders at or visit for additional green building resources.
Pacific Wildlife Care of Morro Bay Gets Solar Hot Water System Designed and Installed by Local Businesses

Pacific Wildlife CarePacific Wildlife Care, a local non-profit organization that rehabilitates sick and injured wildlife for release into the wild, has received the gift of a solar hot water system at its Morro Bay facility from some local businesses. The wildlife facility uses a great deal of hot water particularly in its treatment of debilitated sea birds. Heating the water and keeping the seabird room at the necessary 75 - 80 degrees was costing the organization a great deal of money in utility bills. With this new solar hot water system, the wildlife center can heat the room with wall mounted hot water radiators, r ecirculate hot water in the seabird pools, and wash the many oiled birds that arrive needing care.
  • Semmes & Co Builders, Inc of Atascadero contributed the design and permitting of the roof mount solar hot water system as well as the design and installation of the roof mounted support structures.
  • Solarponics, Inc., also of Atascadero, supplied and installed a 96% efficient water and radiant heating system. They also donated parts and labor for a 105 sq-ft solar water heating system which included a 120 gallon storage tank with pumps, controls and insulated piping.
  • Roofing repair was provided by Reid Roofing of Paso Robles, CA
  • Sheet metal flashings were provided by Hutch Heating and Air of Atascadero

For more information on this project contact BJ Semmes, Wildlife Rehabilitator at, or on Pacific Wildlife care visit

Semmes & Co. Sponsors Paloma Community Garden
Paloma Community Garden Volunteers
It's soon going to be spring and now is the time to start thinking about your summer garden! Semmes and Company is associated with the Paloma Community Garden in Atascadero, and we would like to let you know that there are a few bed locations available, and the soil is on site. The cost for these beds is $65 per year. This is a great opportunity to become involved in a community of individuals with a common interest, and help develop a garden with others along side you. We have been providing trucking, manure, soil, and straw bales for a while now, and you should all stop by and take a look. This is another great addition to our community! For further information call Kathy at 466-2566 or email