Cedar is an excellent choice for a natural construction material that is a sustainable and renewable resource. Cedar, whether inland cedar or western cedar, emits no VOCs and can be stained with a NO VOC natural wood stain like Defy Extreme Wood Stain from

For more information on cedar, please visit


VOCs, or VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPUNDS, are vapors from paint and other chemicals that evaporate at room temperature and can affect your health. To be as healthy as possible for maximum LEED points, and to be as environmentally friendly as possible, GCM went with Benjamin Moore's"Natura" NO VOC water-based paint for the interior walls and ceilings.

To learn more about Benjamin Moore's line of "Natura" NO VOC line of paints, check out their website here.


To affix the reclaimed yellow pine wood flooring to the basement's cement floor, GCM went with Roberts NO VOC 1407 Floor Adhesive. Roberts is a sponsor of GCM and is a company dedicated to being sustainable and as "Green" as possible, check them out! Below are some pics of their product and the reclaimed yellow pine being affixed to the cement floor. Roberts 1407 Flooring Adhesive is SOLVENT FREE, and is "Certified Green" by Roberts as "Eco-Friendly" and is "Gold Guard certified"  to prevent mold, mildew and bacteria, which helps with LEED points.

Checkout the Roberts website here!


To go even further than using NO VOC paint and sealers, GCM went with Certainteed's line of AirRenew gypsum boards that actually absorb VOCs, neutralizes them, and then stores them. These AirRenew boards will add to the healthy air quality, and will help with LEED points.

See Certainteed's website here, and watch our NO VOC video for more info.

VOCs and Reduction

What are VOCs? VOCs are VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS, which are toxic compounds that turn into vapor at room temperature and can be breathed in by anybody in the vicinity, and affect their health negatively. VOCs can contain toxic compounds such as Benzene, formaldehyde and other poisons. VOCs can be found in hundreds of things such as paint, cleaning products, insecticide, construction material, fabric, carpeting, and more. GCM was committed from the start of the project to go NO VOC, or as LOW VOC as possible. To that end, we have taken many steps to reduce and even eliminate VOCs in the construction and operation of GreenCasaMaryland, and you will find those things outlined below.

VOCs and Natural Construction Materials


Construction materials can often contain VOCs, so choosing natural construction materials can seriously reduce or even eliminate VOCs in your green home construction. Here are some natural construction materials that are 100% VOC FREE.



Stone is an excellent, sustainable and renewable resource for a natural construction material. Stone emits no VOCs, and does not need to be painted. Stone is also very beautiful. To see natural stone for your green home construction project, see







To seal the re-claimed lumber wood flooring, GCM went with the NO VOC, water-based, non-toxic, PolyureSeal BP from GCM's partner, Safecoat. Safecoat has partnered with GCM to help us show how one can seal a wood floor responsibly and sustainably. Learn more about Safecoat's PolyureSeal BP on our Reclaimed Lumber page, and check out their website here. Below are some pics of the PolyureSeal BP from Safecoat.