Green building gets big boxes

A retailer hopes to become the Home Depot of green building material products. New Home Inc. plans to open 25 stores in California, with the first to open in Dublin, Calif., in January. Calling itself a “green materials and learning center,” the store will offer free environmental education, training and certification to homeowners and professionals, along with green products in the realm of solar, lawn and garden, furniture and other categories.

New Home isn’t the first big green store to open its doors. Centered mostly on the East Coast, the Green Depot is already open in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Newark, Long Island, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago. It offers 3,500 square feet of things like a “green detergent station,” where you bring empty bottles to fill up, a light bulb station that lets you compare bulbs, zero-VOC paints, eco-friendly flooring, gadgets, and reclaimed materials.