Merlex Stucco Keeping it Premium since 1963


Straight Talk: How to Achieve Sustainable Stucco

Merlex’s approach to sustainability is without clichés and greenwashing.  We create products that are value-oriented designed with sustainability as one goal among many.  Green products also need to be:

  • High performance (spreadability, durability, aesthetics)
  • Easy to use (practical to apply in the field)
  • Appropriate for current construction methods
  • Economical

Merlex’s current group of GREEN products fall into three main categories:  (1) Recycled content, (2) Energy Efficiency/Insulation; and (3) Reduced CO2 Emissions.  These products are widely applicable to many of today’s most relevant local codes and point-systems, including:

  • LEED
  • Build It Green
  • CALGreen green building code, effective 1/1/11
  • California Advanced Homes (PG&E, SC Edison, SC Gas Co, SDGE)
  • California Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standards
  • Energy Star (U.S. Dept of Energy)

In addition, Merlex’s internal policies are built around sustainability:

  • American made products
  • recycling plant waste streams and packaging
  • sourcing materials within 500 miles of manufacturing plant in Orange, CA
  • plentiful natural materials
    1. Recycled Content  recycled
      Applicable to:  LEED (Environmentally Preferable Products), CalGreen (Voluntary Recycled Content Credit)
      1. 33% Stucco:  Merlex 33% Stucco makes use of 33% recycled sand aggregate (post-consumer) from crushed, screened waste concrete.  This aggregate is carefully separated and inspected to ensure that it performs just like the virgin aggregate that Merlex uses in its stucco products.  By making use of this waste stream, Merlex is able to encourage the diversion of waste concrete from landfills and lower-valued road base uses to stucco applications. 
      2. Basex Crack Reduction System:  Merlex Basex and embedded mesh is designed to significantly reduce cracking in smooth-troweled stucco.  Basex is applied over browncoat with embedded 4 ounce fiberglass mesh.  Then the Santa Barbara Finish stucco is applied and this system reduces cracking by up to 90 percent.  Not only does Basex reduce cracking, but it contains 10% recycled content (post-industrial), which reduces landfill utilization.
      3. Poly Prep Green:  Merlex’s Poly Prep foam coating/adhesive has long been the preferred product in the architectural foam shape industry.  Now available with 10% post-industrial recycled content, Poly Prep can help with a project recycled content in order to qualify for credit in applicable rating systems and codes.
      4. Vero lime plasters:  Merlex’s sister company, Vero, imports authentic lime plasters from Italy that incorporate 50-65% post-industrial recycled content which includes:
        • use of sawdust from the local furniture makers to fire the kilns
        • processed marble waste from the marble slab industry in the Carrara region
    2. Energy Efficiency/Insulation  build green  member
      Applicable to:  Build It Green (High Performance Homes credit, Durable Siding credits), LEED (Enhanced Insulation credit, Exceptional Energy Performance credit), California Title 24, California Advanced Homes, CALGreen (Tier I/II)
      1. Insulex:  Merlex Insulex “one coat system” may be used in conjunction with various foam substrates to create wall assemblies with higher R-values and improved crack and water resistance.  By utilizing foam board outside the studs, the building’s energy efficiency is significantly improved relative to between-stud insulation alone.  Insulex and foam board makes possible far higher whole-building R-values (lower U-factors) that allows for points in the above rating systems and Title 24 compliance across the State of California.  All this is to say that the building will consume less fossil fuels for normal heating and cooling, which is arguably the most important facet of sustainability.
    3. CO2 Emissions
      Applicable to:  general sustainability, but not present in any of the above rating systems and codes (yet)
      1. Basex:  Merlex Basex crack-resistant system makes use of 10% recycled cement replacement (flyash) that is diverted from landfill and furthermore reduces the greenhouse gases required to produce the product by over 25%.  Merlex sources flyash from the only source in California, and it has nothing to do with coal-fired power plants.
      2. Insulex:  By incorporating Merlex Insulex and foam board, your buildings will consume less fuel, which reduces greenhouse gases created in the climate control of the building
      3. Poly Prep Green:  Merlex Poly Prep foam-coating/adhesive makes use of 10% recycled cement replacement (flyash) that is diverted from landfill and furthermore reduces the greenhouse gases required to produce the product by 20%.
      4. Vero lime plasters:  Merlex’s sister company, Vero Fine Italian Finishes, offers beautiful lime plaster products that embody 28% less CO2 emissions than standard portland cement stucco, even after shipping from Italy.  For more information, go to and

We’re working hard at Merlex Stucco to make our product line more sustainable every year.  Because there are myriad rating systems and codes, please contact us if we can offer any assistance in selecting the best, most sustainable product for your project at  We’re all in this together – this industry, this movement, this planet. 

Green Idea House

Straight Talk: How to Achieve Sustainable Stucco
Hermosa Beach home to be built by the Fortunatos.
Merlex Stucco is continually improving its product line of natural stucco products to add products offering (1) energy efficiency; (2) recycled content; (3) local sourcing; and (4) reduced embodied energy. Products to be included on the Green Idea House Case Study include 33% Recycled Stucco (based on recycled concrete aggregate), and Vero Antiqua lime plaster (from Merlex's Vero Venetian plaster subsidiary), which has 28% lower embodied energy than cement stucco and incorporates 65% recycled marble aggregate.  Merlex & Vero are pleased to support the Fortunatos, who are kindred spirits in their quest to find the most sustainable choices in products that fit their lifestyle. To read more about the Green Idea House Case Study, link to

Feature Article in Walls & Ceilings, A Good Idea »