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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    • CommentAuthorGBP-Keith
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2008 edited
    Um. the more I think about how eco my family and I really are then the more I get to thinking I may well be just kidding myself. Our collective, western (UK) lifestyle seems increasingly supported by others. For instance:

    People deliver post to my door every day
    The internet is just there whenever I switch on my computer
    I can order anything I like and have it delivered to my door for next to no cost in next to no time

    My wife grows a lot of our 'greens' but we still buy the staples like flour, rice and potatoes out of season
    OK, our energy is supplied almost 100% on-farm but this doesn't fuel the postman's van
    We drink water pumped up from under our feet but I still buy-in organic beer

    Of course I always choose the 'greener' things but it is still consumerism.

    Consumer goods (electronics etc) get ever cheaper even in a recession?

    Apparently the Polish workforce is returning home and there is a lot of talk about who will build our buildings for us. Are our children not interested.

    Zero carbon households - in my opinion there are none.
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2008
    No, not a zero-carbon household, but a zero-carbon HOUSE is possible as we all know. A zero-carbon Earth may be impossible though, in effect due to its population level?
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2008
    Isn't this where sup-carbon-offset-man flies in, mops the sweat from your furrowed brow and explains how he'll remove your consumerist guilt and make it all better. Would you like to make that payment by cheque or shall we set up a sustainable direct debit scheme, its so much more green to do it that way, as you can see us explain in our printed brochures and full colour advertisements.
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2008
    Never before in history have more, widespread people been better informed. As ever, that intelligentsia uses that knowledge in either conscious, positive, or in selfish, self-deluding ways and as ever the latter outnumber the former. However, the power of the positive is exponentially greater than the power of the benighted (see Power vs Force by David Hawkins) and because the positive is so much more widespread than ever before, it constitutes an unprecedented, revolutionary positive situation, whose outcome (like all revolutions) is wholly unpredictable. In other words, it's the energy of your desire and intention that counts, and whether or not you fully 'walk your talk' is less important. Old-order calculations say that "everyone's" global footprint must be reduced by x amount or we're doomed - but the transformation to come is one of spirit, intention and consciousness, not of old-order technical calculation. You Keith are doing as much as anyone to make this thing happen, and it's unstoppable, so you're doing quite enough. So for example is Al Gore - even though his horrendous electricity bill and his airmiles are used to discredit him, he's already done his deed, made his indelible mark on the new consciousness. And so am I, in many ways, even though you don't want to hear what my domestic oil bill is!

    Put a post/deliveries box as near to main road as possible, walk to pick it up. Doesn't flour keep or ages....?

    If you must then get another PV /array turbine and get exporting like mad...

    (but to be honest I think you're doing pretty well so far :whorship:)

    Impossible for an individual household to reach zero carbon taking their whole life style into account. So many things are outside of our control. Would help a lot if we moved towards a zero carbon electricity grid (which we could do over the next 20 years with the right policies). We could then start to electrify transportation, heating etc.

    Consumerism has been the "religion" of the last half century. It hasn't always been this way and it seems likely to me that this will turn out to be a temporary phenomena. In the Western world we have spent our capital and have gone into debt to keep the party going as long as possible. The debt mountain coupled with the demographic timebomb, the decline of our wealth creating industries and Peak Oil on top will set us back decades in terms of our standard of living. We will need to concentrate our efforts on securing the necessities of life like food, water, shelter and energy and there will be fewer resources available for the "trinkets" that many are currently obsessed with.

    The wealth is now being created in the East but even there resource depletion will curtail the explosion in consumption and they will never reach the living standards we have enjoyed over the last decade. The pie is going to shrink (because of resource depletion), the East will get more of the pie and the West less (because they save and invest where as we borrow to consume) and the share of the pie devoted to consumption will decline (because our infrastucture is clapped out, just think of the investment in new energy infrastructure that is required).

    If we can re focus on how to earn a living as a nation more self sufficiently and live within our means again, I think it would help us to survive this trend and people could take more ownership of their environmental impact as production was re-localised.
    • CommentAuthorGBP-Keith
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2008 edited
    Is going green though just an excuse to carry on consuming? All be it while feeling guilty.

    Look at the way housebuilding is going. All the major housebuilders are gearing up to build hundreds of thousands of zero carbon homes (recession allowing) but perhaps a greener alternative might be to ban single person households and second homes.

    If I became a politician I'd probably be assassinated within a week.

    The government has to keep the ball rolling so all politicians can do is paper over the cracks and paint it green. Less would be more but it would be a recipe for anarchy.
    I agree with that Keith. This is why I think we need something like TEQs to force us all to live within our means energy wise and gradually adapt to less energy. However, I don't think the fiat money/credit creation system is compatible with declining resource use. This is perhaps why the politicians are grasping for "green growth" because they know the system as it is currently constituted cannot continue unless the economy grows year in year out. There must be a way to conduct a "managed retreat" but we've never done it so it scares the hell out of those in power. They imagine lines of unemployed, riots in the inner cities etc when they should be thinking about re-settlement on the land and building local self supporting networks. Takes a paradigm shift in thinking I guess.

    Something which worries me about way the green building movement is going is that such a lot of the materials and technology are imported. We have a massive trade deficit right now and declining North Sea oil & gas and the problems in the financial markets are going to make this structural deficit worse. You could spend thousands on imported kit for an "eco-house" or you choose different ways and spend your money in the UK giving your neighbours the chance of a job. I know which I think is the more sustainable route, the other making anarchy all the more likely.
    • CommentAuthorchuckey
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2008
    "The government has to keep the ball rolling so all politicians can do is paper over the cracks and paint it green."
    What the country needs are some form of inter- industry co-operation. Only the Goverment can encourage this. To give some examples:-
    1. The CFL, its an immature technology, its only claim to fame is that it produces less heat the incandescent bulbs. The people who make them are just making them cheaper. What is required is a ceiling rose with the convertor in it and a simple tube, which is cheaper to change. So an new industry standard must be set for the bulb connector, so one is not left with the Betamax type ceiling rose and no CFL to fit in it. So a one,two or three. . output ceiling rose to fire up one , two, three. . bulbs in your chandelier. . . The tubes themselves would then be smaller and neater.
    2. LED lighting is immature, needs standardisation so new houses have a 12V power supply to feed the LED circuits, again needs standard outlets and connectors.
    3. 16,000,000 + houses have no possibility of added wall insulation, or can only to be done when the house is totaly renovated. So externally applied foam with a cast in brick pattern (slips or such like) is necessary, so its the foam manufactures , and mesh re-inforcing and casting people all have to get together to produce a totaly new product.
    No doubt there are a lot of other inter-industry areas where co-operating IS required. If the Goverment does not initiate this who is?
    Smack on Frank. That is exactly what is needed especially point 3. There are many good ideas out there, some of which have been aired on this forum. What they need is funding for Research and Development, something that the industry will not invest in.

    Universities are too narrow minded alone and the funding they receive is often targeted at a perceived gap in knowledge, something which benefits the researcher and their supervisors; but does not necessarily come up with a worthwhile product. You also need to tow the topical line, as not doing so rarely results in funding. This stifles innovation in my view.

    There needs to be a new approach, perhaps if the government were to offer rewards for innovative products?
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2008 edited
    Posted By: chuckey
    1. The CFL, its an immature technology, its only claim to fame is that it produces less heat the incandescent bulbs. The people who make them are just making them cheaper. What is required is a ceiling rose with the convertor in it and a simple tube, which is cheaper to change.

    You mean like this one with the ballast built into the fitting rather than the tube....
    • CommentAuthorhowdytom
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2008
    nice link cwatters, tis a shame its offered with an 10w or larger tube
    • CommentAuthorNoyers
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2008
    Will being green change the inevitable?
    You could argue there is plenty of oil (and water)- it's simply that there are too many people.
    What people need to downsize is the size of their families.
    Or stick around for nature to reduce world population by the traditional methods: pestilence & famine.....not a very cheery prospect.
    Hit the nail on the head there Noyers... except that we face an immediate crisis with Peak Oil and it will take decades for world population to peak even with draconian measures which none, apart from the Chinese, even dare entertain. Better late than never though (I've stopped at 2).
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