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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.

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    • CommentAuthorGBP-Keith
    • CommentTimeSep 5th 2008 edited
     
    If you have read this edition of this book then feel free to add your comments on this thread.
    • CommentAuthorGBP-Keith
    • CommentTimeSep 5th 2008 edited
     
    Review by Martin Anderson MBEng ...

    With Energy Performance Certificates, the Code for Sustainable homes and the new BREEAM standards having been introduced in the last year, the fourth edition of The Green Building Bible is once again the right book at the right time.

    The book comes in two volumes with this first one taking the reader through the whole sustainability field in a way which allows you to dip in and out according to the varying interests and competence of the readership. Those new to the area will find a structured and interesting guide through the issues, while more experienced practitioners will find a thorough reference source of the goals, current directions and practical solutions to the challenge of sustainable living. The book is structured as a series of articles by experienced and knowledgeable contributors on a comprehensive range of related topics. The reader can work through the whole series or dip in and out in the order which suits their individual interests or requirements.

    Whether you are an environmentally aware home-owner looking for ways to reduce your personal carbon footprint or a national building company looking to understand current thinking and comply with the latest standards, this book will lead you to the information you need. Starting with the primary facts of “green” or ecologically aware living and examining the goals to which we must aspire in order to ensure the healthy futures of ourselves and the planet, the book goes on to outline the trends and directions in the building industry while alerting the reader to the dangers of “greenwash” solutions. Specific technologies, materials and building methods are discussed and though not always in great detail, the missing extra information required is usually to be found in the more detailed technical references provided by Volume Two.

    The Green Building Bible goes on to show how the green credentials of existing homes can be improved and further into the execution of new-build ecohome projects. There is even a section for environmentally aware industrialists to use as reference in bettering the energy consumption and environmental impact of their operations. Finally there is a section giving references to a large range of organisations, trade contacts, training providers and inspirational places to visit.

    In short, at under a tenner you unlikely to find a more relevant and well researched text book on a technical subject. Additionally the volume has the benefit of useful yet non-intrusive advertisements to show where the products being discussed can be sourced. There should be a copy in every architect’s, local authority’s, and builder’s offices in the country.
    • CommentAuthorGBP-Keith
    • CommentTimeSep 5th 2008
     
    Review by Lewis Taylor ...

    The Green building bible Volume 1 (4th Edition), in its own words, contains “Essential information to help you make your home, building and outdoor areas less harmful to the environment, the community and your family”. As a catchall phase for this publication, I think the description is ‘spot on’.

    This 4th Edition Volume 1 publication contains a huge amount of information about nearly every aspect of constructing a green building, be it residential or commercial. The content of the book has been split up into nine separate chapters with each chapter containing a number of subjects relevant to that section. These chapters and subjects range from designing for good health, reducing water and power consumption, natural finishes (paints and stains etc) to material selection, construction methods and renewable energy sources.

    Each of these subjects is discussed at length by a different author. I was expecting the style and persona of the book to seem choppy or disjointed because of this, however the subjects and chapters gel together well. The main advantage of having multiple authors, is a far greater knowledge and experience base is available, which when dealing with a subject as vast as ‘green building’ is no bad thing.

    Generally this publication would be a ‘must have’ for anyone planning a self build. Even if you have no real ‘green’ ambitions, understanding things like the importance of air tightness, controlled ventilation, choice of heating system and so on, will almost definitely lead to a final building that will perform better and more efficiently than if these issues had not been considered at all in the process. If you are planning a ‘green’ build of some sort, the information, could prove invaluable.

    Of great interest personally is the section on materials and building techniques. This is perhaps one of the most fundamental choices to be made early on in any build or design. ‘What sort of building fabric do I want?’ There are a lot of aspects to consider when making this decision, and it is not something that is easily changed at a later date. Types of heating systems, what energy sources are driving these systems, occupancy characteristics, location and orientation, use of passive solar gain, super insulation and air tightness are to name but a few of the issues that need to be considered when making this sort of a decision. Having read the majority of Volume 1, I have a much better understanding of how the choice of building fabric can have a profound effect on many of the other seemingly unrelated issues, and of course, vice versa.

    I am a newly qualified Code for Sustainable Homes assessor and there is a lot of information ‘out there’ regarding green building techniques and renewable energy sources that is not particularly easy to understand or digest and which can be skewed by champions of these techniques or technologies. The Green Building Bible provides general impartial commentary on many of these issues, weighing the pros and cons of these systems against given locations, building types and end user expectations enabling people like myself and my client, or you as a self builder to make more informed choices.
    • CommentAuthorludite
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2008 edited
     
    The Green Building Bible volume 1 is an excellent resource. It explains the concepts rationalle and ethos of building environmentally. The book is a collection of essays divided into topics. At the end of each chapter there is a list of advertisers and references which compliment and support the main body of the text.


    Chapter 1. Primary Goals
    This chapter is a good introduction to the why’s and wherefore’s of Green ethics. For those of us who already accept the issues, it provides a confirmation of the current climate and world situation. The opening essay by John Shore sums up many of the problems facing our society and the rest of the articles go in to specific details. The ‘primary goals’ section of this book outlines the ethos and rational behind green building. It is not so much a guide as to HOW to make your buildings more green, it is more a way of explaining WHY you should do so. Howard Liddell’s ‘Eco-minimalism - less is more’, helps to de-bunk a lot of the mystery and intrication of green building ideas. It is a handy reminder that green issues are not so much about getting the latest technology and constantly updating and renovating our homes. They are about sensibly taking measures over the short, and long term to improve our standards of living. The only concern is that this chapter may be overly lengthy at the expense of following chapters which specifically deal with ‘information to make your home, buildings and outdoor areas less harmful’.

    Trends and Direction
    Possibly the chapter most likely to need a regular update, and therefore one of the most interesting for those who already have the previous Green Building Bible editions. This chapter has good illustrations showing how interesting new homes and buildings can look, while still retaining improved functionality.

    Chapters 3 and 4, Power Heating and Water. and Materials and Methods.
    These are essential reading for anyone thinking of a new build property. They are also highly informative for those planning alterations to existing dwellings. Interior magazines might tell you the latest trendy floor covering for your living room, but completely neglect to tell you what you need to put UNDER that covering to make your home perform well. The illustrations were appropriate and constructive. The reviews were up to date and coherant. Even an arm chair green builder can gain useful insight and make informed decisions based on the contents.

    Chapters 5 and 6 Greening the home and Commercial Greening
    Spot the ‘deliberate mistake’. Commercial Greening has been misnumbered as chapter 7 when it is really chapter 6!
    These chapters contain lots of things that seem to get forgotten in other publications, such as finance and grants which may be available.

    Chapter 7. Outdoors.
    So pleased to see that the book does not forget that buildings need to be part of their environment, and that the outside of a building warrants as much consideration as the fabric of the building itself. Of special interest was Michael Littlewoods essay on Natural swimming pools. As with elsewhere in the book, it is pointed out that building ‘green’ often results in less maintainance and hard work that actively fighting against the environment.

    Capter 8. Inspiration and help.
    No single book can be completely comprehensive. This section provides the reader with almost everything they need to further their research.

    To sum up.
    This is a great book for people who wish to gain an all round understanding of how and why all future buildings need to be constructed sustainably.
    The text is supported by clear illustrations, graphs and relevant photographs. The layout is clear and easy to read.
    This book will not give you step by step instructions for building your own property, but it does give you ideas and concepts to start you in your quest. Priced at under £10 it is excellent value for money.

    Lauretta Denton. BA, RMN.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDAI_EVANS
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2008
     
    Green Building Bible – Volume 1

    Key players in environmental design open the bible and look at the world as a whole. Subjects such as “How can we all play a part in building an eco society…” are dived into causing ripples across the ignorant waters of the blind uninterested consumer. I won’t unveil what lies beneath, only that the information provided is concise, easy to understand and to the point! The information accumulated is used to influence and support the aims of the book efficiently, and helps direct the reader to what they can do to make a difference.
    The bible looks at how environmental design is evolving architecture, and how climate change is forcing the government to introduce new legislation, legislation which means well even if at times it doesn’t make the impact it is needed to!
    GBB looks at a variety of subjects from encouraging wildlife and constructing natural swimming pools through to finer details such as air tightness and insulation.
    From traditional, almost lost, methods such as thatch which is reviewed and reawakened as one of the most sustainable roofing materials ever devised, to modern methods such as ‘Thermally decoupled ‘passivhaus’ standard windows the bible provides the answers!
    The information provided in the bible is easy to understand for everyone from the construction professional to the unknowledgeable user wanting to do their part. Every aspect of the materials and construction process is viewed and unbiased conclusions are made. Volume 1 buries far enough under the surface to help you make your decisions without overloading you with technical in-depth information.
    Sketches, diagrams and photos help you understand how certain methods work and are formatted in such a way that the text and graphics flow together to give you all the information at your fingertips instantly.
    Recognisable projects such as ‘The Woodland House’ and ‘The Kingspan Off-Site House’ help the reader associate methods and materials to existing projects giving them the confidence to use or avoid the system depending on the post-construction analysis and personal requirements.
    Volume 1 provides up-to-date information on what is happening in the environmental construction industry, now in its fourth edition it is still an invaluable resource to any eco-library and one that should never be put back on the shelf, but kept at the side of your desk, in easy reach for when you need it! At the end of each section are references, further reading and suppliers/services.
    The book provides numerous tips and ideas from looking at what you want to achieve to how to achieve your aims and how to finance the projects.
    At the back are pages of useful contacts, training providers and my personal favourite and new holiday planner, inspirational ideas!
    My final word is this, you have read other sustainability books, and may been left dazed and confused, now read the bible and let your eyes be opened by the light!

    Dai Evans ACIAT

    This book is now being used as a key text for my MSc degree. Very impressed!
    • CommentAuthorArnold
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2008
     
    Green Building Bible volume 1 Review By Arnold Wilkes

    I was really pleased to have the opportunity to do this review or should I say I was until I could see the faults in it from the perspective. Of the owner of a 1890’s terraced property

    I Started with Renovate with care by Richard Oxley
    He made some good points, which I found really interesting so I wanted to continue to gain knowledge by following up the references at end of article.

    I went along to my local Library to try and get the books only to find there is only one copy of the following books in Cheshire:- Which I ordered
    The Survey & Repair of Traditional Buildings I have yet to get that
    Seven Lamps of Architecture by J Ruskin. Got it but it was printed in 1925 not 1998 as stated in references could not find anything relevant.
    The English Heritage website makes reference to internal & external Insulation but is of no real help. The only thing I have learnt is that I could use Lambs wool insulation as it allows moisture to pass through it.
    I ordered an information sheet from SPAB when it did it explained in great detail the requirements for property like mine with Solid walls.

    I need to repair some work I had done on my bathroom walls by a local builder 9yrs ago!
    I had the Builder remove the plaster and replace it with a double layer of 2L2 insulation and then cover the walls with tongue and grooved Pine.
    The main problem was the bathroom was and is still very drafty especially in the winter. After I had read about damp penetration in what I now realise was referring to modern constructed buildings In another magazine.10+yrs ago.
    SPAB told me I could use Tyvek SD2 on the internal face of the Lambs wool insulation.

    I also need to replace the Mortar in my property especially where I can see my brickwork is becoming damaged this was caused by previous renovation work where cement based mortar has been used.
    I rang SPAB & ordered a book & another pamphlet, which answer all my questions.
    Also asked a specific question about my bathroom and was given the Number of their technical Department who explained what my mistakes were.

    With regard to the rest of the bible

    Section 1 Primary goals was really good especially
    Eco - minimalism - less is more about a Grenada TV programme called “House for the future" I have very little memory of it probably because I was in the Royal Navy when it was shown on TV.
    Design for Airtightness was very revealing.

    Section 3 I enjoyed and wish I lived in a country that was into community scale heating.
    I often think when my Solar panel goes into overload mode, how ridiculous it is all that heat is being wasted

    The rest of the book was extremely interesting all in all well worth the money I would certainly recommend it
  1.  
    Just to let you know that archi-1 seems very well pleased with his 'topping off' gift of the pair of books (+ big tin of Cadbury's Roses) ... "it seems to have everything I ever wanted to know about building green in here".

    Hopefully the storms and powercuts in the south of France will keep him off this forum as I'll then have to start being careful what I say ...
    • CommentAuthorPeter A
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2008
     
    Hi Keith,
    You sent me copies of the Green Building Bible 1 & 2 to review on the basis that I could have them FOC for a review.
    Well my review is very simple, let me know how much I owe you they are too good to be FOC.
    I have read them both cover to cover and found them one of the best reads in a long time, so I read them again:)
    OK there are some personal views in them that I may not agree with, but that's how sustainable issues move forward.
    My favourite bit, the embodied energy of the reclaimed facing brick, I've used this time and again and with the xmas party season upon us I'm sure I will again and again and again.
    I work for a sustainability consultancy and both volumes are doing the rounds of the office, essential reading.
    A well presented and linked pair of books.
    Let me know where to send the cheque.
    Peter
  2.  
    Is there a Fifth Edition of the GBB scheduled for later this year or 2012?

    pbd.
    • CommentAuthorGBP-Keith
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2011
     
    It will be late 2012 before we bring out a fifth edition at the very earliest I'm afraid.
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