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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.

Buy individually or both books together. Delivery is free!


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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 ...

    This book takes the reader from the more general discussion of sustainability issues in the excellent Volume 1 to the specific technical information required in the design and build of low energy buildings. Starting with the effects of site and climate, it progresses through various shapes of buildings to an interesting and informative section on the theory and practice of various construction elements. Detailing similar to that available in considerably more expensive and far thinner technical pamphlets are shown along with interesting facts and figures.

    A short but instructive section on the crucially important topics of air-tightness and ventilation treats these often misunderstood issues in a clear and concise manner. Further sections handle renewable sources, management and monitoring of energy, lighting and heating, cooling and water conservation. Each section concludes with a generous list of references and acknowledgements to enable the dedicated reader to follow topics of particular interest to the source documentation.

    A perfect complement to Volume 1, this book is similarly inexpensive considering the concentration of useful references and value of the technical information it contains. For anyone looking into the field of sustainable building, these two books together are a bargain you should not miss.
    • CommentAuthorGBP-Keith
    • CommentTimeSep 5th 2008
     
    Review by Lewis Taylor ...

    The Green Building Bible Volume 2, entitled ‘The low energy design technical reference’ is billed as ‘The perfect companion to the Green Building Bible, Volume1’.

    The content of this book is essentially the technical backup to Volume 1. It too is split up into nine chapters, and although these chapters do not mirror those of Volume 1, they follow a logical path. Starting from the beginning, site location and climate is discussed. This, naturally, is the starting point of any low energy design because the building must suit what the local environment and infrastructure can provide. On from here the second chapter covers form and function and introduces how to calculate heat losses from the building through the fabric and the ventilation as well as how the design of the building can be utilised to improve its overall performance.

    The third chapter expands on the performance of the structure and looks at super insulation as well as the thermal performance of doors, windows and other elements of the structure. Infiltration and ventilation are the subject matter for chapter four. Air tightness, of course, plays a large part in the heating requirements of the building and this chapter gives some tips on helping improve air tightness through detailing. Another subject covered at length is this chapter is passive or natural ventilation design.

    Chapter five talks at length about energy and renewables, including practical calculations to help determine the potential output of renewable energy sources for your given installation. The subject of renewable energy sources is probably, for me at least, one of the most exciting parts of ‘green’ building. Super insulation and air tightness have been common place across many parts of Europe for many years now, and as such there is a great deal of information on these matters. Renewable energy sources, on the other hand, are a relatively new to the majority of people. Understanding how these systems work, and how they can be bought together to create a system that actually works in reality, is vital in ensuring that the time, money and faith that is put in some of these systems and what they represent (i.e. net zero carbon) yields satisfactory results for the end user.

    Lighting and heating systems, both mechanical and natural, are covered in chapter six. There are, again, calculations and practical examples of how a balance of natural lighting can be achieved whilst considering heat loss in the winter and overheating in the summer. There is also a raft of information about types of lighting and installation to maximise the effect whilst minimising power requirements.

    Chapter seven covers cooling and starts out by discussing how to reduce unwanted heat gains. Passive cooling is also discussed at great length with examples of the use of thermal mass and earth tubes, as well as maximising the performance of mechanical cooling systems.

    Water conservation is the subject of chapter eight, and energy management and monitoring are the subject of chapter nine.

    The front of this book says it is ‘The perfect companion to the Green Building Bible, Volume 1’. The two publications complement each other very well, with Volume 1 providing a huge amount of background information, and Volume 2 providing the technical information to turn the contents of Volume 1 into reality. I am also of the opinion, however, that Volume 2 stands fully on its own as a competent and helpful publication.

    For those involved with either a self build project, those who want to learn more about sustainable building and living and even for construction professions, the information contained in these two publications will undoubtedly prove of huge benefit.
    • CommentAuthorludite
    • CommentTimeSep 13th 2008 edited
     
    The Green Building Bible Volume 2 continues smoothly and seamlessly on from where volume 1 ends.

    Where volume 1 is more general information, volume 2 goes into details and specifics. It is clear, concise and a joy to read. As with volume 1, the advertising and references are contained at the end of each chapter and are just as useful.

    Volume 2 covers the topics of site and climate, function, fabric, ventilation, energy, lighting, heat, cooling and water. In a nutshell, this book explains each theme in detail so the reader can have a full understanding of each subject and apply the concepts to their own project.

    Rather than ambiguous generalisations, Volume 2 provides comprehensive graphs, diagrammes and data. These are especially useful and take this volume from a ‘coffee table browser’ to a respectable reference manual. The majority of the data in Volume 2 is timeless. It explains fundamentals such as the way air flows, how hot and cool energy is transfered and the way light can be directed around a building. This information is essential when planning a new build or adapting existing buildings.

    As the search for renewables and environmentally friendly building materials continually improves, new technologies will be developed and existing ones will be refined and improve in efficiency. There may well be a time when a fifth edition of this manual is necessary. However, at the current time this book is the most up to date of it’s kind, excellent value for money and is highly recommended.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDAI_EVANS
    • CommentTimeSep 29th 2008
     
    Volume 2 – Technical Guide

    Volume 2 follows on from Volume 1 with the same enthusiasm and knowledge by plunging into the more complex details of designing and specifying a more sustainable building.
    The book is filled with examples and case studies to help you understand more clearly the algebraic calculations provided.
    Everything is clearly written and easy to understand, just like volume 1 but the detail enclosed within the books glossy covers is invaluable to the academic, professional and everyday user. The book is ideal for building service engineers wishing to get up to speed on environmental design methods.
    Volume 2 looks mainly at energy saving, ventilation, heating and lighting. With pages of information giving you the tools to improve and adapt your design to be as efficient and sustainable as your budget allows you.
    From explaining common everyday abbreviations to breaking down equations into easy to understand calculations, everything you need to know is right at your fingertips.
    Volume 2 shows you how to exploit natural energy to it’s optimal efficiency for your requirements, whilst also providing the methods in which you can adapt your design to create a more sustainable building.
    The information is collected from a wide selection of recently published international publications, providing the reader with up to date and proven practices.
    Volume 2 carries on from volume 1 reagarding commercial design, it looks at how high embodied energy construction methods can be adapted to reduce the energy demand over the buildings life cycle rather than at the construction stage which has a high impact.
    Modelling exercises compare different methods through a variety of analyi. The exercises don’t dismiss the low scoring methods, just demonstrates how one method is not always the best method for a proposed application.
    Both books are invaluable and should be on the reading list for every budding green builder, designer or user. The information is unbiased and too the point.


    Dai Evans ACIAT
    Architectural Technologist
  1.  
    I don't know why I hadn't realised there was a book before!

    Keith - you must have read my posts, do you think it's relevant to my build in France please?
    • CommentAuthorludite
    • CommentTimeOct 3rd 2008
     
    mrswhitecat. I would certainly recommend vol 2 as a good read for your house in France. However, I understand you are building it as I speak. You may end up reading the book and find yourself wishing you had been able to alter the design before building started.
  2.  
    Hi Ludite - I'm buying the pair anyway as a topping off gift to the architect. Thibault is back at school mornings BTW - just lucky he never wanted to be a professional footballer anyway.
    • CommentAuthorludite
    • CommentTimeOct 3rd 2008
     
    Thanks for the update. Great books to give as a gift - especially to someone in the trade.

    Hate to say it, but all French men (according to joe.e on another thread) never aspire to being footballers. All they need is a zippo, gauloise and the shutzpa of how to wear a leather jacket. . . . . . . practise with a nonchalantly raised eyebrow. . . . . . irrisistable. . . . . . .:wink:
    • CommentAuthorlineweight
    • CommentTimeMay 29th 2012
     
    A comment on Volume 2 from me.

    The other day I had a read of the "Lighting and Heating" section. I was mainly looking to get myself started on some thinking/research on lighting options.

    There's quite a bit of stuff in there that I'm familiar with already but it was useful as a bit of a reminder.

    However, I did feel it had been rather sloppily put together. Not in the sense that I felt any of the information was wrong, but more that stuff had been pasted together without proper proofreading or editing. A couple of examples:

    1) Page 188 - the 6th paragraph seems to essentially repeat the 3rd paragraph with slightly more detail. Why is the 3rd paragraph there at all?

    2) I was reading this section to get an idea of comparative efficacies of various types of lamp. Best way to see this is a table (table 6.5) with the various options listed. There's a table on p187, within the section on GLS lamps, comparing GLS vs CFL vs LED. Then, on page 194 there is another table (6.7) within a section called "Lighting Considerations". This lists GLS vs fluorescent tube vs Sodium. Why two slightly different tables? There should be one table listing all of the lamp types together.

    3) Going back to p185. A section called "Artificial Lighting" starts. Then "Lamps" (the heading is in the same type size - is it a new section, or a subsection of "Artificial Lighting?). So, I'd expect that we'd now go through different lamp types. We do, sort of. Firstly a heading "Incandescent (GLS) lamps". Then discussion of GLS lamps. But then we are talking about CFL and LED lamps, still under the heading of Incandescent lamps. Does this mean that CFL and LED lamps are actually a type of GLS lamp? No, because table 6.5 lists GLS / CFL / LED as different categories. For some reason, "Gas discharge lamps" and "Fluorescent Tubes" *do* get their own headings, although there is no discussion of CFLs within the Fluorescent Tube section, leaving some doubt about whether or not they are essentially the same technology in a different form.

    This may all seem like tedious pedantry but I do think that a reference book, especially a technical reference book, should be set out more clearly than this, because what you want out of a good reference book is to be able to find the answer to a specific question easily. You should be able to quickly find the section that discusses what you're interested in. in my case, I wanted to get an idea of the efficiency of LEDs compared to other lamp types. Turned out that to get this I had to look under a section entitled "Incandescent (GLS) Lamps", and a table referred to in that section, but a table that only compared LEDs to CFL and incandescent lamps. To get an idea of LED efficiency compared to say T5 fluorescent tube, or a sodium lamp, I have to look at this table in conjunction with another table several pages later (and not referred to) under a section called "Lighting Considerations" (vague-to-the-point-of-useless title anyone??).


    So that is my mini-review and is offered constructively.
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