Carl Seville, this website’s resident green building curmudgeon and blogger, has teamed up with Abe Kruger, an energy rater and BPI Building Analyst, to write a new textbook, Green Building: Principles and Practices in Residential Construction.
The book fills a gap, and fills it well. Until now, there hasn’t been a good, comprehensive introduction to green residential construction that was suitable for use in classrooms. Anyone who’s been waiting for a solid reference book on the topic of green residential construction should go out and buy this book.
This 521-page hardback includes soup-to-nuts coverage of the following topics:
Every page of the book includes at least one clear illustration or photograph. The well-chosen illustrations and photos will certainly facilitate comprehension for any student of green building — especially “visual learners” who are more likely to grasp concepts displayed in pictures than concepts explained in words.
Since Carl is a member of the GBA team, the information he presents is consistent with the advice found on the GBA website. The authors’ perspective is firmly based in building science, and the book is free of any taint of greenwashing.
Here are samples of the wisdom found in Green Building:
In short, most of the information in this book is both accurate and valuable.
However, I didn’t agree with a few of the authors’ statements. For example, Carl and Abe are occasionally too quick to advise readers to hire experts. We learn that when installing a foundation, “an experienced arborist should be consulted to help maintain a healthy tree canopy.” (In some areas of the country, especially areas where trees grow like weeds, this advice seems a little over the top.)
Elsewhere, the authors advise homeowners to arrange for “twice-annual inspections of [HVAC] equipment.” Twice a year? Well, I’m sure…