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Green from the Ground Up: Sustainable, Healthy, and Energy-Efficient Home Construction [Paperback]

David Johnston , Scott Gibson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

April 1 2008 Builder's Guide
A thorough, informative, and up-to-date reference on green, sustainable and energy-efficient home construction that clarifies definitions of green and sustainable and guides builders and architects through the process of new or remodel green construction, including issues of site, landscaping, durability, and energy-efficiency. It starts with clear explanations of the concepts and fundamentals of green, healthy and energy-efficient construction and walks the reader through the entire construction process, injecting expert advice at every decision point. Construction techniques, materials, and products are thoroughly explained, making the often vaguely understood concepts cleanly understandable. The book gives builders and architects the tools to respond to growing requests from homeowners for green and energy-efficient houses, whether new or remodeled. Homeowners can use the book to understand the concepts, process, and options, whether they're doing it themselves or working with a professional.

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"A refreshing and comprehensive step-by-step course in green building, packed with both solid building science and common sense solutions."
-Helen English, executive director of Sustainable Buildings Industry Council
""Green From the Ground Up" overflows with details and practical content that is hard to find anywhere else...an essential resource for any building professional that will be a valuable reference tool for years to come."
-Brian Gitt, CEO of Build It Green
"Within 5 to 10 years, all contractors will need to know how to execute a green remodel. From framing and foundations to plumbing and interior finishes, "Green From the Ground Up" puts that information in our hands."
-Dan Taddei, director of education, National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Labelled a Builder's Guide, this book is the next step up from the Dummies tome. It's written for builders and architects, but is a valuable resource for the advanced DIY person or the homeowner who wants to talk turkey with the pros on eco-friendly construction and energy efficiency. Topics range from selecting your building site and landscaping to tankless hot water systems and the insulating value of different window frame materials. --Ottawa Citizen (Canada)

About the Author

Nationally recognized green building expert, author, and lecturer David Johnston has been a leading thinker behind the green building movement. He created the first green remodeling program in the country and his approach to green building has been embraced by cities, building professionals, and sustainability advocates nationwide. Johnston has represented the United States internationally to develop international research agreements on sustainable construction. He designed the Denver Metro Home Builders Association's Built Green Program and the Boulder Build Green Program. What's Working, Inc., the company he founded, has offices in California and Colorado.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
If your looking for basic information on green housing practices, what's new in green building design, and what can be done without all the complicated, over the head jargon, this is the book for you.

Overall the format of the book is very well laid out and up to date. The side articles contain valuable info, giving you alot more information (a.k.a common sense) than some books which sell for twice, or three times the price. The drawings and photos are worthy of being in a very expensive textbook, allowing you to see how things really work ( and why certain things don't, depending on climate, resources, and availability/ cost). The book gives you an overview of every practice used in green building and design today.

Bottom line, weather your a novice, just starting out, looking to see what the green building revolution is all about. Or someone (like myself), who has an extensive library on the subject, you will not be disappointed.

It's a must have for anyone wanting to build green.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  53 reviews
97 of 98 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Building science principles & good graphic design June 27 2008
By R. Cichocki - Published on Amazon.com
This book does a good job at setting up a working definition of "green building" as a decision making process that occurs at each point in the design of a building, with an emphasis on residential construction. The book has a lot of pictures and pop-up bubble sidebars that make each page seem more like a design school presentation poster (that's a good thing). It presents a lot of basic information and principles about each part of a building, from foundations, insulation, windows, framing, flashing, natural building, etc. and how they come together as a "green building system."
If you are an architect or drafter who is looking for a book with technical details and explanations about specific construction methods or materials notes do not buy this book. If you would like to learn about green building science principles as to how they relate with each division in a building then buy this book.
62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cost Effective & Energy Efficient Construction June 25 2008
By Scott M. Kruse - Published on Amazon.com
Too many contractors operate on a "if it ain't broken don't fix it" and "I have been successfully doing things (the old way) for 25 years." It is difficult to get the average contractor to think and act green. Johnston & Gibson lay out and walk through the key ideas . . . in plain English with lots of excellent photographs. Every architect, county planning department, planning inspectors and utility district should have this close at hand. This provides the average person what realtors and homes for sale newspaper features don't know and don't get.

Because there is so much hyperbole, many do not know what to accept, reject, believe or move forward with. How do you speak intelligently with an architect for schools, homes, churches and business and clearly communicate what makes up a functional, sustainable, energy conserving and site appropriate structure?

Planning and Design is a whole system, not a one shot effort. This includes siting, aspect, elevation, lighting, landscaping, plumbing, materials, construction techniques, heating and cooling, interior and exterior finishes, decking, roofs and attics and basements. "Form follows function," taught in design schools, but too often ignored, permeates every thought. Collective wisdom reaches back to the Anasazi in the Southwest. This explains why you insulate under a foundation, how fly ash makes concrete stronger and takes care of an otherwise waste product requiring less Portland cement for walls and floors. Advanced framing techniques or use of Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), alternatives to wood steel studs reduce waste and cost and increases thermal efficiency. Tubular sunpipes are shown illuminating interior space (a much superior alternative to leaky skylights).

Whether you are thinking of new construction or a retrofit, this is a key guide. As we enter "Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines (Heinberg, 2007)," this is a guide to quality, high expectations and cost effectiveness with emphasis on sustainability and durability. When I look at a building, these are the critical thinking thoughts and questions in my head. This should be close at hand in every home construction and hardware supply store. Superbly written, well laid out, easy to find information.
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Russ May 7 2008
By Russell G. Turpin - Published on Amazon.com
Excellent book for novice and professionals! I have attended three of the largest green building training programs(nationwide) and this book brings all of that training into a single, easy to understand source. As last years President of the Homebuilders Association of SW Colorado and member of the Board of Directors for the Colorado Association of Homebuilders...I am recommending this book to all of my associates!!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview! Great starting point! June 11 2008
By design+build - Published on Amazon.com
This is a excellent overview and introduction to a very complex subject. The authors do a great job of explaining "Green" concepts and how they relate to all of the processes and systems in residential construction today. It's not really a "how-to", but that couldn't fit in one book. But it does outline all of the green technologies and choices available. "Green" is kind of a moving target. This book gives you the framework you need to figure out a "Green" approach to any project and all the information you need to get started finding the most appropriate systems and technologies. It's a great starting point, very well written, practical, and not a bit preachy.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Green From The Ground Up May 27 2008
By Jim H - Published on Amazon.com
One thing I especially liked about this book is it has a million photos and drawings. Very helpful. Overall, the book is comprehensive, practical and clearly written. I've read a couple other books by David Johnston, all dealing with similar subjects. Before becoming a writer, he spent several decades as a hands-on builder. He thoroughly knows his stuff and it shows. An excellent book.
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