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Reviews of:    Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)

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B Furniss 13 Feb 2009, 5:29 PM
Masses of information on every conceivable aspect of eco building
I am a great fan of the Green Building Bible and have seen it evolve over the years from one to two volumes with the latest incarnation being the recent fourth edition; Vols 1 and 2. Both of the volumes of the 3rd edition were runners up in the RIBA International Book Award in 2007. It has continued to grow in breadth and depth with the latest edition containing even more information to make this edition the best value and most detailed books on this subject available to date. In Vol 1 the numerous articles are written by a diverse array of authors but all come together in a way that brings a refreshing honesty which I greatly appreciate with all the current hype and "greenwash" that tends to increase when an issue, such as the environment, becomes mainstream.

I have seen more and more books published on green building and the majority of these are little more than expensive coffee table offerings with colourful pictures, scant detail and promoting new technologies and materials that are not even appropriate for the majority of our buildings. The Green Building Bible is different. It offers masses of information on every conceivable aspect of eco building from the very low impact approach to the higher tech approaches but it does include any drawbacks of a system where appropriate. This honesty is not surprising though as the publisher has been involved with promoting sustainable building since the 1980's and only produces these books and a regular magazine on the same subject. I was also pleased to discover that the publisher too is genuinely committed to the sustainable approach in both business and lifestyle.

Volume 1 is a general introduction to the subject with information on virtually all aspects of designing and constructing a sustainable and low energy building. Though this book includes adverts these compliment the content and are usefully bundled between Topics to ease finding contacts. As green building is still on the fringe, albeit becoming more mainstream, such contacts are very useful if embarking on a project. I is reassuring to see that the publisher has a strict advertising policy that is set out with the list of advertisers at the back of the book. The policy is clear and has gives confidence to know businesses in the books have been strictly scrutinised to ensure no one is conned into purchasing "greenwash"

Dai Evans ACIAT Architectural Technologist 8 Dec 2008, 4:51 PM
Very Impressed
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!

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.

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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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