“The Green Building Bible” 3rd edition vol 1

ISBN 1-989130-03-05. “The Green Building Bible” 3rd Edition, Volume 1. Published by the Green Building Press in 2006. Billing itself as “All you need to know about ecobuilding” THAT isn’t far from the truth! This is a 466 page long volume including listings of green building professionals, tradespeople, product suppliers and related organisations in the UK and Ireland. The Green Building Press empire started with the “Building for a Future” magazine and the New Builder web site. “Building for a Future” has now been renamed “Green Building Magazine” (don’t know why – the original name was far more accurate.) There is a second volume available containing all the techie details too boring for volume 1. This means that volume 1 is packed with rather general platitudes in a ‘greener’ building direction. Despite being organised into 8 colour-coded chapters the content is repetitive with the same or similar topics being written about by many different authors and then reproduced in different sections of the book. Maybe the Editor thinks the reader will have forgotten about the contents of page 16 by the time they get to page 400! Sometimes you felt like you were in groundhog day. The multitude of authors represent all shades of opinion and sometimes hold differing viewpoints with occasionally contradictory statistics. As such the book has been thrown together from short magazine articles in a slightly haphazard way. Something not dispelled by the numerous typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors scattered through the text. (Something I admit that us at Post-Carbon Living struggle to lick!) These criticisms do not detract from the over-all quality of this as a read. It really is meant to be a text book and you really shouldn’t sit down to read it like a novel. As such the similar topics could have been grouped together by theme. But you get EVERYTHING! From Straw Buildings to Micro-CHP. From Passive House design to a review of the biomass industry. You name it, it is here. This is extremely comprehensive. The book is aimed as a primer for the builder and professional who build from the ground up. However, many of us will be interested in this work to learn about how to make our existing homes better. Since there is an awful lot of content here then they do also deliver on this front but it is not really their intention. As “bibles” go this is the gospel. I doubt if there is much better out there between one set of covers. It is authoritative and thoroughly recommended. It makes me want to go out and buy volume II straight away. The only disappointing thing (apart from the haphazard nature of the production) is that there is still an enormous gap for the DIY home renovator in the publishing market.

About post-carbon-man

A passionate advocate of a peaceful transition to a sustainable political-economy, Mark hails from a working class farming background. Today he is a Company Director and Chairman of the Low Carbon Chilterns Co-operative. Whilst at University (Engineering Masters) he was active in Conservative Student politics but has had no affiliation since. He has travelled widely on business covering the USA, Europe, Middle East and Central Asian Republics. In 2007 Mark founded Post-Carbon-Living and a year later co-founded Transition Town High Wycombe. He lives with is wife & daughter in a home they retrofitted to be carbon-neutral. Today he blogs about surviving politics on a shrinking planet and is passionate in his rejection of Nationalism.

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