"hydronic radiant-floor heating system") and a list of published and Web resources.
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Green. It conjures images of a meadow in spring for some, and the color of money for others. What does "green" have to do with our homes? In essence, green building-or sustainable building-means being smart about how we use energy, water, and building materials so that we can live well without needlessly damaging the environment. Creating a good green home isn't just about conservation, about using less or saving more-although that's certainly part of it. It's about creating better homes that are easier on the environment, less expensive over the long term, and more delightful to come home to. That's the message Jennifer Roberts wants to share in Good Green Homes, the ultimate new guide for people who want to live in comfortable, healthy, environmentally conscious homes.
With some simple steps outlined in this book, you can save money, and do your part to help save the environment. For instance, using an energy-efficient light bulb saves you money. It also results in less demand for electricity, which in turn results in less pollution from power plants, which may help a child with asthma breathe a little easier.
If you associate green-built housing with the unconventional or the quirky-tree houses, geodesic domes, dwellings constructed of tires or soda bottles-think again. Perfect for homeowners, remodelers, renters (who might be surprised by how much is within their power to change), architects, builders, and interior designers, this book lays out seven fundamental principles of green building, illustrated with more than 150 color and 20 black and white photographs of more than twenty-five homes.
Jennifer Roberts launched two retail stores in San Francisco specializing in environmentally sensible consumer products, including household goods; and is a freelance writer and editor on topics that include energy-efficient building design and systems.
KNOW WHERE YOU ARE
When it comes to sustainability, where do you begin? Is it possible-or desirable-to have a good green home without addressing the sustainability of your neighborhood or wider community? It's a chicken-and-egg dilemma. Do you paint your living room with a nontoxic paint that doesn't pollute the air inside your home, even though there's an outdated power plant in your neighborhood that's polluting the air outside your home? Or do you first lobby to get the power plant cleaned up before worrying about the paint on your walls? Do either, both, or find a third, fourth, or fifth solution. The key to change is action. Take a small step. Do something that feels manageable today or this weekend. Then do another thing.
One place to start is to pay more attention to your surroundings. The closer you look, the better you'll come to understand how the natural environment-as well as the built environment around us-interacts with your home and affects your life. Paying closer attention needn't feel daunting. If your house overheats in the summer, for example, notice the changing path of sunlight through the day and through the seasons. Perhaps you can plant deciduous trees near the west and south walls to provide cooling shade. Come fall, the trees will drop their leaves and the sun's rays will help heat your home during the colder months.
If you're apartment hunting, notice how much daylight each room gets. If you work from home, perhaps you can find an apartment with good northern exposure so that your workspace is illuminated with even, indirect daylight throughout the day.
Jennifer Roberts launched two retail stores in San Francisco specalizing in environmentally sensible consumer products, including household goods; amd is freelance writer and editor on topics that include energy-efficient building design and systems.
Linda Svendsen, a graduate of Music and Art High School and Parsons School of Design in New York, has been a renowned photographer for more than thirty years. Her work is showcased in numerous magazines and books; she is the author of Bicycle: Around the World.
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This book is a gift to the Earth and to so many of the people who inhabit it! Good Green Homes is educational and practical in an amazingly palatable way...that is to say, it is most enjoyable reading; and at the end one is so much wiser than when one began. It is a visual feast. The concept of environmentally sensitive choices in every aspect of the home is brought to the whole spectrum of the population, from new construction to renters to 'what can I do with what I've got.' This book is beautiful, user friendly and above all, inspirational. I kept saying, 'I can do that! I can take that action. I can make a difference, and I want to!' Bravo!