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

Overview

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, ...

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561589739
  • Publisher: Taunton Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Series: Builder's Guide Series
  • Pages: 330
  • Sales rank: 360,639
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott Gibson is a freelance writer and contributing editor to Fine Homebuilding magazine.

David Johnston is a leader in the green building movement, transforming the way we think about the American home. His approach to green building has been embraced by building professionals, municipalities, homeowners, and sustainability advocates nationwide. He is the founder of www.whatsworking.com and www.greenbuilding.com.

SCOTT GIBSON writes for a number of publications, including Fine Homebuilding. He is the author of Bathroom Ideas that Work and The Workshop and co-author of Green from the Ground Up, Toward a Zero Energy Home, and Blanket Chests. He lives in Maine

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Table of Contents

Introduction     2
Green Building Basics     5
Green Is No Longer on the Fringe     6
Lots of Green, Few Common Standards     8
Dealing with the World around Us     13
The House as a System     23
How Heat Is Transferred     24
Thermal Transmission     26
Controlling Heat Flow     28
Air Leakage     29
Air Barriers     31
Airflow Mechanisms     32
Tight Houses Need Ventilation     34
The Many Faces of Water     35
Controlling Sound Transmission     38
Putting It All Together     40
Planning and Design     43
Get the Team on Board     44
Siting a House for Comfort     46
Planning for Water Management     64
Foundations     67
Foundations Should Be Insulated     69
Forming Foundations with Wood     78
Improving Concrete with Fly Ash     79
Controlling Moisture around Foundations     80
Make Crawl Spaces Generous     81
Framing     83
Advanced Framing Reduces Waste     84
We Have Tree Farms, Not Forests     89
Engineered Lumber Makes Sense     96
Using Steel Studs with Recycled Content     99
Structural Insulated Panels Are Fast     101
Timber-Frame Construction     106
Roofs and Attics     109
Frame with Trusses     110
Attic Ductwork     111
Superinsulated Attics and Roofs     114
Stopping Air Leaks at the Ceiling     115
Sheathing and Roof Membranes     118
Roofing Materials     120
Light Colors Reduce Heat Gain     126
Really Green Roofs     127
Windows and Doors     129
Window Frames     133
Glazing     137
Preventing Air and Water Leaks     144
Insulating Windows Themselves     148
Skylights and Light Tubes     148
Doors     149
Plumbing     155
Distributing Hot Water Efficiently     156
Water Heaters     159
Eliminating the Wait for Hot Water     162
Insulate All Hot Water Pipes     164
Saving Water by Reducing Flow     166
Plumbing for Gray Water     168
Appliances That Save     170
Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning     173
Designing a System     174
Forced-Air Systems     175
Radiant Systems     182
Heating Appliances     184
Geothermal Systems     187
Ventilation     189
Cooling     192
Electrical     197
What Drives Demand?     198
Lighting     199
Lighting Design     201
Energy-Efficient Appliances     203
Electric Heating     204
Solar and Wind     204
Insulation     207
Old Assumptions Don't Work     209
Form Follows Function     210
Making Sense of Insulation Choices     213
Loose-Fill Insulation     218
Spray-In Insulation     220
Rigid Foam     222
Radiant Barriers     226
Siding and Decking     227
Drainage Planes     228
Siding Materials     233
Decking     242
Solar Energy     251
Solar Hot Water     253
Solar Collectors     258
Active Solar Space Heating     260
Photovoltaics     262
Indoor Air Quality     273
Setting Standards for Exposure     274
Contaminants and Their Impact on Health     275
Building Products That Off-Gas     280
The Cure for Dirty Air     282
Interior Finishes     287
Choosing Environmentally Friendly Products     287
Drywall     291
Paints, Finishes, and Adhesives     293
Interior Cabinets     295
Countertops     297
Green Flooring     303
Landscaping     311
Evaluate Site and Climate     312
Working with What's There     315
Integrated Pest Management     321
Afterword     322
Resources     326
Credits     327
Index     328

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2010

    Well written and informative - well worth reading

    "Green from the Ground Up" is a comprehensive review of how to either build or remodel in a environmentally responsible way. It makes a great reference book.

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  • Posted August 18, 2009

    Great Book For High Performance Residential Builders or Home Buyers/Owners

    This book is very informative, written in everyday language. It is full of excellent illustrations! This is a Green Building essential, it should be in the library of all High Performance Green Builders and prospective Buyers as well as home owners. After reading this book, I purchased several copies and gift them to Builders to help them on the path to building Great Homes!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2008

    Pretty pictures and precise information

    David Johnston and Scott Gibson see construction friendly to people and to environments as necessarily GREEN FROM THE GROUND UP. So they encourage commitment indoors and out to air quality, and to efficient energy and resource use. That means healthy land- and people-scaping, by attention to moisture and temperature control inside and out. My preferred book length is 150 pages. The authors give readers twice that, but comfortably broken down into 16 chapters. The afterword, guide to resources, and index are helpful ends to a beautifully illustrated, conveniently organized, and nicely written work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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