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Green from the Ground Up: Sustainable, Healthy, and Energy-Efficient Home Construction (Builder's Guide) Paperback – April 1, 2008


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Green from the Ground Up: Sustainable, Healthy, and Energy-Efficient Home Construction (Builder's Guide) + Toward a Zero Energy Home: A Complete Guide to Energy Self-Sufficiency at Home + The Solar House: Passive Heating and Cooling
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Product Details

  • Series: Builder's Guide
  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156158973X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561589739
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.7 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"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)

Review

"Eco-friendly housing used to be thought of as expensive, ugly or just plain weird. Now it's becoming common. David Johnston and Scott Gibson offer guidance on environmentally sensitive home building in Green from the Ground Up: Sustainable, Healthy, and Energy-Efficient Home Construction. The book helps builders and homeowners create houses that conserve natural resources and are energy-efficient and healthful. It's packed with information, tips, illustrations and case studies that offer wisdom earned from experience."

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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It's very well organized, the detailed information is understandable and easy to read.
C. Moore
This book is great, has just enough detail on various construction techniques to get you to learn more on the one that best fits your needs and area.
tlhinton
I highly recommend this book to anyone, especially those who wish to design, build or have a house built.
RLS

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

97 of 98 people found the following review helpful By R. Cichocki on June 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
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.
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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Scott M. Kruse on June 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
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).
Read more ›
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Russell G. Turpin on May 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
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!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By design+build on June 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
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.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jim H on May 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Andrews on March 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
Well done reference book for not only professionals but home owners as well. Our architectural/ engineering office was very impressed with the well researched information. It is presented in a clear easy way for the home owner to understand yet a great guide for professionals in the building fields.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
The information provided is pretty basic, and only covers a handful of green building products. It is a great starting point, and everyone should build foundations as stipulated by this book. I really believe that someone needs to create a series of books like this, but that are more regionally specific.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Barrett Doherty on August 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm working as a green building consultant for a major remodel/upgrade on a 250 yr old house in NH. This book has brought a beautifully wide perspective to a very concrete process. Johnston & Gibson understand green building and more importantly they understand that the most expensive answer is not necessarily the best. They give a balanced discussion on the pros and cons on various techniques and technology. After discussing the merits of tankless water heaters and there are many, they note that a California Build Water Heater can deliver similar energy efficiency results at a fraction of the cost. I appreciate that they understand the Return on the Investment side of the equation.

It is a complete book; all the various facets of HVAC from duct trouble spots, sheet metal ducts vs flex ducts, geothermal pumps, swamp coolers to night flushing are discussed. I would recommend it to both experts and novices.

Taunton Publishing brought their exceptional understanding of how-to books to the text. It is well-designed and laid out for both readability and comprehension. The illustrations are excellent and the pictures informative.

It is nice to see this level of quality in such a cloudy and sometimes hyped subject matter. In a word: Inspirational.
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