Making Better Buildings: A Comparative Guide to Sustainable Construction for Homeowners and Contractors

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New Society Publishers, Mar 1, 2014 - Architecture - 464 pages

Sustainable building from the ground up - the pros and cons of the latest green and natural materials and technologies

From foundation to finish, a wealth of information is available on sustainable construction methods-entire volumes have been published on individual green and natural building techniques. But with so many different ideas to choose from, there is no single resource that allows an owner or builder to quickly and objectively compare the merits of each system for their particular project.

Making Better Buildings cuts through the hype and provides the unvarnished facts about the upsides and downsides of the most widely discussed materials and technologies. Drawing on the real-world experiences of designer/builders, this comparative guide systematically and comprehensively examines each approach in terms of:

  • Cost, sourcing, labor intensity, and ease of construction
  • Energy efficiency, embodied energy, and environmental impacts
  • Availability/accessibility
  • Viable applications and future potential.

Each chapter is rounded out by a chart which summarizes the material in a quick and accessible manner.

Whether you are an owner preparing to build a green or natural home, or a conventional contractor determined to integrate sustainable alternatives into your existing construction practices, this up-to-the minute resource will help you make the best decisions for your project, while meeting your energy, efficiency, budgetary, and site-specific needs.

 

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Contents

Foundations
1
Walls
55
Floor and roof structure
133
Sheathing and cladding materials
175
Roof sheathing
213
Flooring
249
Surface finishing materials
285
Windows
321
Wastewater systems
355
Heating and cooling systems
369
Electrical generation
411
Conclusion
423
Appendix
425
Index
435
About the author
441
A Guide to Responsible Digital Reading
442

Mechanical systems
327
Water systems
329
Untitled
444
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Jen Feigin is a designer, carpenter and natural builder specializing in sustainable design with a strong focus on straw bale wall systems and many other natural building techniques. Together with Chris Magwood, Jen is a founder and director of the Endeavour Centre for Innovative Building and Living based in Peterborough, Ont. She owns and operates Green Hammer Construction, and has been an instructor and project manager with the Sustainable Building Design and Construction program at Fleming College since 2007. Jen teaches workshops on natural building techniques across Ontario.

Chris Magwood has designed and built some of the most innovative, sustainable buildings in North America, including the first off-grid, straw bale home in Ontario which became a fifteen-year research project into the implementation of sustainable building materials and technologies. He created the Sustainable Building Design and Construction program at Fleming College in 2005, and together with Jen Feigin founded and directs the Endeavour Centre for Innovative Building and Living. Chris is the author of 3 previous books on sustainable building including Straw Bale Details and More Straw Bale Building .

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