- Product # 070980
- Type Paperback
- ISBN 978-1-56158-973-9
- Published Date 2008
- Pages 336
- Photos 296 full-color photographs
- Drawings and 60 illustrations
A must-have reference for contractors who want to remain competitive, Green from the Ground Up is also a remarkable resource for homeowners who require the clearest and most thorough green building information available.
"A refreshing and comprehensive step-by-step course in green building, packed with both solid building science and commonsense solutions."
-- Helen English, executive director of the 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
About the authors:
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 is a freelance writer and contributing editor to Fine Homebuilding magazine.
- Table of Contents
1 Green Building Basics
Green Is No Longer
on the Fringe
Lots of Green, Few
Dealing with the World around Us
2 The House as a System
How Heat Is Transferred
Controlling Heat Flow
Tight Houses Need
The Many Faces of Water
Putting It All Together
3 Planning and Design
Get the Team on Board
Siting a House for Comfort
Planning for Water Management
Foundations Should Be Insulated
Forming Foundations with Wood
Improving Concrete with Fly Ash
Controlling Moisture around Foundations
Make Crawl Spaces Generous
Advanced Framing Reduces Waste
We Have Tree Farms, Not Forests
Engineered Lumber Makes Sense
Using Steel Studs with Recycled Content
Structural Insulated Panels Are Fast
6 Roofs and Attics
Frame with Trusses
Superinsulated Attics and Roofs
Stopping Air Leaks at the Ceiling
Sheathing and Roof Membranes
Light Colors Reduce Heat Gain
Really Green Roofs
7 Windows and Doors
Preventing Air and Water Leaks
Insulating Windows Themselves
Skylights and Light Tubes
Distributing Hot Water Efficiently
Eliminating the Wait for Hot Water
Insulate All Hot Water Pipes
Saving Water by Reducing Flow
Plumbing for Gray Water
Appliances That Save
9 Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning
Designing a System
What Drives Demand?
Solar and Wind
Old Assumptions Don't Work
Form Follows Function
Making Sense of Insulation Choices
12 Siding and Decking
13 Solar Energy
Solar Hot Water
Active Solar Space Heating
14 Indoor Air Quality
Setting Standards for Exposure
Contaminants and Their Impact on Health
Building Products That Off-Gas
The Cure for Dirty Air
15 Interior Finishes
Choosing Environmentally Friendly Products
Paints, Finishes, and Adhesives
Evaluate Site and Climate
Working with What's There
Integrated Pest Management
My passion for green building is based on experience. I know that building green results in better houses and that it improves the lives of the people who live in them, not to mention the health of our planet.
For 10 years, I ran a construction company in Washington, D.C., called Lightworks Construction. We focused on solar construction. When the solar tax credit expired in 1985, everything changed. The momentum of the solar industry ground to a halt, and it didn?t get going again for nearly 20 years. With the financial incentive gone, we began specializing in building and remodeling super energy-efficient and innovative houses, offices, and restaurants. Our job was to over-deliver and delight our clients by transforming their homes and offices into more comfortable, efficient spaces. Although the term had not yet been coined, we were pioneers in what is now known as "green building."
In 1992, I sold my construction company and set off to discover the new, big-business ideas that would make the world a more sustainable place. I interviewed CEOs from over 50 cutting-edge companies. I spoke with manufacturers, investment firms, inventive providers of services, and consultants and leaders in the construction industry. Over the course of those countless conversations, it became clear that many sectors of the economy were converging on a new business model, one with the potential to change the way our homes are built and how they work -- and, I hoped, with the potential to lead us to a less challenging future for our children.
Jim Leach, a leading solar builder in Boulder, Col., was one of the visionaries who illuminated this fresh way of thinking for me. He was also the one who first told me about a new field called "green building." Finally, there was a word that described how we built at Lightworks. For me, green building was the perfect way to marry my love of construction with my desire to improve the quality of life for America's homeowners. And I got to do something good for the planet.
Grand aspirations are fine, but the real difficulties always show up in the details. I moved to Boulder, where I'd gone to school, explicitly to start a green building program. I met with the Boulder Home Builders Association (HBA), and we started a green building committee to explore the issues and opportunities in green building. A few builders, inspired by Jim Leach's enthusiasm, joined forces with us, and the HBA board soon passed a resolution to develop a program.
At about the same time, the city of Boulder decided to update the local energy code, which had been adopted after the energy crisis in the 1970s. They wanted to incorporate resource conservation and indoor air quality into a green building program that would keep up with the growing number of local green builders. Within a year the second and third green building programs in the country were on the books; the Denver Home Builders Association adopted the Boulder program and the City of Boulder enacted a green building code. That's what launched this stage of my career.
My new company was called What's Working. As a recovering builder, I was actively involved as a consultant and trainer in green building programs around the country. With Kim Master, who joined the company in 2003, I wrote Green Remodeling: Changing the World One Room at a Time to fill the niche for homeowners and remodelers who wanted a how-to book to guide their green remodels.
Since then, the increased interest in green building has been nothing short of astonishing. Green is everywhere, and everything points to long-term changes in how home buyers and home builders will do business. Where this leaves builders is another story.
It's fine for consumers to clamor for "green" houses, but what does that mean, exactly, to the person who is responsible for translating that into a real house? It's no less confusing for the prospective homeowner who wants a green house but isn?t sure what that entails.
This book offers a way to get there, not by adopting wildly new building technologies and materials but mostly by using what's already on hand. One step at a time, builders can move from conventional construction to something far richer for themselves and the people who buy their homes. It works.