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Treacodactyl

Greenbuilding book?

Can anyone recommend a decent book that covers most of the alternative environmentally friendly building techniques? I'm not after one that'll tell me exactly how to build a house but one that can outline as many of the ideas and practices as possible so I know what options there are.

At the moment I don't have any definite plans but it would be good to get a better understanding of what can be done so I can make a more informed decision when looking for a smallholding. I'm interested in anything from building animal housing, extensions to even a full build.

I also know there are many details online but a book can be browsed in bed and taken with us etc.

Many thanks.
Erikht

What I esp. like is their thoughts on sewage, which can also be done outdoors, and the water system.

http://www.earthship.net/Store/index.php?act=viewCat&catId=2
Brandon

the green building bible. or is it guide? hang on I'll find out.
Brandon

bible.
MarkS

Yep bible - although its more of a sourcebook for materials and suppliers really. They also publish the green building magazine - varies between technical articles on performance of dg units and stuff on clay floors.

forum here:

http://www.greenbuildingforum.co.uk/newforum/
Treacodactyl

Do those books cover a wide range of ideas? At the moment I don't need specific details about grants, suppliers etc but as many ideas as possible.
Green Rosie

There's the Home Building and Renovating Show at the NEC next week-end. I'm coming over from France fo it and hoping there are is a good number of green exhibitors there.

Are you anywhere near the NEC?
tahir

I think you'll need a variety of books, I've got a couple that I'm not using anymore.
MarkS

I've got these sitting in my amazon basket. Anyone want to comment/slag off/suggest better before I pay up?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0964471817/ref=ord_cart_shr?%5Fencoding=UTF8&m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1903998735/ref=ord_cart_shr?%5Fencoding=UTF8&m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE
tahir

I like Jon's book, doesn't really talk hugely about different techniques though. I think I've got the other one too but don't remenmber much about it.
Treacodactyl

Green Rosie wrote:
Are you anywhere near the NEC?


Miles away and I've been to the NEC once before... Shocked Laughing

It looks a bit like I'll have to visit a library and have a browse. Not too sure how many they'll have in though, even the larger ones. Confused

We do get the CAT magazine and Permaculture and that has a few ideas in but I really wanted a rough summery of as many ideas as possible.
Brandon

What sort of ideas are you after?

for example: Pretty much any baled material can be used to build with, providing that it will not decay within a sealed wall, this opens up loads of waste streams (if you have ready access to them).

Where are you starting from, what are you considering at the moment? put ideas up, and then we can talk around them, evaluate them, and steer you away from daft ones (hopefully).

What do you consider eco? are you for or against rigid foam insulation boards, and why?

Do you consider sheeps wool to be waste? or environmentally sound? is it an end or a by product?

Do you want a hobbit house, or a modern architectural statement?

would you consider living underground, or at least partially?

Do you intend to build the house yourself (your own hands) or have it built for you (contractor)?

What if any experience do you have with working with or living with different building matterials, brick, stone, tile, timber, slate, thatch, earth, concrete etc.

can you seperate emotion from practical necessity?

sorry if this is a bit 20000 questions, just trying to help by understanding what you think...
cassy

We liked Ecohouse 2 and The Whole House Book (Ecological Building Design and Materials) from CAT. Both seemed to talk a lot of sense i.e. reducing need for resources instead of/before buying green-bling. They also explained the basics (like passive solar gain) really well.
Brandon

here here, sue roaf does a great job in eco house 2

for pure dreaming ideas homework, hand built shelter is a great book, gets the creative juices flowing.

[/url]http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0936070331/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link[url][/url]
Treacodactyl

Brandon wrote:
What sort of ideas are you after?


If I knew then I wouldn't need a book. Laughing

If I could I'd love to build my own woodland house just using the resources from the woodland and items I could grow myself. Realistically I might end up renovating an old house, converting a barn or extending an existing house depending on what we end up buying. So I'm after a wide range of ideas to mull over, tailored to the UK/Europe if possible.

I've done some 'normal' building work, cement based rendering and plastering, brick, block, laying drains etc so I'm not new to building work.

I'm not after a book just for dreaming but to provide some practical ideas especially for something I can do myself. The aim is to make something liveable, hopefully reasonably priced and I don't care much for architecture. Within reason I'd consider anything.
Treacodactyl

Something like this one perhaps.

The Art of Natural Building: Design, Construction, Resources (Paperback) by Joseph H. Kennedy et al

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Art-Natural-Building-Construction-Resources/dp/0865714339

It describes it as an introduction to the whole field.
MarkS

Treacodactyl wrote:
I've done some 'normal' building work, cement based rendering and plastering, brick, block, laying drains etc so I'm not new to building work.

I'm not after a book just for dreaming but to provide some practical ideas especially for something I can do myself. The aim is to make something liveable, hopefully reasonably priced and I don't care much for architecture. Within reason I'd consider anything.


Oh Dear! The ducking stool for you then. Cement? tsk.
Treacodactyl

I'm renovating a 1930's house that's mainly built from brick with cement based render inside and out so I'm just using what's suitable. I'm also realistic so if I used something else it might affect the resale price etc, etc.

Good point though and personally I think we're all doomed anyway so my main reason for a sustainable build is to save money, to do as much of the work myself and to use what I have available.

What's your house made of? Wink
MarkS

Treacodactyl wrote:
What's your house made of? Wink


Stone and Brick using Lime mortar (1800)...

...and the concrete that a previous owner used all over and which is causing me problems due to cracking and damp.
Treacodactyl

I'll not mention anything about my experience of fitting uPVC windows.
MarkS

Where are the rotten tomatoes?
Brandon

Treacodactyl wrote:

Good point though and personally I think we're all doomed anyway so my main reason for a sustainable build is to save money, to do as much of the work myself and to use what I have available.

What's your house made of? Wink


red brick and lime mortar.

do you mean to save money in the build, or long term in the use of the building?

and what is your definition of "a sustainable build"? local materials? materials that will replenish during your lifetime/the lifetime of the building? a building that will require very little energy in it's life time?

are high energy materials justifyable if they reduce the energy use through the life cycle of the building, or is high embodied carbon a no-no?
Treacodactyl

Brandon wrote:
do you mean to save money in the build, or long term in the use of the building?

and what is your definition of "a sustainable build"? local materials? materials that will replenish during your lifetime/the lifetime of the building? a building that will require very little energy in it's life time?

are high energy materials justifyable if they reduce the energy use through the life cycle of the building, or is high embodied carbon a no-no?


That's getting too detailed, one of the reasons for getting the book is to help thinking through the options.
Brandon

ok, sorry if I was a little heavy.

As has been mentioned " The whole house book" by pat borer and cindy harris is a good starting point. "eco house 2" by Dr sue Roaf is a more technical book that is really worth reading.

If straw is your thing then "the straw bale house" by bill and antea steen is a good one for that, but is aimed at the US market, this should be borne in mind if you start to draw your house, as the regs here are different. Amazon nails are a handy company for helping with straw building details. they also wrote "building with straw bales" by Barbara Jones.

If large timber frame is your gig then "Building The timber frame house" by Tedd Benson is the best. (if anyone believes there is a better one then please let me know).

Post and beam is well covered in "Out of the woods" again by Harris and borer. Walter segal method, a slightly less grand version of the "huf haus".

The best I have found on "stick" framing is "Graphic guide to frame construction" by Rob Thallon. it is a technical book, but well worth it if you are thinking of timber frame.

I would also advise that whatever sort of a house you fancy, that you read Joseph jenkins "the humanure handbook" (he also did a good job in "the slate roof bible")

Hope that helps, the only one that covers a multitude of materials is the whole house book, it is a pretty entry level sort of a book, but a good starting point.

Hope that is of some help.
Treacodactyl

Thanks Brandon, it looks like the whole house book then.

To sum what I want from the book is something that covers ideas I'm not aware of. If/when I narrow down my options I can look at some more specific ones.
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