Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday's green books series: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Building and Remodeling

Can you live in better comfort and health, support the environment and save money at the same time? well, it's not a daydream, but actually a doable challenge according to our book today on our Monday's green books series. And it all starts and actually ends at home.

Our book today is:

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Building and Remodeling

Author: John Barrows and Lisa Iannucci

John Barrows is a teacher for green techniques nationwide for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). John holds the designation of Certified Green Professional. He is President of J. Barrows Inc., providing construction services, general contracting, construction management, and consultation services for over 30 years.

Lisa Iannucci is a 20-year veteran of magazine and book publishing and a former real estate writer.

Publisher: Alpha (a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.)

Published on:
January 2009

What this book is about? (from the publisher's website)
This guide helps environmentally conscious people make real-world decisions about building or remodeling a home. Readers will find information on how to save money by going green when building or remodeling, how to find the right green integrated system design, how to choose heating and cooling equipment, and how to save money on water.

Why you should get it?
Here are two interesting facts you learn on the foreword of the book: 1)according to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings' energy use accounts for 39% of the U.S.'s carbon emissions. 2) The typical American family pays upward o $1,500 a year in energy
costs. Only these facts are a good reason to get a hold of the book, no matter if you're more about the environment or your expenses (or like many people maybe both).

Green building and remodeling sound very 'heavy' issues that many people don't want to dive into them in the first place and rather leave them to professionals. This book definitely understands these fears and tries to make these issues as accessible and simple to understand as possible.

One part I really liked was 'Deciphering Facts and Myths', where the authors refer to all the misconceptions that might stop people from thinking about green building or remodeling. You talk about myths from "there's too much to learn" or "to be green we have to replace everything in our home" all the way to "historic homes can't be greened" and green building materials don't last longer than traditional building materials."

The book is full with great tips for both indoors (energy and cooling, appliances, light, air quality, water heating and so on) and outdoors (design your yards, pools, fencing, roof gardens, etc.). It also includes much more valuable information such as green building resources list, glossary, green facts, information about the LEED rating system.

And last but not least - The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Building and Remodeling is printed on recycled paper.


We're giving away our review copy of the book, courtesy of the book's publicist, and of course a tree will be planted for the copy!

How you can win? Please add a comment below with an answer the following question: what you do at home to lower your energy costs and/or use water more efficiently? Submissions are accepted until Monday, June 29, 12PM EST. The winner will be announced the following day.

If you're looking for other interesting green-themed books, you are invited to check out our Eco-Libris green books page on our website's green resources section.

More relevant links:

GREEN BEGINNINGS: The Story of How We Built Our Green & Sustainable Home

Green Building & Remodeling for Dummies

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing


Fugue State said...

In our home, we do a number of things to lower our energy costs and water consumption:

We use rain barrels and buckets to collect rain water and use them to water our garden.

As often as one day per week, we turn off all electronic devices and appliances (except the fridge) in our house including lights and use candles for light, board games/projects for entertainment, and cook with our wood grill.

We unplug TVs, computers, our microwave, DVD player and stereo when not in use.

We are building a cob oven in our back yard for cooking during 3 seasons.

We keep the thermostat on our furnace set at 55 degrees during the winter. When it gets bitterly cold (like it did last winter here in Maine), we supplement with propane and wood heat.

Of course, we could do so much more!

Feed the moose said...

We turn our thermostat up when we leave for the day, and when we go to bed at night (we turn on the fan in our room to help keep us cool).

ecky said...

we have a water saver on our faucet so that the water can keep the same temp but not be wasted while i wash dishes.
we also have one on our shower.
we have everything on power strips that we turn off around the house.
we also wash on cold and hang things to dry

elkesten at yahoo dot com

socmama said...

We use a programmable thermostat and don't turn the AC on unless its over 90 degrees.

Brimful Curiosities said...

We keep the curtains closed on sunny days in the summer and open on sunny days in the winter.

ethnically ambiguous said...

We recycle our raining water to water our garden & lawn, we uplug all non-essential electrical items in our household, as appliances burn out in our house we replace with only energy star rates appliances, in the winter we cover all windows with a layer of plastic and flannel to make sure we are keeping the house as warm as possible, we just bought a water efficent toilet and water savers on all faucets & showerheads...

Laureen said...

We do many things at home to conserve energy and water. Of course we turn off unnecessary lights/appliances. I only use lights at night, using daylight during the day. We open windows when air is the appropriate temperature instead of using air conditioning or heating. We turn off water during shower when shampooing/soaping (military-style shower). We don't flush the toilets after every use, unless necessary. ;) I hang-dry everything (extremely rarely use the dryer). We only run full loads in dish washer and laundry machine. I don't turn on the hot water at the faucet (unless showering). And the list goes on...

Andi said...

To save water, we turn it off while we brush our teeth. To save electricity, we don't turn on lights until it's nearly impossible to see - and then we use florescent bulbs.

tina said...

we are useing a rain bucket for are garden we unplug things not in use we installed a timer on are water heater and put in new energy better lightbulbs thanks for the chance to win

Renee said...

We use CFL bulbs and I am ADAMANT about making sure lights, T.V.s, etc. that are not in use are turned off.

Joseph said...

I think it is fantastic how we are using renewable energy and going green in so many ways. I think we also need to do things like reducing our energy usage, like installing geothermal heat pumps to replace high energy heating and cooling systems.