Get Green with Style Blog

Green Book Review – Green from the Ground Up

by Hilary Sopata, LEED AP

Green from the Ground Up: Sustainable, Healthy, and Energy-efficient Home Construction
Written by David Johnston and Scott Gibson

Green from the Ground Up is “a builder’s guide” to sustainable home building.  However, the book has a lot of colorful pictures and a lot of diagrams.  Therefore, because of the presentation and level of information, I think it is best-suited as a homeowner’s guide to building and/or working with a builder.  This does not mean that the book is totally elementary.  On the contrary, principles of green building that are not so basic like calculating the amount of sunlight that the site will get to determine solar power optimisation are included in this book. 

If you’re building a green home, remember that to be truly eco friendly means to build for your climate just like the old days when architecture was unique to a particular region based on practical necessity.  Steep roofs in the Northeast were meant to not allow snow and ice to pack up on the roofs.  Cupolas and wide porches in the South were meant to allow heat to rise and escape while cooling breezes came in from the shady porches.  Adobe homes in the Southwest were meant to stay cool and well-insulated against the heat.

Overall, I think that Johnston and Gibson presented their information well, that this book is easy to read and understand, and that you will find the pictures and diagrams very helpful in conveying the information.  Even after reading many books on green design and green building, I learn something new every time I pick up a new green book.  You will too, and for that matter, I’m sure green builders keep learning too!

Johnston, David and Gibson, Scott. (2008). Green from the Ground Up: Sustainable, Healthy, and Energy-efficient Home Construction. The Taunton Press, Inc. ISBN: 978-1-56158-973-9


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