I don’t have a real intimate knowledge of construction but I am interested in seeing through the construction of my own home and in doing so I want a very bio-friendly home so I picked up this book from the library and read it through.
It starts out with a lot of bright colored diagrams that identify the core elements of different eco-friendly home design elements such as bioclimatic design, roof gardens, geo-thermal installations, wind / solar energy systems, gray-water re-use and more. The diagrams are good enough to get an understanding of resources that come together to follow these eco-friendly designs and perhaps more useful to me was being able to absorb the new vocabulary which helps lead to more research and learning. They are however not detailed enough to completely understand and/or implement the diagrams.
ECO HOUSE then dives in to review some bio friendly building materials, general home heating and cooling practices (south facing facade, greenhouse effect in winter and shade from eaves in the summer), water use and re-use. Overall it does a good job of bringing me from knowing very little about bio-friendly homes to knowing a lot of very basic concepts, patterns materials and tools.
ECO HOUSE doesn’t at first make very much sense when I was reading it through from front to back but it’s filled with pictures (almost every paragraph of text in the book is explaining an adjacent photo) and tidbits of useful information that all comes together after a few times through the book.
In conclusion: If you’re brand new to eco-friendly home design and function or better yet, if you’re new to construction entirely and want to learn a lot of very basic information to get started understanding the inner workings and thought process behind eco-homes then ECO HOUSE: Practical Ideas for a Greener, Healthier Dwelling is worth checking out. It follows the title quite well, the book covers a lot of ‘practical ideas for a greener, healthier dwelling’.