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Making Better Buildings: A Comparative Guide to Sustainable Construction for Homeowners and Contractors

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From foundation to finish, a wealth of information is available on sustainable construction methods—entire volumes have been published on individual green and natural building techniques. But with so many different ideas to choose from, there is no single resource that allows an owner or builder to quickly and objectively compare the merits of each system for their particular project.

Making Better Buildings cuts through the hype and provides the unvarnished facts about the upsides and downsides of the most widely discussed materials and technologies. Drawing on the real-world experiences of designer/builders, this comparative guide systematically and comprehensively examines each approach in terms of:

Cost, sourcing, availability, labor intensity, and ease of construction
Energy efficiency, embodied energy, and environmental impacts
Each chapter is rounded out by a chart which summarizes the material in a quick and accessible manner.

Whether you are an owner preparing to build a green or natural home or a conventional contractor determined to integrate sustainable alternatives into your existing construction practices, this up-to-the minute resource will help you make the best decisions for your project while meeting your energy, efficiency, budgetary, and site-specific needs.

Chris Magwood and Jen Feigin are sustainable builders and designers specializing in green and natural building techniques, and are the founders and directors of the Endeavour Centre for Innovative Building and Living. Chris is also the author of three previous books on sustainable building, including Straw Bale Details and More Straw Bale Building.

464 pages, Paperback

First published September 1, 2013

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About the author

Jen Feigin

2 books

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Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
Profile Image for Aleksandar.
126 reviews3 followers
April 8, 2016
An excellent overview of sustainable building techniques, categorized by elements of the house (roof, floor, water, electrical systems, etc.). The encyclopedia format of the book gives a breakdown of each technique with tips, pros and cons. Most importantly, there is a resource list for each technique of further books to read if you decide that is the technique you will use for your home/project. I've read some of the books that are referenced and can vouch for them being a good choice.

Essential for novices and very useful for those familiar with sustainable building.
70 reviews
June 8, 2014
This is an excellent reference guide to all things pertaining to sustainable building. With the huge variety of building styles and new materials being used for sustainable building construction, a comprehensive guide was greatly needed. Look no further, because this is the book you should have if you plan to build your own home!
Profile Image for James.
3,352 reviews19 followers
May 1, 2014
Interesting overview including materials I've never heard of like Hempcrete and mushroom board insulation. Yes, insulation grown from mushrooms.
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 reviews

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