Book Review – Making Better Buildings

This is an incredibly thorough book worth the purchase by those seeking green building alternatives.

If you’re looking at green building, this is a book for your list. There are many planning books out and this isn’t one of them. This won’t tell you how to build a straw bale house or give diagrams for dome homes. This gets down to the facts, figures, statistics and get-your-hands-dirty part of planning and deciding what you really want.

From foundations, to floors to electrical systems and beyond this looks at options, and straight up tells you what the supporters say, what the critics say, what the green points are and possible criticisms. He’s not a fan of concrete, for example, and backs up his reasoning, but includes the information for the benefit of those who may see differently. The information is there for *you* the reader to look at and decide. There’s advice of how beginner friendly an option is – how much sweat are you willing to put into the building? Will you hire it done?

Everyone’s answers here may be different. It is different considerations in Arizona than Ohio. For those looking at sustainable options, this can save you thousands in frustration, disappointment and “I didn’t know that was needed” aggravation.

It can read like a textbook and, for the topic, I think it should. Building isn’t cheap, and knowing what to expect is important! The details are consistent through the book. This isn’t a sit down and read casually. Sometimes it sounds repetitive because several methods may have similar advantages or disadvantages. Consider it taking a class on sustainable building – don’t just read it LEARN it.

Very thorough, well done and objective.