Book Review - The Green Building Bible vols. 1 & 2

Marty McColl examines The Green Building Bible and its contributions to the green housing sector.

The Green Building Bible, Vol 1 and 2 - Third Edition
Publishing Editor: Keith Hall
Pub: Green Building Press
ISBN: 1-898130-03-5
Price: £9.95/£9.95

These aptly named books provide a sound basis for the understanding of one of the most important aspects of sustainability in the UK today: how we construct, maintain and use our buildings. These frameworks that we live, work and play in make up 60 per cent of the energy used in the UK, and along with transportation (accounting for another third of energy consumption), it is the obvious place to start if any lasting and effective change in our wasteful attitudes is to occur.

The Green Buildng Bible strikes the balance between accessibility for the uninitiated and thoroughness for the practitioner. Conveniently divided into two volumes, the first covers background issues in a simple factual manner, and outlines not just the better-known concepts such as the use of solar gains and insulation, but highlights the trends driving 'greeness' in modern buildings, the progress that has been made and the challenges within the industry.

The second volume is essentially a technical guide for those who are implementing the ideas outlined in the first. It provides a handy reference for designers, builders and homeowners, who want to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the energy saving strategies involved in new build and existing buildings.

All the subjects are laid out under organised headings, and with the books being republished in editions (this being the third) all the information is up-to-date. The contributors are obviously expert in their subject and, for the most part, keep it interesting and informative.

Whilst the breadth of the subject matter is remarkable, the depth into which these slim volumes go is limited. As an all round reference however, and at a tenner each, The Green Building Bible should be close at hand to any believer, from priests to laymen.

Marty McColl