Here is a list of our favorite resources about green building.
- Green Roundtable
- Nexus Green Building Resource Center
- Apeiron Institute for Sustinable Living Rhode Island sustainability education center
- Holistic Design & Space Planning Laura Catanzaro, Architectural Designer
- Boston Area Solar Energy Association
- Boston Building Materials Recycling Center
- Green Homes Northeast
- Northeast Sustainable Energy Association
- Solar Boston
- Sustainable Step New England
- City of Newton’s “Sunergy” program
- Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy
- US Green Building Council
- BuildingGreen.com, home of Environmental Building News
- US EPA’s Green Building site
- US Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes initiative
- 16 Ways to Green Your Home (pdf), from USGBC
- The Energy Impact of Our Buildings (pdf), from Community Solutions
- The Integral Urban House: Self Reliant Living in the City
by H.Olkowski, W.Olkowski, and T. Javits 1979 Paperback, Sierra Club Books, out of print
Manual about transforming a typical urban house into a self-reliant life suppot system involving food production, wind and solar energy, composting, graywater recycling, IPM programs, and a host of other “revolutionary” integrated systems concepts. The Integral Urban House received worldwide publicity and continues to inspire change in urban lifestyles today through its many replicas in the U.S. and abroad. Available through online retailers and the Living Structures Inc. Lending Library.
- The Consumer’s Guide to Effective Environmental Choices: Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists
by Michael Brower and Warren Leon, 1999, paperback, Three Rivers Press, $15
From one of the most prestigious nonprofit organizations devoted to environmental issues comes a clear, practical, and rational overview of the relationship between consumers and the environment. Paper or plastic? Bus or car? Old house or new? Cloth diapers or disposables? Some choices have a huge impact on the environment; others are of negligible importance. To those of us who care about our quality of life and what is happening to the earth, this is a vastly important issue.
- The Not-So-Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live
by Sarah Susanka, Kira Obolensky, 1998 paperback, The Taunton Press, $22.95
A gorgeous book (now with two sequels), full of inspiring photographs and imaginitive floor plans, that conveys both the how and the why of designing smaller, more compact houses. A must-read for owners, designers, and builders. Equally useful are Creating the Not-So-Big House (Taunton, 2000) and Not-So-Big Solutions for Your Home (Taunton, 2002), both of which provide specifics on achieving not-so-big houses.
- Eco-Renovation: The Ecological Home Improvement Guide
by Edward Harland, 1999 paperback, Chelsea Green Publishing Company, $16,95
General book for lay readers interested in reducing environmental impact of building renovations. Lots of good ideas. Few specifics on building material selection.
- Alternative Construction: Contemporary Natural Building Method
by Lynne Elizabeth Cassandra Adams, 2000, paperback, Wiley
This guide to combining traditional natural materials and modern construction methods examines a broad range of traditional and modern natural construction methods, including straw bale, light clay, cob, adobe, rammed earth and pise, earth bag, earth-sheltered, bamboo, and hybrid systems. It also covers key ecological design principles, as well as current engineering and building code requirements.
- The Whole House Book: Ecological Building Design & Materials
by Pat Borer, Cindy Harris, 1998 paperback, Centre for Alternative Technology, $29.95
Full of photos and color diagrams, this British book does an impressive job of covering the concepts, technologies, and systems of a green home.
- Green Remodeling: Changing the World One Room at a Time
by David Johnston, Kim Masters, 2004 paperback, New Society Publishers
Green Remodeling is a comprehensive guide. It first points out the advantages of remodeling. Buildings are responsible for 40% of worldwide energy flow and material use; so how you remodel can make a difference.
- The New Ecological Home: A Complete Guide to Green Building Options
by Daniel D. Chiras, 2004 Paperback, Chelsea Green Publishing, $35
The New Ecological Home provides an overview of green building techniques, materials, products, and technologies that are either currently available or will be in the near future.