Author(s): Don Booth, Jonathan Booth, Peg Boyles
Publisher: Community Builders Publication
Order From: Amazon.com
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Back in 1983 Don Booth’s company, Community Builders was one of the premier developers of energy efficient homes in New England. This privately published book was probably written to help prospective customers understand the technology and boost sales. No matter what his reason, Don’s book became a classic of the genre. Calling upon his experience, he goes step-by-step through the theory and practice of building super insulated and passive solar/geothermal homes. The explanations are clear, the examples are informative and it provides just the right amount of technical detail. If you are planning to build a new home, read this book first. The principles you learn here will save you thousands of heating and cooling dollars. It has already saved me from a very expensive mistake.
Unlike most books on this topic, you can actually read this book without stunning your brain. Instead of bulking up the book with endless pages of sun elevation charts or conversion tables, Don includes twenty ‘reviews’ of solar/geothermal homes by their owners, designers and builders. These vary from the comic to the insane as the early pioneers struggle to build their dream homes. Some of these stories would make good movies. My personal favorite is the lady who lives in a tent on the site while her home is built. We watch with dismay as construction delays move completion deep into the cold New England winter. Finally, she moves gleefully into the shell while waiting for the windows, only to have her children complain that the tent was warmer. Who says we can’t learn from the mistakes of others.