Healthy by Design Revised: Building and Remodeling Solutions for Creating Healthy Homes

Healthy by Design Revised: Building and Remodeling Solutions for Creating Healthy Homes

Healthy by Design Revised: Building and Remodeling Solutions for Creating Healthy Homes

Author(s): David Rousseau, James Wasley

Paperback: 318 pages

Publisher: Hartley & Marks; 2 edition (July 1999)

ISBN: 0881791776

ISBN-13: 978-0881791778

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Is your house painted w/potentially irritating chemicals? are your heating and ventilation systems working for or against you? ‘Healthy by Design’ can show you how to make your home a toxin-free sanctuary…learn about the hidden risks posed by modern materials and construction techniques…how to test for pollutants …where to build…how to design the healthiest possible home that is also energy and resource efficient… Included are 79 healthy bldg solutions… comprehensive guide for the owner, designer and builder… 9 detailed case studies of new and remodeled homes…

The Resourceful Renovator

Cover, The Resourceful Renovator

Author(s): Jennifer Corson

ISBN: 10890132519

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“The wood floors in older houses are so beautiful — how do I create the same effect?”

“Will used windows work to provide natural light in a dark interior room?”

“We removed some wonderful old wrought-iron grates when we replaced our heating system-how can we use them?”

“Is there an inexpensive way to build a brick patio for my home?”

“Our bathroom needs a new look, but we can’t spend much-what can we do?”

“How can I reuse the granite foundation block from the demolition site down the street?”

The Resourceful Renovator is always asking how basic building materials can be restored, rehabilitated, remodeled, repaired, revitalized, rejuvenated, reclaimed, renewed, refurbished, repainted, repointed, retrofitted, reconstructed, replicated, re-erected, rebuilt, recreated, redesigned, reworked, relocated or reused.

This book contains hundreds of ideas for renovating and decorating projects that reuse wood, stone, metal, glass, brick and ceramics. These materials consumed enormous amounts of energy in their production and building materials are the biggest proportion of all waste discarded in landfills. Instead of throwing them away, why not reuse these items in new buildings or renovation projects, and create furnishings and rooms that are beautiful, functional and good examples for our children and community?

The traditional method of demolishing a building is to use an excavator to knock it down into a rubble pile and then cart the debris away to the landfill. But there is another way. We should consider where building materials originate, how they are extracted from nature and how much energy is embodied in the process of changing raw resources into useful products. Then we can start to reverse the global impact of our use of those resources. Considerable value — energy, ingenuity and plain hard work — has already been added to transform ore or earth or tree into radiators or door knobs or tongue-and-groove flooring. Knowing this, we will be very reluctant to simply throw away such valuable items.

Finding material to reuse can be a fun adventure-in fact, it’s sometimes the most fun part of the project. Half of the joy of showing your finished project to a visitor is in telling the story of where the material came from. There is no end to the affliction called resource recycling-when it sets in, one house may not be enough. The urge to sidestep the new materials aisle at the hardware store, and dig through the neighborhood trash is infectious.

Many of the photographs and stories in this book come from author Jennifer Corson’s first-hand experience at her Renovator’s Resource business in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As well, it features some of the best episodes from her television series, “The Resourceful Renovator.”

176 pages, 2000

Renovating Old Houses

Cover, Renovating Old Houses

Author(s): George Nash

ISBN: 1561581283

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George Nash offers the know-how for owners who want professional results and builders who are serious about renovation. You start by evaluating whether an old house is a diamond in the rough or a broken down wreck that’s not worth the effort of renovating. Next, you’ll learn how to set priorities and handle every renovating job, including replacing foundations, rebuilding windows, installing roofing and siding, repairing plaster, upgrading wiring, plumbing and heating systems, and much more. Hundreds of photos and detailed drawings show the gruesome reality of old homes along with methods for resurrecting them. With the help of this book, you’ll bring that old home up to modern standards without sacrificing the warmth and spirit of the original. 343 pages, 1992

Adding to a House: Planning, Design, & Construction

Cover, Adding to a House

Publisher: Fine Homebuilding

ISBN: 1561580724

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One of the best ways to combat urban sprawl and save money is to recycle an old home. Often older homes seem inadequate because of lack of space or facilities (such as bathrooms, offices, utility rooms, etc.). In Adding to a House, designer/builder Philip Wenz gives you the benefit of his 20 years of building experience. He explains how to:

      Evaluate a house for its addition potential, in terms of its resale value and the condition of the structure and site.
      Design the addition for continuity with the existing house.
      Avoid costly mistakes that leave the house in worse shape than when the project began.
      Accurately estimate the cost of any type of addition.
      Ensure that the addition conforms to local building codes and zoning regulations.
      Make connections between the old and new foundations, framing and roofs.

Now all the essential information about residential additions can be found in one book. 263 pages, 1995

No Regrets Remodeling

Cover, No Regrets Remodeling

Publisher: Home Energy Magazine

ISBN: 0963944428

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In No-Regrets Remodeling, you’ll discover ways to make home improvements that benefit your house, your bank account and your well being. Here you’ll learn how new technologies and building practices can do more than make your home look better. It will also feel better, increase in value and cost less to heat, cool and maintain. No-Regrets Remodeling shows you the smart way to approach a remodeling job by steering you away from common mistakes that can be costly, unhealthy, unsafe or just plain annoying. The book identifies technology options and gives you the information to make the best choice for you. For example, in the Hot Water chapter, you’ll find a worksheet for estimating your water use, conservation ideas with savings projections and detailed descriptions of water heating technologies. Similar information is presented for space heating and cooling, ventilation, lighting, windows and structural improvements. Each chapter guides you through the steps that make the entire house a more pleasant place. You’ll learn how to: eliminate drafts, end mold and mildew problems, prevent peeling paint and rotting roofs, stop family thermostat wars, create attractive, efficient lighting designs, improve air quality, provide a new sense of quiet, decrease allergies, protect against carbon monoxide poisoning, attract loans that put money in your pocket and save on utility bills. The book is based on a series of articles that appeared in Home Energy Magazine, although the text has been reworked and expanded and many new illustrations added. 222 pages, 1997

Eco-Renovation : The Ecological Home Improvement Guide, 2nd Ed

Eco-Renovation : The Ecological Home Improvement Guide


Eco-Renovation : The Ecological Home Improvement Guide, 2nd Ed2nd Ed.

Author(s): Edward Harland, Duncan Roberts (Illustrator)

Publisher: Chelsea Green

ISBN: 1890132381

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Edward Harland There’s a popular bumper sticker that says “Think Globally, Act Locally.” You can’t get any more local than your own home. One of the best paths to environmentally-friendly housing is recycling old houses, whether you want to improve your current home or “move up” to a better place. Eco-Renovation is specifically aimed at homeowners who want to make existing houses as “green” as possible.

Author Edward Harland provides a concise overview of the major home related ecological questions and concerns and then offers practical solutions and suggestions for renovating the home ecologically. Eco-Renovation will show you how to: Reduce heating bills substantially. Select building materials that are resource efficient and environmentally-safe. Convert and maximize living space. Protect the family from toxic substances.

Edward Harland is an architect specializing in ecological renovation of houses. He has worked in both public and private practice and has also run his own carpentry business, building sunrooms, kitchens and furniture. 241 pages, 1999

Be Your Own Home Renovation Contractor

Cover, Be Your Own Home Renovation ContractorAuthor(s): Carl Heldman

ISBN: 1580170242
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Be Your Own Home Renovation Contractor: Save 30% without Lifting a Hammer (revised and updated) by Carl Heldman.

This book explains finding and appraising a restorable structure, obtaining financing, and hiring subcontractors. Includes sample contracts, bids, inspection reports, insurance forms, and blueprints. 6×9, 176 pages, paperback. review:
One of the surest ways to save a bundle of money on any serious home renovation is to be your own contractor. However, if an individual embarks on this effort not armed with all the facts and formalities, it can also be the proverbial primrose path to financial hell. Becoming your own contractor is neither as simple as it might seem, nor as potentially intimidating as worst-case scenarios might leave one to believe, if you have the facts and information you need before you begin.

Heldman, the author of Be Your Own House Contractor, one of the classics in the field, lays out how to evaluate your structure, estimate costs, negotiate loans as needed, and hire subcontractors; he also gives a thorough look at the forms and legalities involved in taking on this task. Done knowledgeably, with this book as a guide, a homeowner can save many thousands of dollars on renovation costs.

Heldmann provides savvy advice on whether certain kinds of projects are advisable under certain circumstances, whether renovations are financially practical for increased value, and approaches the subject with full knowledge of the kinds of disruption and confusion home renovating projects can cause in peoples’ lives. This book will likely become yet another Heldmann classic for do-it-yourself home renovators in years to come. –Mark A. Hetts


How Buildings Learn : What Happens After They’re Built

Cover, How Buildings Learn : What Happens After They're Built

Author(s): Stewart Brand

Publisher: Penguin USA (Paper)

ISBN: 0140139966

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Reprint Edition
Paperback Publication date: October 1995

From Kirkus Reviews , 04/15/94:
Brand, founder of The Whole Earth Catalog and CoEvolution Quarterly, launches a populist attack on rarefied architectural conventions. A hippy elder statesman (once one of Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters), Brand argues that a building can “grow” and should be treated as a “Darwinian mechanism,” something that adapts over time to meet certain changing needs. His humanistic insights grew out of a university seminar he taught in 1988. Catchy anti- establishment phrases abound: “Function reforms form, perpetually,” or “Form follows funding.” Thomas Jefferson, a “high road” builder, is shown to have tinkered his Monticello into a masterpiece over a lifetime. Commercial structures, Brand says, are “forever metamorphic,” as a garage-turned-boutique demonstrates. Photo spreads with smart and chatty captions trace the evolutions of buildings as they adopt new “skins.” Pointedly, architects Sir Richard Rogers (designer of the Pompidou Centre in Paris) and I.M. Pei (the Wiesner Building, aka the Media Lab at MIT) are taken to task for designing monumental flops that deny occupants’ needs. Later sections track the social meanings of preservationism and celebrate vernacular traditions worldwide (e.g., the Malay house of Malaysia; pueblo architecture; the 18th- century Cape Cod House). Brand also documents his own unique habitats. He lives with his wife in a converted tugboat and houses his library in a metal self-storage container. Here, as throughout, Brand’s self-reliant voice rings true–that of an engaging, intellectual crank. Brand makes a case for letting people shape their own environments. His crunchy-granola insights bristle with an undeniable pragmatism. — Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

All kinds of structures–domestic, commercial, institutional–are examined as they change with time and with varied usage in this fascinating, vividly accessible book that beckons toward a new frontier in architecture. 340 illustrations and photos.

Like people, buildings change with age, forced to adapt to the needs of current occupations. This provocative examination of buildings that have adapted well, and some that haven’t, calls for a dramatic rethinking in the way new buildings are designed, one that allows structures to grow and change easily with the environment. Photos.

Booknews, Inc. , 12/01/94:
Kind of like the theory that a literary text is never closed, but is temporarily appropriated in its reading and rereading, Brand, of Whole Earth Catalog fame, proposes that buildings adapt best when constantly refined and reshaped by their occupants, and that architects can grow from artists of space into artists of time. As a resource or just as a read, Brand shows how to work with time rather than against it. He provides loads of examples and loads of photographs and drawings. 11×8.75 Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

The author, Stewart Brand , 07/26/97:
Now a BBC TV series In July 97 the BBC aired a 6-part TV series called How Buildings Learn. I was the writer and presenter. It got lovely reviews in the Brit press. I hope it gets picked up for US broadcast. A British edition of the book (from Orion Books) came out at the same time as the TV series. It’s better manufactured than the US edition from Penguin, so the 350 photos read more clearly. You can probably get a copy from Blackwells on the Web. Maybe Amazon will pick up the Brit edition as well? However, the US edition has some harsh comments about buildings by architect Richard Rogers that were expunged from the British edition because he is aggressively litigious about all criticism.

Customer Comments

from Toronto, Canada , 10/09/97, rating=10:
excellent, thought-provoking, calm I’ve hesitated to review this book because I’m personally suspicious of glowing praise. However, this book deserves it. Brand’s starting point is the observation that most architects spend most of their time re-working or extending existing buildings, rather than creating new ones from scratch, but the subject of how buildings change (or, to adopt Brand’s metaphor, how buildings learn from their use and environment) is ignored by most architectural schools and theorists. By looking at examples (big and small, ancient and modern), Brand teases out patterns of re-use and change, and argues (very convincingly) that since buildings are going to be modified many times, they should be designed with unanticipated future changes in mind. Of course, the same is true of programs, and I found again and again that I could substitute the word program for building, and programmer for architect, everything Brand said was true of computing as well (but much better written than any software engineering polemic I’ve ever read).

04/03/97, rating=9:
Explores Architecture and Change I learned of this book while previewing a presentation by a superior software professional working to come up with some principles and ideas for building flexible systems, and whose son (an architecture student) had sent a copy to her. Several metaphors that she included, taken from the book, were so compelling I had to buy a copy immediately. The book turns out to be interesting on many levels, interesting about buildings, unintentionally full of metaphors for software geeks like me, intriguing about what happens when concrete and steel meet the realities of change and human nature. Now if I could only find a book about How People Learn…

02/16/97, rating=9:
A must for architects and preservationists This book is one of my required texts for my master’s degree in historic preservation. Preservationists are often overly concerned with restoring buildings to a specific period and this book should change their minds! The concept of a building as a living breathing CHANGING entity is something that anyone involved with buildings should take to heart. Brand’s book is well written and easy to read, and anyone who has ever been in love with a building should read it!

08/08/96, rating=8:
Very much in the tradition of A PATTERN LANGUAGE (Chris Alexander et al), about how building evolve through remodeling over the decades. Several excerpts: Art begets fashion; fashion means style; style is made of illusion; and illusion is no friend to function…. Formerly stylish clothing you can throw or give away; a building goes on looking ever more out-of-it, decade after decade, until a new skin is grafted on at great expense, and the cycle begins again–months of glory, years of shame…. Real estate is an astonishingly unexamined phenomenon. Books on the history of architecture outnumber books on the history of real estate 1,000 to 0, yet real estate has vastly more influence on the shape and fate of buildings than architectural theories of aesthetics.

Audubon House – Building the Environmentally Responsible, Energy-Efficient Office

Audubon House: Building the Environmentally Responsible, Energy-Efficient OfficePublisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0471024961

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The behind-the-scenes story of the construction of one of the world’s most environmentally sound buildings in the heart of New York City–the headquarters of the Audubon Society. Audubon and the Croxton architects sought to make Audubon House a model for design professionals around the world.

Card catalog description
Audubon House is the inspiring story of how the Audubon/Croxton team converted a 19th-century architectural masterpiece into one of the most environmentally advanced buildings ever designed. Providing a model that can be followed by owners, developers, architects, and building professionals, this book demonstrates how environmental criteria, such as sustainable use of resources, energy efficiency, and air quality can be achieved without sacrificing traditional considerations of cost, functionality, and aesthetics. Built at market cost and using only off-the-shelf technology, Audubon House is sixty percent more energy efficient than the conventional approach would have been. It saves its owners a projected $100,000 dollars annually in operating expenses, and supports an extraordinarily practical, healthy, and handsome office environment. The book is organized into two parts. Part I introduces the project and describes what members of the Audubon team discovered about the environmental impact of buildings and the types of systems that can mitigate this impact. Part II presents four essential systems at Audubon House: lighting, heating and cooling, ventilation and indoor air quality, and recycling. Particular attention is paid to the way in which these systems work together, each contributing to the performance of the whole. These goals could only be realized through the close cooperation of the architects, interior designers, environmentalists, engineers, research scientists, and contractors who collaborated on the project. The description of this collaborative process is as central to the theme of this book as the building’s many design innovations and energy-saving features. Richly illustrated with professional photographs and architectural drawings, Audubon House is both a guidepost for environmentally sound construction and an inspiring chronicle of hope for all environmentally concerned citizens.

The publisher, John Wiley & Sons:
In 1992, the National Audubon Society completed construction on one of the most environmentally advanced edifices ever built. The building’s success is due equally to the new technologies implemented, sound economic principles used to guide the project and the special collaborative approach of the design and construction team. This lavishly illustrated book examines all three elements in a manner that will show others how these principles can be applied to create buildings with improved environmental performance.

Table of Contents

The Built Environment: Counting the Costs
Dimensions of Sustainable Design

Lighting and Other Energy Efficiencies
Heating, Cooling, and Energy at Audubon
The Healthy Workplace: Ventilation and Materials
Recycling at Audubon: Closing the Loop
Conclusion: A Success in the Making

The Natural House Catalog : Everything You Need to Create an Environmentally Friendly Home

The Natural House Catalog
Author(s): David Pearson (Editor)

Publisher: Fireside

ISBN: 0684801981

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Featuring specific how-to projects written by specialists, as well as an index organized by city and region, this book is a natural for home builders, renovators, decorators, and fixer-uppers who cherish the environment now–and want to preserve it for future generations. 91 photos, 16 in color.

Table of Contents
Pt. 1. Everything you need
Ch. 1. Building
Ch. 2. Soft Energy
Ch. 3. Water
Ch. 4. Sane Electrics
Ch. 5. Lighting
Ch. 6. Air
Ch. 7. Decoration
Ch. 8. Furniture and Furnishings
Ch. 9. Non-Toxic Home
Ch. 10. Backyard
Ch. 11. Recycling
Ch. 12. Green Experts
Pt. 2. Directory of Products, Resources and Services