Green house

Published by Firefly, Eco House is a book that makes a straightforward promise: “to explain the principles of bioclimatic design, to describe the features that make a house green, and to show you where and how to get started on fulfilling your dream.” It not only keeps its promise, it does so in the most clear, succinct and illuminating way possible, all within in a generously illustrated 162 pages – thanks to author Sergi Costa Duran, who specializes in environmental preservation.

The book is divided into three sections. The first section provides installation diagrams in the design phase and key factors for a bioclimatic design; elegantly rendered, these diagrams make it easy to understand everything from heat-recovery ventilation systems to geothermal installations. The second section investigates measures to consider in the design phase of the green home: structure and skin, flooring and woodwork, passive and active energy strategies, room climate control, saving water, and lighting systems. The third section presents a room-by-room (and into the garden) plan for a greener house, with case studies from around the world – beautifully photographed, with a short yet informative text.

To top it off, Eco House provides information on cleaning the home using fewer chemical products; a directory of architects and designers; another directory of manufacturers and associations; and online resources. All in all, Eco House is a little green gem of a book – a valuable resource vibrantly executed.