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Paperback – 464 pages
8 Inches × 9.125 Inches (w × h)

Weight: 912 Grams
BISAC: ARCHITECTURE / Sustainability & Green Design
Publisher: New Society Publishers
ISBN: 9780865717060
Pub. Date: 2014-03-01

About the Author

Chris Magwood

Chris Magwood has designed and built some of the most innovative, sustainable buildings in North America, including the first off-grid, straw bale home in Ontario. He is co-founder and director the Endeavour Centre for Innovative Building and Living and co-editor of the Sustainable Building Essentials series. He has helped hundreds of people work through the process to design their own sustainable home and achieve their dreams. Chris is the author of Essential Prefab Straw Bale Construction, Essential Hempcrete Construction, Straw Bale DetailsMore Straw Bale Building, and Making Better Buildings.

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Making Better Buildings

A Comparative Guide to Sustainable Construction for Homeowners and Contractors

by Chris Magwood



From foundation to finish, a wealth of information is available on sustainable construction methods - entire volumes have been published on individual green and natural building techniques. But with so many different ideas to choose from, there is no single resource that allows an owner or builder to quickly and objectively compare the merits of each system for their particular project.

Making Better Buildings cuts through the hype and provides the unvarnished facts about the upsides and downsides of the most widely discussed materials and technologies. Drawing on the real-world experiences of designer/builders, this comparative guide systematically and comprehensively examines each approach in terms of:

  • Cost, sourcing, labor intensity, and ease of construction
  • Energy efficiency, embodied energy, and environmental impacts
  • Availability/accessibility
  • Viable applications and future potential.

Each chapter is rounded out by a chart which summarizes the material in a quick and accessible manner.

Whether you are an owner preparing to build a green or natural home, or a conventional contractor determined to integrate sustainable alternatives into your existing construction practices, this up-to-the minute resource will help you make the best decisions for your project, while meeting your energy, efficiency, budgetary, and site-specific needs.

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