A couple’s autobiographical account of constructing a green, sustainable home.
While â€œgreen” has become a buzzword for anything from cleaning products to cars, most people participate in environmentalism only when it’s easy or convenient. The Topels’ passion for an ecologically sustainable home was neither. Before building a green home from the ground up, they had little experience in sustainable construction. The couple never label themselves trailblazers, but their account of building their home in Kennett Square, Pa., makes them pioneers compared to the average consumer. Because their experience primarily revolves around architecture, construction permits, building materials and meeting industry standards, readers should be aware that their home-construction experiences might be very different. However, the authors provide sound advice and education for any builder-to-be regardless of location, with the aid of 20/20 hindsight. They describe their vegetative roof–a living, growing mixture of peat moss, mulch and soil–which provides added insulation and an interesting aesthetic. The book also offers glossaries and definitions of the terminology of green building, as well as a photo essay carefully documenting the construction from inception to completion. The only thing missing are dollar figures–while the Topels reference the cost of the home’s frame, it would have been interesting to view the final financial tally. Luckily, the book remains entertaining and educational for both the average consumer and those looking to embark on their own green journey.
An excellent, informative guide to sustainable building.