!!> Read ➯ The Eco-Home Design Guide: Principles and practice for new-build and retrofit (Sustainable Building) ➳ Author Christopher Day – Tactical-player.co.uk

The Eco-Home Design Guide: Principles and practice for new-build and retrofit (Sustainable Building) My training and profession makes use of understanding of the natural sciences, Physics in particular, and I am trying to make ecologically sound and energy efficient improvements to a 1920s house I also like practical, earthy guides to home improvement and building, as I m susceptible to paralysis by analysis I therefore devoured this book with great interest and I am certain that it will guide and inspire ongoing and future projects in my home and garden Unfortunately, there s the significant problem that the entire book is riddled with errors mostly minor ones of physical units or typos but also serious errors and omissions in the explanations of the physical processes that are supposed to underpin the advice within.This is a great shame I have every reason to believe that Christopher Day is offering a wealth of practical knowledge acquired over decades of trying, doing, failing and correcting Just the kind of hands on knowledge that you d want if starting out in an eco home build or renovation I also appreciate that he s not a scientist and much of what he states is just repetition of commonly held misconceptions but all it would have taken to put this fine book on the right track would have been a proof reading from a qualified physical scientist.Examples include the statement that humid air conducts heat faster than dry air This just isn t supported in the scientific literature and in fact the opposite is true at the kinds of temperatures and relative humidity we live in Further on, there s the simply wrong statement that negatively ionised air molecules lack electrons that would make them positively charged and a host of other comments that would make anyone relying on science to inform their decisions feel rather queasy.Then there s the near criminally inaccurate comparison of the energy efficiency of heat pumps He rightly states that they are a means of getting around three units of useful heat energy for each unit of electrical energy by extracting heat from the surroundings and also correctly states the conversion efficiency of electricity of around three units of primary fossil burned energy to produce one unit of electricity He then multiplies the two factors together and states this made a net efficiency of 1 1, so they were in effect useless The logical problem here is that heat pumps should only considered in comparison to other electrical heat generation methods such as underfloor heating, storage heating or water tank immersion coils By comparing with these, the three for one factor is self evidently important and any on or off grid electrical generation that is done sustainably results in massive improvements in efficiency So, for example, if you had a PV roof panel or wind turbine generating electricity and wanted to use some to heat your home, then using it to drive a heat pump would make great sense, all else being equal.I am also irritated by the inherent suggestion that anything natural is safer and less toxic than anything synthetic While I happily agree that traditional natural materials are hard to beat and that we have introduced some awful toxins into our living spaces through man made materials and coatings, it s this kind of statement that drives non critical thinking in building design An extreme example is that I could spend 15 minutes in a local forest and find a plethora of natural toxins that could kill you but a relevant example in the context is that inhalation of wood dust hardwoods such as oak and sequoia in particular has been linked with nasal cancers in woodworkers Nature is full of evolved mechanisms to protect itself and plenty of other coincidentally dangerous properties Resist the marketing nonsense that equates natural with safe and healthy even if they often go hand in hand Don t get me wrong I completely endorse Day s holistic and human approach to architecture and design, considering the living system the home and its occupants in multiple aspects It s fantastic to consider the interaction of trees and plants in your garden with the conditions inside your home throughout the year it s true wisdom to point out that hermetically sealed airtight homes are at risk of air pollution and lack the stimulus of changes in air and temperature around the home I just wish he could have done this without resorting to what the skeptics call woo woo It s a real shot in the foot for an otherwise enlightening book.Ultimately I m conflicted by this title As a person who chooses hand tools over powered ones for sawing, chopping and stacking wood for my log burner who lays hedge rather than puts up panel fencing who throws on another sweater to relax in rather than sticking on the central heating I embrace so much of what Day writes here and thank him for penning a book full of hard learned wisdoms On the other side, as person who trained in the physical sciences and works in high tech engineering, I am disheartened that publishers think it s OK to put out a book with section headings of Building physics and Thermal Mass without asking a qualified critical technical reader to check the copy Green Books has their postal address in Cambridge and as I live there I can assure you that there are plenty of people around who would have done this job free or nearly free me included In fact, I invite the publishers to contact me if they want a list of the technical errors I noticed as I turned the corners down on each page where this occurred A second edition on a solid physical foundation would be get 5 recommendation from me As it stands, I can t give it than 3 for it s hit often and miss occasionally advice. The book is ideally aimed at designers architects who do this sort of thing for a living Its an absolute treasure trove of information for any budding DIYer who has even the least bit of interest in being able to build or utilise eco techniques into any home The neat thing is the techniques are equally suitable for new builds and also to retrofit into existing homes, so there is a lot of food for thought The book is split up into 20 manageable chapters the book contains around 250 pages total , the information is short, concise, informative and easy to read The last section highlights a list of case studies detailing properties the author has undertaken across his career in the field, highlighting where the project was successful and where could have improved.The book is beautifully hand illustrated throughout and resembles a designers sketch pad, and is unlike many clinical looking books that are published these days Along with very detailed notes accompanying to help explain each principle being covered The book is well balanced in providing a engaging and informative read as well as providing very useful illustrations where required I am by no means an expert in this field, in fact know very little about the application, however I am hugely interested in designing my next home utilising some of the techniques discussed in the book I encourage you to buy and read this book to fire your imagination to encourage a thoughtful and imaginative design, often in a very practical and useful way The main topics discussed from many angles are keeping warm, dry and energy efficiency as well as other key areas such as environmental impact of implementing these things.I am not an avid reader by any means and dabble in reading this sort of DIY infrequently, however this is very light and manageable reading and I simply cannot put this down at the moment Anyone who is the slightest bit concerned with the environment and that should be most of us should at least have a read of the material in this book even if we aren t able to implement anything A big thumbs up from me and I would definitely recommend. This Book Is A Must Read For Any Student Or Home Designer Who Seeks The Wisdom Necessary To Work With Nature S Forces, Not Against Them Sue Roaf, Author Of EcohouseChristopher S Thorough Design Guide Is Written With People And Practical Experience At The Heart And Is Therefore Useful For Builders, Surveyors, Architects, Engineers Or Simply Homeowners Wanting A Home That Is Lovely To Live In And Friendly To The Planet Ben Bolgar, Senior Director, The Princes TrustBoth Practical And Poetic, He Deals With Facts And Values, And The Ways In Which Truth, Goodness And Beauty Become Embodied Through Design Professor Stuart Walker, Lancaster University, Author Of Designing SustainabilityChristopher Day Has Studied Architecture And Sculpture And Has Been Committed To Eco Architecture And An Ecological Lifestyle Since The S He Has Received Four Design Awards, Including A Prince Of Wales Award, For His Work On Eco Houses And Steiner Schools He Pioneered A Consensus Design Method, Which Has Now Been Used In Over Projects As A Designer, Consultant, Lecturer Or Teacher, Christopher Has Worked In Different Countries From California, USA To New Zealand, Managing The Construction Of Eco Homes Across Many Income Levels Cultures And Climates Continuing To Work Despite Being Disabled For The Last Fifteen Years, Christopher Has Developed A Further Specialism In Adapting Environmentally Friendly Buildings For Disabled Residents

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