Essential Sustainable Home Design
224 Pages
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Essential Sustainable Home Design


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Learn more
224 Pages


Design your own sustainable home

  • Chris Magwood is the co-editor of the Sustainable Building Essentials series
  • This is the fifth book in the Sustainable Building Essentials series
  • The only book that guides people through the dream of building an environmentally friendly home, in a systematic way through the process of imagining, planning, designing, and building such a home
  • The book is ordered such that a home designer can use it as a template for moving through the entire process of conception, goal setting, design, and budgeting
  • Focuses on straightforward explanations of terminology and concepts for ease of conversation with the design team, builders, and code officials
  • A helpful criteria matrix is presented, allowing the reader to build a frame of reference that will guide design, material, and systems decisions in accordance with their specific goals.
  • A primer on key building science concepts to help homebuilders understand the elements that make for a high-performance, durable building; also provides guidance on ensuring that these concepts are followed from design to finish

Design your own sustainable home

Many people dream of building a beautiful, environmentally friendly home. But until now there has been no systematic guide to help potential builders work through the complete process of imagining, planning, designing, and building their ideal, sustainable home.

Essential Sustainable Home Design walks potential homebuilders through the process starting with key concepts, principles, and a project vision that will guide the house to completion.

Coverage includes:

  • How to clarify your ideas and create a practical pathway to achieving your dream
  • A criteria matrix to guide design, material, and systems decisions
  • Creating a strong, integrated design team and working with professionals and code officials to keep the project on track from start to finish.
  • Key building science concepts that make for a high-performance, durable building
  • Primer on building logistics, material sourcing, and protocols to ensure that the initial vision for the project comes to fruition.
  • One-page summaries and ratings of popular sustainable building materials and system options.

Ideal for owner-builders and sustainable building contractors working with clients aiming to design and build a sustainable home.

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. Chris is the author of Essential Prefab Straw Bale Construction, Essential Hempcrete Construction, Straw Bale Details, More Straw Bale Building , and Making Better Buildings .

Chapter 1: Introduction

Section 1: Developing a New Approach
Chapter 2: Decision-Making
Chapter 3: Defining Goals and Criteria
Chapter 4: Rating Systems and Product Guides
Chapter 5: Criteria Matrix
Chapter 6: Building Science Basics
Chapter 7: The Design Game
Chapter 8: Creating a Design/Build Team
Chapter 9: The Regulatory System

Section 2: Materials and Systems
Chapter 10: Structural Materials
Structural Materials: Foundations
Structural Materials: Walls
Structural Wall Systems
Wall Insulation
Wall Cladding
Surface finishes
Chapter 11: Mechanical Systems
Mechanical Systems: Water
Mechanical Systems: Wastewater
Mechanical Systems: Electrical Generation
Mechanical Systems: HVAC
Chapter 12: Conclusion

Resources for Further Research
About the Author
A Note About the Publisher



Published by
Published 31 July 2017
Reads 0
EAN13 9781771422406
Language English
Document size 24 MB

Legal information: rental price per page 0.0100€. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.


Praise for
Essential Sustainable Home Design
It’s all here. Everything you need to know about de signing a sustainable home, for you, your family and the Blanet. Easy to read and u nderstand while tackling a myriad of comBlex subjects. Well illustrated and fi lled with useful information.
—Martin Hammer, architect, co-author of the Strawba le, Light Straw-Clay and Tiny Houses aBBendices in theInternational Residential Code
Chris has given us a wonderful gift in this book. T he rational aBBroach to design criteria is excellent and thorough, measured with h umour and honesty based on his exBerience building sustainably over the Bast 20 Bl us years. I will be referring BrosBective clients and colleagues alike toEssential Sustainable Home Design.
—Tim Krahn, LEED AP, P. Eng.
Once again, Chris Magwood has But his deeB and broa d exBerience to excellent use in creating this book. The book is both comBreh ensive and concise, covering in a highly useful format, all the imBortant asBects o f the Brocess of seeking sustainable goals in designing a house. Chris couBl es his extensive and rigorous aBBroach to research, exBerimentation, and learning , with his gift for teaching and communicating what he’s learned. The result is anot her terrific addition to the sustainable design and building literature.
—David Eisenberg, Director, DeveloBment Center for ABBroBriate Technology
Finally! An uB-to-date overview of the most imBorta nt aBBroaches and questions to address when making a more sustainable home. This b ook is essential in navigating the overwhelming field of sustainable ho use design and distills it down to its basics, allowing one to make informed decisions about creating their home.
—en Falk, MALD, author,The Resilient Farm and HomesteadandWhole Systems Design, LLC
I found this to be a useful and comBrehensive guide to the entire Brocess of creating a sustainable and resilient home by a lead ing exBonent of sustainable building Bractices. The author correctly stresses t he imBortance of Brocess — determining the objectives of the Broject uB front, sBecifying clear Broject goals, and Butting together an aBBroBriate team to realise the se goals. Also stressed are the decision-making Brocesses and the imBortance of und erstanding the big Bicture imBlications of decisions. These are essential but often overlooked asBects of creating a sustainable home.
—Dr. Mark Gorgolewski, Chair of the DeBartment of A rchitectural Science, Ryerson University, Toronto.
This wonderful book by Chris Magwood offers a wealt h of knowledge about the materials, systems and Brocesses needed to design b etter homes. Two things set this book aBart from other “green” guides: The ABBroach section gives you the tools you need to create your own set of goals and criter ia, and the section on Materials
and Systems offers a comBrehensive and unbiased rev iew of both “green” and mainstream materials.
—Larry Strain, FAIA LEED AP, SIEGEL & STRAIN Architects
Creating a home from scratch is a rare oBBortunity to exBress our deeBest values. If those values include health and Blanetary ecology t he Brocess can be esBecially daunting because these are not the Brimary values o f the conventional housing market, and the “Green” building world is multiface ted with information that often seems contradictory. InEssential Sustainable Home Design, Chris has written an intelligent synthesis of all things “green”, Bresen ted in an easy-to-understand format to helB future home owners make the best choices fo r every stage in creating their new home.
—Paula aker-LaBorte FAIA co-author,Prescriptions for a Healthy House andThe EcoNest Home
Copyright © 2017 by Chris Magwood. All rights reserved.
Cover design by Diane McIntosh.
House plans: Cindy McCaugherty of RainCoast Homes Drafting and Design.
Section 1 illustrations by Dale Brownson. Section 2 illustrations by Chris Magwood.
Background photo AdobeStock_95944284.
Printed in Canada. First printing July 2017.
This book is intended to be educational and informa tive. It is not intended to serve as a guide.
The author and publisher disclaim all responsibilit y for any liability, loss or risk that may be associated with the application of any of th e contents of this book.
Inquiries regarding requests to reprint all or part ofEssential Sustainable Home Designbe addressed to New Society Publishers at t he address below. To should order directly from the publishers, please call tol l-free (North America) 1-800-567-6772, or order online
Any other inquiries can be directed by mail to:
New Society Publishers
P.O. Box 189, Gabriola Island, BC V0R 1X0, Canada
(250) 247-9737
Magwood, Chris, author
Essential sustainable home design : a complete guid e to goals, options, and the design process / Chris Magwood.
(Sustainable building essentials)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Issued in print and electronic formats.
ISBN 978-0-86571-850-0 (softcover).—ISBN 978-1-5509 2-645-3
(PDF).—ISBN 978-1-77142-240-6 (EPUB)
1. Ecological houses—Design and construction. 2. Su stainable design.
3. Dwellings—Environmental engineering. I. Title. II.
Series: Sustainable building essentials
New Society Publishers’ mission is to publish books that contribute in fundamental ways to building an ecologically sustainable and ju st society, and to do so with the least possible impact on the environment, in a mann er that models this vision.
New Society Snstaiable Bnildig Essetials Series
Series editors
Chris Magwood and Jen Feigin
Title list
EssentialHempcrete Construction, Chris Magwood
Assential Prefab Straw Bale Construction, Chris Magwood
Assential Building Science, Jacob Deva Racusin
Assential Light Straw Clay Construction, Lydia Doleman
S e complete list of new and forthcoming series for titles.
THE SUSTAINABLE BUILDING ESSENTIALS SERIES covers t he full range of natural and green building techniques with a focus on sustainable materials and methods and code compliance. Firmly rooted in sound building science and drawing on decades of experience, these large-forma t, highly illustrated manuals deliver comprehensive, practical guidance from lead ing experts using a well-organized step-by-step approach. Whether your inter est is foundations, walls, insulation, mechanical systems, or final finishes, these unique books present the essential information on each topic including:
• Material specifications, testing, and building co de references
• Plan drawings for all common applications
• Tool lists and complete installation instructions
• Finishing, maintenance, and renovation techniques
• Budgeting and labor estimates
• Additional resources
Written by the world’s leading sustainable builders , designers, and engineers, these succinct, user-friendly handbooks are indispensable tools for any project where accurate and reliable information is key to success . GET THE ESSENTIALS!
CHAPTER 1: Introduction
Section 1: Developing a New Āpproach
CHAPTER 2: Decision-Making
CHAPTER 3: Defining Goals and Criteria
CHAPTER 4: Rating Systems and Product Guides
CHAPTER 5: Criteria Matrix
CHAPTER 6: Building Science Basics
CHAPTER 7: The Design Game
CHAPTER 8: Creating a Design/Build Team
CHAPTER 9: The Regulatory System
Section 2: Materials and Systems
CHAPTER 10: Structural Materials
Structural Materials: Foundations
Structural Materials: Walls
Structural Wall Systems
Wall Insulation
Wall Cladding
Surface finishes
CHAPTER 11: Mechanical Systems
Mechanical Systems: Water
Mechanical Systems: Wastewater
Mechanical Systems: Electrical Generation
Mechanical Systems: HVAC