Eco House: Practical Ideas for a Greener, Healthier Dwelling by Sergi Costa Duran

Aug 16, 2012

Until recently, green living meant household waste recycling or choosing bamboo or cork flooring. This book explains new directions in architecture where efficiency is the new priority in building culture, offering the latest trends in conserving resources, maintaining healthy indoor environments, and reducing environmental impact of your house.  Eco House is a thorough guide to the structural features and interior and exterior elements that make a house eco friendly and “green”.

Eco House explains, among other things: the principles of thermal and geothermal installation; how to build a mini wind turbine and/or rainwater collection system; how to purify household gray water and construct gray-water plumbing. It provides information on innovative structure and skin materials, and even taking your house “off the grid”

There’s more.  Regarding the indoor environment, Costa Duran lists the best VOC-free wax and oil treatments for wood finishes; discusses carpets of new and unusual materials that do not contain brominated flame retardants; how to avoid the formaldehyde contained in the majority of new kitchen cupboards; and why granite and ceramics are not the most sustainable choice when choosing a worktop for your kitchen.

The most fascinating chapter featured zero energy building trends; calculating the position of new structures so to compliment sun and wind direction, and an explanation of the European “Passivhaus” certification. Describing in detail new passive and active heating and cooling options, Eco House explains how to optimize room climate control with easy to understand graphs and images; recommends new insulation materials; and discusses the latest technology in lighting and self sufficient renewable energy sources.

 This small, straightforward, information-packed book is written in non-technical language, understandable to those interested in a new architecture for the new world.

 Eco House is full of photographs of houses from around the world illustrating where and how to start to make a few changes in an existing dwelling, or build a new eco home.

Reviewed by Library Staff