Synopses & Reviews
With greater public awareness of the need for energy independence, the issue of how we can make our existing homes more resource efficient is becoming ever more critical. Residential buildings make up a large fraction of our energy needs, largely due to heating and air-conditioning. So it's no longer enough to simply do the small stuff, like switching to compact fluorescent bulbs, or turning down the thermostat at night.In The Greened House Effect
, author Jeff Wilson brings his twenty-five years of construction experience and knowledge of home building to bear on making our current houses cleaner, greener, and healthier. Think of a deep-energy retrofit (DER) as a "home makeover" - one that represents a significant investment, but that saves money from the get-go by capturing the energy you "drop on the ground" every month, every year, through inefficiency, poor design, or simply living in a typical older home.Using his own family's DER of their 1942 home as a prime example, Wilson weaves a readable narrative at a practical, hammer-and-nail level. He presents the solutions to our building and energy problems, making them seem possible for average homeowners and small contractors by offering the right set of information, skills, and materials.More technical information is presented in sidebars and graphs, and numerous color photos illustrate the process, including:
- Testing the energy efficiency of your home and learning where improvements need to be made.
- Issues of local building codes and regulations.
- Financing and paying for a DER.
- Major components of the DER, such as roofs, exterior walls, basements, and home systems.
Wilson's building experience, along with his lifelong passion for energy issues, all come together to form an inspirational, can-do approach to making our neighborhood, our community, our nation, and our world a better place - one home at a time.
"Professionals will debate the techniques, and economists will debate the payback, but no one will debate Jeff Wilson's pluck in attacking his own Deep Energy Refit -- all the while living with his family in the house! The Greened House Effect
is a good overview of the DER field and a great argument for moving out while you do the work! Jeff must have a very patient wife!"--Steve Thomas, former host of PBS's "This Old House" and Planet Green's "Renovation Nation"
"I live on an island. There are 17,000 existing buildings here. Each will be brought into the 21st century, at some point, or be summarily discarded -- demolished, dumped, and replaced. The Deep Energy Retrofit method is the key to restoring our existing housing stock. At South Mountain Company we practice this approach. Jeff Wilson does too, and he has written a comprehensive and robust introduction to the subject that balances practical instructions with design, engineering, and social/environmental context. The Greened House Effect
is very informative. And it's a good read, too."--John Abrams, President and CEO, South Mountain Company, Inc.; author of Companies We Keep
Table of Contents
Introduction: Why Deep Energy Retrofit?
Ch. 1: How Much Can I Save?
Ch. 2: Designing Your DER
Ch. 3: Paying for Your DER
Ch. 4: DER Roofs
Ch. 5: DER Exterior Walls
Ch. 6: DER Basements
Ch. 7: DER Home Systems
Ch. 8: Ultra-High-Efficiency Additions
Ch. 9: Renewable Energy and DERs
Ch. 10: The Greened House Effect