Green Home: Planning and Building the Environmentally Advanced House


208 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-921820-69-0
DDC 690'.8370472





Reviewed by James A. Love

J.A. Love is an associate professor of environmental design at the
University of Calgary.


Wayne Grady, a former editor of Harrowsmith magazine, relates the design
and construction of one of 10 Canadian advanced technology homes; he
makes a plethora of technological information palatable by presenting it
in the form of a story. The large cast of contributors to the Waterloo
“green home,” brought to life in the book, is as interesting as the
details of the environmentally friendly dwelling. By following the
process of building, the reader also learns how and why errors may occur
during construction.

For the most part, the material in the book is correct, but a few slips
do occur. For instance, there is confusion in the application of the
inverse square law to point sources of light, and the SI equivalent of
the “footcandle” is “lux” rather than “lumens.” On the other
hand, Grady provides a sound explanation of the limitations of the
residential application of active solar systems.

His editorializing (e.g., castigating people who wish to have
basements, which he views as “wasted space”) is occasionally
grating, especially coming from a person who admits to living in an
exceptionally large home. The hyperbole in the earlier parts of the book
regarding the qualities of the advanced home is tempered by more
realistic appraisals later in the book. More nonrenewable energy will be
used getting to and from this suburban home than operating it. This book
is essential reading for those interested in low-energy housing.


Grady, Wayne., “Green Home: Planning and Building the Environmentally Advanced House,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 29, 2024,