Green Beginnings – Book & Video Review

by Avrim & Vicki Topel

“Green Building: Planning for Success
is made available with the above book

Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

New Experience-based Book & DVD Set Offers Unique Opportunity for Understanding Green Homes

The statement that the Topels built their own home, which the in the sub-header of the book leads one to believe, could be considered a little exaggeration and even misleading to some extent, as many of us would understand under “building one's own home” that we would do that entirely ourselves. This is and was not the case for the Topels. They had an architect, a building company, and much more, build their house for them. This may be according to their wishes for a “green” and “sustainable” home but this is not a self-build home by any stretch of one's imagination.

The book shares the authors’ true story of planning and building a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver and Energy Star Qualified home as a venue to teach others about green homes. Industry sources revealed that the book and its complimentary companion Green Beginnings Video (DVD) are helping a wide variety of Americans including homeowners, university undergraduate and graduate students, realtors and construction professionals across the nation learn about and understand green homes as built to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) criteria.

The book is based on the experience of the Topels of getting their green home built and goes through everything on a step-by-step basis while the 30-min video gives an overview of what was done and how.

Whatever the case, the book makes for an interesting read and can but be recommended for anyone wishing to “build” his or her own green and sustainable home, whether they wish to build it really themselves or whether they are going to employ an architect, builder and other such.

The reader will get to know the idea of specifying to architect and builder alike as to what he or she wants used in the building of the home and how and those that wish to have a more or less D-I-Y approach here also will benefit from reading this book.

I can but recommend both the book and the accompanying video to everyone interested in the subject of green and sustainable homes and houses, whether they wish to have one built or they want to build their own.

For the latter there are also some other books available that might be good to look at and hopefully we shall be able to obtain some of those for review as well at some stage.

In April 2009 the Green Beginnings book has won Gold Medal at First Annual Living Now Book Awards.

In March, 2008, the green home featured in this year’s Gold Medal book was designated a LEED For Homes Project Profile, one of only nine homes in the nation showcased by the USGBC as examples of the LEED Green Building Rating System.

© 2009