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Book Review

 

 

Green Building A to Z

 

Book author: Jerry Yudelson, PE, MS, MBA, LEED® AP

                          GreenBuild Chair, 2004-08

 

First, due diligence:

Jerry Yudelson is a client; I am an enthusiastic fan. He asked me to preview this book, prior to its publication. However, it’s my choice to review it, here, because I believe you need to know about it.

 

Now, the review:

The book is written for the green building neophyte. Cliché coming: it is a primer for everyone who wanted to know about green buildings, but was afraid to ask. Human pride being what it is, people simply may not request explanations of green building terms they don’t understand, although knowing the definitions may be necessary for them to grasp the complexities required to participate in projects – as clients, owners, tenants, or industry stakeholders like valuors and policy makers.

 

This book makes it easy to become informed. Jerry distils leading-edge published research, a plethora of examples, and his profound industry insights to give the reader an impressive overview of green building and incisive explanations of key terms. A skilled communicator, he presents them in a quick yet informative, sound-byte style for the busy person. So you can take in one or several topics in one sitting.

 

In Green Building A to Z, Jerry takes you on a journey into the green building world he inhabits and brings it to life using anecdotes about key organizations and individuals - including his beloved wife Jessica and their dog Madhu. This combination of technical knowledge and humanity motivates the reader back – and back again – to his book.

 

Topics include Biophilia, Brownfields, Building Codes, Cradle-to-cradle Design, Green Home Building Guidelines, LEED, Incentives, Integrated Design, Post-occupancy Evaluation, Recycled-content materials, Right-sizing systems, Views of the Outdoors... and many more.

 

A valuable tool for practitioners and industry stakeholders:

Research I conducted indicates that often the most expert green building practitioners in a firm are the ones losing the greatest amounts of time due to the need for client education. I believe this book serves clients, policy makers, in fact all green building stakeholders, by giving them a ‘leg up’ in understanding key terms so they can move forward in their work.

 

With his book, Jerry Yudelson ably filled a market gap: there’s not another like it in the industry today. And, I think I know why: one would have to read, condense, and communicate with consummate skill, a huge amount of research nationally and internationally to even come close to achieving the educational potential of this book in such a down-to-earth style.

 

For practitioners, it’s much easier to field questions arising from this book, than starting the education process from scratch. So, you simply have to get it – for yourself, your clients, your colleagues, for all your networks (no, I’m not receiving any kind of remuneration for this recommendation!) And, it’s a small cost relative to lost time from a key practitioner’s day. Because ongoing news about accelerating climate change means time is increasingly becoming a precious commodity – and it is not a renewable resource.

 

My guess is, Green Building A to Z will be a runaway best-seller. Actually – let’s hope so: we need lots of people educated about green buildings, and quickly. There’s not a moment to lose.

 

 

 

 

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