Pretty Good House: A Common-Sense Approach To Energy-Efficient Building

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Frustrated with complicated and restrictive green-building certification programs and the under-enforced building code, a group of architects and builders in Portland, Maine, came up with the idea of the Pretty Good House. What, they asked, should you include in a house that does right for its inhabitants and the planet, but that does not go beyond reasonable environmental or financial payback? In a nutshell, a Pretty Good House is a house that's as small as possible (remember The Not So Big House?); it is simple and durable, but also well designed; it uses wood and plant-derived products as construction materials; it includes photovoltaic panels or is PV-ready; it should be insulated and air-sealed well enough that heating and cooling systems can be minimal, and, above all, it is affordable, healthy, responsible, and resilient.

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Taunton Press Inc
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