Architecture Laid Bare! In Shades of Green, © 2013, 458 pages, 232 illustrations
If knowledge is power, you'll feel like an army after you've read this book. If you would like to improve the architecture you live and work in, yet endlessly worry how you would deal with conflicting regulations, subjective whims of designers, and exploitive contractors, this thick reference will save you its selling price a thousand times over. Written with engaging wit by an architect of fifty years' experience who has authored six previously acclaimed books on architecture, this little Britannica combs through every essential material and method of construction used in today's buildings, strips away the skin of current styles and questionable constructions, and burrows to the very bones of what architecture is about —to give you an elemental and practical knowledge of how the spaces that enclose you make you comfortable, simplify your activities, soothe your psyche, and satisfy your everyday needs.
This reference also explains what green architecture is, the pros and cons of LEED, and how our society can best achieve a sustainable architecture in today's ecologically ravaged world. Hence its subtitle is In Shades of Green.
… Another tip for owners about to embark on any construction project, large or small, is to keep a Book of Entries. This is a record of every material delivered and every hour of work performed, as suggested in figure 2-11. If you can't obtain the listed information from the contractor, insist, if you can, that s/he keep a similar record for the project, and insist, if you can, to be allowed to examine it when you want. Better yet, you keep such a record and have the contractor keep one, and compare them occasionally, perhaps during weekly conferences. This is one of the most thorough ways an owner can show an interest, keep informed, be involved, and have the confidence to assert oneself when necessary. Also if any construction or legal dispute arises, you can present before a judge a record of all that transpired.
… Architecture Laid Bare is a testimony to the highest standards of journalism, home construction, and brutal honesty. For example, I was shocked to know about the high amount of formaldehyde in new pressed wood products in new homes. I also found Butler's advice ingenious for new home owners. Additionally, I loved the section on Acoustics and the suggestions for eliminating sound in an outdoor area. I highly recommend Architecture Laid Bare to every homeowner who wants to have a healthy home, save money, and live a green lifestyle. Luv2Read, Amazon Reviewer
… Architecture Laid Bare is more than just a great book for demystifying the entire architecture process for the layman. Butler writes in a convivial, conversational style that makes even the most technical passages easy to digest. He also peppers the text with anecdotes and stories of his colorful and exciting life. These stories help illustrate the concepts and techniques Butler discusses, but also make for entertaining reading all on their own. Also filled with detailed illustrations and fascinating photographs, this is as complete a book on architecture as you could ever want, whether you own a home or not! AVB_NY
With minor editing and professional promoting, I believe this book would sell well to the general public.