Sustainable Building Sourcebook: Supplement to the Green Building Program
April 1, 2000
Sustainable Building Sourcebook:
2nd edition, 2000. Austin Energy, PO Box 1088, Austin, TX 78767-8844; 512/505-3700, 512/499-2859 (fax). 3-ring binder format, 266 pages, $60.
Sustainable Building Sourcebook came out in 1993 (see
Sourcebook has been honed down considerably but still provides the perspective and local contacts vital to the information needs of builders and architects in the Southwest generally and Austin specifically.
Sourcebook has become a more general reference with elimination of cross-referencing to the Austin green builder program guide and the points system for the program. The appendices also have been largely redone, including a more general information resources appendix and an extensive green building glossary. The extensive index is retained. Gone is the grid presentation of such issues as cost, availability, regulatory implications, and financing—these are now covered in a compact “At-A-Glance Notes” section of the write-up on each green building feature.
The breakdown of content is still by four major environmental topics: water, energy, materials, and recycling. We were surprised and disappointed not to see indoor air quality as a separate major topic—it is addressed to some extent under “Materials.” Also noticeably absent is coverage of efficient framing—although
Efficient Wood Use in Residential Construction (see
) is listed in the Resources for Engineered Structural Products—and building material reuse under either Materials or Recycling. The sections that still shine are on water conservation, local building materials—earth construction, straw-bale, etc.—and integrated pest management/wood treatment. The guidelines and resources offered are still among the best available.
In checking with local users of the
Sourcebook, they liked the new cleaner format and continued extensive focus on local resources. “I use the
Sourcebook most for the contacts—local experts whose perspective I can count on, and outlets for available materials and systems,” says Ray Tonjes, a green builder in Austin. “When you put the
Sourcebook together with the program staff, you have a complete package for green building in Austin.”
Sustainable Building Sourcebook is no longer the stand-alone green building resource that it was seven years ago—competition among resources of this type has stiffened a lot in the last four years. But for builders and architects in the Southwest, the
Sourcebook is still top-shelf material.