Architecture Laid Bare! In Shades Of Green Reviewed By Janet Walker of
Janet Walker

Reviewer Janet Walker: Janet is the author of Colour To Die For, first of the Fee Weston Mystery Series. Janet lives in Australia and when she is not writing about P.I. Fee Weston's fight for truth, justice and a livable cash flow, she writes articles for magazines and fund raises for Australia's wildlife carers - heroes of the bush. For more about Janet and Fee visit Janet's WEBSITE

By Janet Walker
Published on September 10, 2012

Author : Robert Brown Butler
ISBN-13 : 9781466345935
ISBN-10 : 1466345934

Author : Robert Brown Butler
ISBN-13 : 9781466345935
ISBN-10 : 1466345934 

If only… if only we had owned a copy of Robert Brown Butler’s book, Architecture Laid Bare! In Shades Of Green when we did our recent home renovation. Trying to make sure that what we were doing was in keeping with our own wish to use sustainable materials in a simple, environmentally friendly way and explaining our needs to the tradesmen involved was in a word – difficult. Two words would be: extremely difficult.

Brown Butler, an architect of fifty years experience and author of six previous books on architecture, knows how to plan and create spaces that are economical to build, comfortable and attuned to the environment, ensuring that on completion living expenses will be kept to a low level. What he also knows is: the way to present information in an engaging, easy to understand style – great for first time homeowners/renovators or for anyone who is contemplating changes to their living space.

The book begins with a short introduction on how architecture shapes our lives. I certainly agree with the author that the relationship or proximity of a stove to a bench top can improve the quality of the food you eat. It can also improve your temper when you’re trying to prepare a family meal. Brown Butler contends that present day homes often cost 30% more than they should to build because they are too large. His premise that homes could be 30% smaller without losing comfort or functionality thereby saving on heating and cooling costs does have validity; how often do we heat or cool a space that’s rarely used?

A section on: Shades of Green and Tools follows and then the book is broken into sections:

Design, Structure, Electrical, Lighting, Plumbing, Climate, Acoustics.

These sections are further expanded into specific headings and there’s a really helpful index at the back i.e. Lighting circuits, electrical (followed by page numbers). The text is interspersed with pictures and diagrams which I liked because sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words – helpful if you want to talk with a tradesman or to understand the best way to do stuff. I found the Electrical section especially interesting as I’ve never really understood electrical wiring (only knew it had to meet safety standards or there could be big trouble) and now I’m a lot better informed. At the end of each section is a space for notes which saves searching for a notepad when there’s something you really want to follow up or refer to at a later date.

Robert Brown Butler’s aim in writing this book is to help and inform those who haven’t the time or knowledge to work on their home but if a need arises, want to be able to deal with building industry professionals and of course, make sure that work they are paying for is done correctly.

Employment, relocation and family expansion and contraction can all lead to changes in your living space requirements. Architecture Laid Bare! In Shades Of Green is a keeper; one for your reference library – you never know when you will need it.           

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