by David Johnston and Kim Master (New Society Publishers, 2004)
If you want to bore down into the underlying principles of green building and really know that you're making the right choices in your remodel, Johnston and Master's book is an essential resource. There are the normal to-do lists and tips here, but you'll also find a depth of carefully explained research into why certain decisions are greener than others. You don't need this book to replace the flooring in your kitchen, but if you're trying to truly green your home, you'll probably find yourself dog-earing pages and underlining passages... and learning a lot along the way.
"The energy that buildings require starts accumulating long before the buildings and homes are even in existence. The energy required to extract, transport, manufacture, and then re-transport materials to the point of use required a substantial amount of energy at a significant cost to the environment. The sum of all the energy required by all the materials and services (including the costs of upkeep and maintenance) to go into constructing a building is called the embodied energy ├»┬┐┼ô For example, stones excavated from a nearby hillside for a new patio have lower embodied energy than stones that must be transported from another state."