"Different" Books for the Auditor
By David Rabenau, LEED AP, Certified HERS Rater, BPI-Certified Building Professional (Building Analyst & Envelope)
These three books are only “different” in the sense that you won’t see them on a typical booklist for the residential energy professional. Yet they’re three of my most valued books, and I find myself referring to at least one of them on a weekly basis.
Warning: You have to like buildings to like these books. If you like everything about buildings, construction and building science, you’ll love these books.
How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built by Stewart Brand (Penguin Books, 1994). A popular architecture book by the creator of The Whole Earth Catalog, this book is a work of genius in its depth of thought and awareness of what buildings try to tell us. If nothing else, this book will change the way you look at a every new home you meet, providing you a kind of detailed and philosophical framework that I think is necessary for excellent building analysis. It is easily the best book I have ever read about buildings, their architecture, their use and their interaction in the larger scheme of their environment.
Renovation 3rd Edition by Michael W. Litchfield (The Taunton Press, 2005). Thoroughly updated, this book is an absolutely great reference for any kind of renovation or remodeling work in virtually any home you’ll encounter. Although I use it as a reference, it would probably also serve as a primer to those new to construction, particularly in helping the auditor know what’s possible and in helping to write specifications. Here is the book's chapter list:
* Inspecting a House * Planning * Tools * Building Materials * Roofs * Doors, Windows and Skylights * Exteriors * Structural Carpentry * Masonry * Foundations and Concrete * Electrical Wiring * Plumbing * Kitchens and Baths * Energy Conservation and Air Quality * Finish Surfaces * Tiling * Finish Carpentry * Painting * Wallpapering * Flooring
All About Old Buildings: The Whole Preservation Catalog by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, edited by Diane Maddex (The Preservation Press, 1985). Unfortunately, this book is out of print, but it can be found in many libraries. Used copies still can be purchased quite cheaply at online booksellers. Some of its entries are out of date, but the book is full of great photos, stories and resources. Whenever I wonder if there is a resource for this or that, this is the second place I turn (after doing an online search). The book is a "whole Earth catalog" for buildings, construction and preservation.