Monday, March 10, 2008

James Glave: Almost Green

Writer James Glave has built himself a lovely eco-shed studio (pictured above) at his home on Bowen Island and also written what sounds like an intriguing book chronicling the build which used, among other things, FSC timber, heat-recovery ventilation, rainwater harvesting, edible landscaping (a nice touch) and passive solar technology. Douglas Coupland has already given the book the thumbs up ("a smart and contemplative read"). Here's some more information from the author:
"Part obsession, part labor of love, part money pit, the project has served as a crash course in the techniques, conundrums, and trade-offs of sustainable design. It’s been a public exercise in learning by doing, assuaging nervous neighbors, alienating the in-laws, pushing my marriage to the limit, and mustering reserves of time, money, and life force that I didn’t know I possessed. Ultimately I hope the studio will educate and inspire others to demand something better from their own homes, which may in turn one day point the way toward a healthier and better tomorrow for us all.

Yet ALMOST GREEN is more than just the story of a construction project. It chronicles how a driven, cash-strapped, bleary-eyed stay-at-home-dad learns when to dig in his heels, when to make sacrifices, and when to make bitter compromises along the path to the carbon-reduced life. It is an adventure of challenge and change, a fumbling one-man quest to reinvent suburbia, one cul-de-sac at a time."
Almost Green is out in autumn with Greystone Books. More photos of James' shed at his flickr site and indeed at readersheds.co.uk where he has shared his shed and added more details and so is in the running for Shed of the Year 2008. He's also giving a talk on May 10 about his shed at Light House. You can hear him on a vangogreen podcast too which is well worth a listen.

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