The Ecology of building materials was originally published in Norwegian in 1992, and the first English version appeared in 2000. The book you have now represents a comprehensive revision; it has been updated in the light of new building Materials, knowledge and practical experience accumulated over the past decade. If the amount of information produced during these years is anything to go by, then environmental issues have never been high on the international agenda. The issue of climate change has played a central role in successive, increasingly alarming reports from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
It is believed that the book is skillfully extended, while keeping it in the same basic structure. In particular, this applies to climate-related issues. Wealth of the information currently available, it is also possible to raise the general level of accuracy in many areas.
As in the previous edition, it is still the basic intention that this book is not read from cover to cover, but serves as a reference book. Therefore, some duplicates and repetitions were required. Philip Henry translated the first edition, but the translation of this edition was done by Chris Butter, my colleague in Gaia Oslo. He also contributes to suggestions and additions that are integrated into the current text.
The Ecology of building materials is an attempt not only to evaluate new materials, but also to present the possibilities of existing materials. Alternatives to some partially abandoned materials have also been evaluated. In particular, we look at vegetable products and often look at traditional methods of preparation. In its current state, these methods are often less relevant and, therefore, these reviews must be considered provisional.
The book (Ecology of building materials) is mainly based on the climatic and geo morphological conditions of Northern and Central Europe. But given the entire planet, it becomes clear how the overall use of the material does not change, and the principles underlying better solutions are universal.
The materials treated are those commonly used Conventional builders such as brick layers, stonemasons, carpenters and locksmiths. Under this category includes all the fixing components and elements that form the building, except for heating, ventilation and sanitation. Materials that offer high environmental standards are most definitely presented while less attractive and often conventional alternatives are given less attention.