Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 70% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now
Profile for Nick Grant > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Nick Grant
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,135,062
Helpful Votes: 142

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Nick Grant "Sustainable building consultant" (Hereford UK)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
What the **** is Normal?!
What the **** is Normal?!
by Francesca Martinez
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, clever and naughty, my sort of humour, I couldn't put it down,, 30 Dec. 2014
I had enjoyed Francesca's all too infrequent appearances on TV and radio but knew nothing about the book when I saw it on the shelf at a real bookshop, just thought I'd give it a go. Somehow this made it to the top of my pile of half read books over Christmas. Unlike the rest, brilliant as they all are, I couldn't put it down.

I'm not qualified to judge it as literature but it made me cry laughing. It is not a serious philosophy book but it made me think about many things in a different way.

I don't believe that a book has to be hard work to be worth reading and this was a pleasure.

If I write more I'll put people off and I really don't want to do that. Funny, clever and naughty, my sort of humour.


Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder
Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder
Price: £5.49

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I found it practically useful in my work and life, 5 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have not read Taleb's other works but was intrigued by an interview, downloaded the free chapter on Kindle then got sucked in and couldn't put it down. I did pick up a copy to skim in a bookshop a while ago but it looked very dense and I passed it by. On Kindle I can crank up the font size and take my time! Ironically Taleb makes the case for the visceral quality of real books and I would agree but not for this one!!

Yes his style annoys me and I have to keep looking up words and latin phrases. The concave/ convex terminology confused me even though I love graphs and am quite technical. However it is a book that has helped me in thinking about various current practical questions that I am wrestling with in work (helping design and build low energy buildings) and life.

Some of it is 'obvious' but that doesn't make the insights less valuable. Much of it supports my beliefs which is always comforting but a good amount of it has made me question what I thought I knew.

I like the apparent paradoxes such as his advocating ancient wisdom in a purely pragmatic, rule of thumb way whilst still aspiring to a thoroughly rigorous rational approach.

If you are a practical person who likes to think about thinking then I would be very surprised if this book doesn't provide a healthy return on time invested reading it.


The Passivhaus Handbook: A practical guide to constructing and retrofitting buildings for ultra-low energy performance (Sustainable Building)
The Passivhaus Handbook: A practical guide to constructing and retrofitting buildings for ultra-low energy performance (Sustainable Building)
by Janet Cotterell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £26.45

5.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction and more, 22 Nov. 2013
I know and have worked with the authors so can't be completely objective but I do recommend this book. It is a great introduction to Passivhaus building and will also give you a good grounding in most of the technicalities of genuinely low energy, high comfort building design and theory.


Blue Horse
Blue Horse
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £10.32

4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely album, 15 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Blue Horse (Audio CD)
Already a fan of China Town and Hello Love and if you know them you will probably like this. Some nice tracks I'm playing it a lot right now.


XE-CREE E27 3*3 9W Dimmable LED Spotlight Bulb Warm White
XE-CREE E27 3*3 9W Dimmable LED Spotlight Bulb Warm White
Offered by The Warm Light Company Ltd
Price: £8.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading, 4W not 9W, 15 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Not as described. 3x 1W but consuming about 4W.

Colour temperature is cool not warm but I don't have a way to measure it.

Purchased because of the Cree name, not tried dimming it.

Not returned as does work as a 3W Led and I can't be bothered to return it.

The base are loose when I unscrewed it but the connections didn't break which was lucky, does not exude quality of inspire confidence.


Searching For Sugar Man [DVD]
Searching For Sugar Man [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rodriguez
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Best film I've seen in ages., 15 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was actually put off by some of the positive reviews! True stories always have an edge, brilliant watch it you won't be disappointed. Then buy the music.

No more to say.


A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center for Environmental Structure Series)
A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center for Environmental Structure Series)
by Christopher Alexander
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £37.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Still a classic, 13 Dec. 2009
A lot of the patterns are obvious in hindsight but they are no less valuable for that.

What is refreshing is that this is no grand theory of architecture but a cookbook of empirical observations rated by confidence with caveats for climate and culture.

Some of the patterns are incompatible with others or with modern standards of energy efficiency (e.g. small window panes) but don't let that annoy you. If you employ one pattern in one building because of reading this, then this book was a bargain.


Energy Efficient Architecture: Basics for Planning and Construction
Energy Efficient Architecture: Basics for Planning and Construction
by Roberto Gonzalo
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £72.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recomended, 13 Dec. 2009
I am usually disappointed by books on energy efficient buildings. Typically they are full of nice pictures of supposedly low energy buildings but with no analysis or numbers to back up the claims.

I read this book from cover to cover two years ago and have been meaning to write a review ever since. It is also on my list of books to read again.

A good companion to Passivhaus-Bauteilkatalog (Details for Passive Houses) which focusses on the construction details whilst this book considers planning and layout.

The case studies at the end are inspiring although it is a bit depressing to see that the UK examples of supposedly low energy buildings use about 10x the energy of the German and Austrian examples!


Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air
Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air
by David J. C. MacKay
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breath of fresh air, 16 Oct. 2009
Nothing to add to the previous reviews other than a positive vote for this excellent book.

The most important message is that we must do the numbers and it is not difficult to do a better job of this than most reporters and politicians.

Excellent book, let's just hope that he is still allowed to talk sense now he is working as Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Excellent

Nick Grant

Energy and water consultant


Passivhaus-bauteilkatalog, Okologisch Bewertete Konstruktionen - Details for Passive Houses, A Catalogue of Ecologically Rated Constructions
Passivhaus-bauteilkatalog, Okologisch Bewertete Konstruktionen - Details for Passive Houses, A Catalogue of Ecologically Rated Constructions
by Walter Pokorny
Edition: Hardcover

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reference and reading for building designers, 17 July 2008
First off the description says this is in German but it is English and German which is actually very useful as a Rosetta Stone for technical German.

This is the book I have been waiting for. I have purchased many detail books over the years and have always been disappointed. Either the details are not very applicable to UK methods (shuttered concrete ceilings for example) or if UK orientated the thermal and air-tightness details leave a lot to be desired.

The range of construction methods in this book is impressive and it is good to see low cost build-ups suitable for self builders using local timber rather than the more typical manufactured I joists.

Every detail includes a conventional and 'alternative' build up using more 'eco' materials. A simple ecological evaluation is also presented. This is never an exact science but this feels transparent and useful. Often the 'eco' option is not much better than the conventional one so effort and cash can be directed to where the differences are greatest.

The introduction includes background on the Passivhaus approach and discussions on building physics including moisture and mould.

Books like this serve as a painful reminder of how rubbish we are in the UK! This all makes so much more sense than the UK Code for Sustainable Homes which is not compatible with this approach. If you are serious about genuine low energy and high comfort building then tear up the CSH technical guide and get this book I think this is the way to go!!!

Don't wince at the price, this is excellent value, if you only use one detail it has paid for its self.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 6, 2010 7:22 PM GMT


Page: 1 | 2