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So, good information but you need to pay close attention. I did indeed learn a lot from the book and got my money's worth.
I have used the book numerous times to help investigate safe building materials and methods for my own house. I too have a wife with MCS.
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He is one of the better authors covering home ventilation. On the down side, there are some vague referances not backed up with objective data.
All in all, well worth the money.
Now, swap Charles II of Spain for the late Lord Strutt, Philip of Anjou for Philip Baboon, Charles of Austria for Esquire South, the English people for John Bull, the Dutch people for Nicholas Frog, Louis XIV for Lewis Baboon, the Duke of Marlborough for Humphrey Hocus, war for court action, battles for cases, general for attorney [pant, pant, pant], and you have the War of the Spanish Succession! (At least as seen through Tory eyes.)
This series of five pamphlets were published in 1712 as an allegory of the War of the Spanish Succession. They have biting satire in them (Marlborough, and quite a few others are roasted quite thoroughly), and make an enjoyable read. I must state, though, that unlike some satires, these pamphlets will not prove terribly entertaining if you get an edition that does not include a good background, footnotes, and a cast of characters (i.e., it is a so-so story on its own, but a wonderful satire).
It is not necessary to know much about the War, so long as you are interested in the subject, and are willing to periodically flip back to the notes (as was the case with me). I would say that this book is an interesting historical artifact, and an excellent piece of literature. By the way, these pamphlets are the source of the character John Bull.
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If you know of a book which addresses duct sizing and layout for the layperson, please email me!
Bower understands how houses breathe and he communicates his expertise succinctly and authoritatively. He take a holistic approach to a house, viewing it as an organism consisting of interconected parts. He equates the ventilation system with the lungs of the structure. Houses built without a stratgically designed ventilation system are like sleep apnea patients, who breathe erratically and unevenly. Bower's approach teaches us how to build systems that have controlled, efficient, intentional ventilation.
In the theatre, the term "triple threat" describes someone who can sing, dance and act. In the area of building science, John Bower is a quadruple threat. He is a building ecology expert of very high calibre; he is a skilled writer; he is a talented teacher; and he is a compassionate 'sick house doctor' who can diagnose and prescribe strategies that heal.
Bower's style is masterful, clear, concise and very readable. The diagrams are illustrative and demonstrate the author's welcome sense of humor. The information is easily accessible for those who would prefer to use the book as a quick reference. The numerous appendices (abbreviations, glossary, bibliography, organizations, equipment sources) alone, make the price of the book a bargain.
If you are a homeowner (or a prospective one) and if concepts like infiltration, air exchange, positive / negative air pressure, source control and ventilation make you roll your eyes in the back of your head, then this is a 'must have' book for you.
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