There's been a growing murmur about the book "Pretty Good House" by Dan Kolbert, Emily Mottram, Michael Maines, and Christopher Briley since its release this summer by Taunton Press.

The name, as co-author Chris Briley describes, stems from a "rant" by Dan Kolbert about the many building certifications that amount to so many hoops he's had to jump through (at considerable cost of money and time) to prove how "green" a house may be. A "pretty good house" is one that really is so, not purported to be. Of course, since the beginning, there was always a mixture of down-east restraint and tongue-in-cheek understatement in the term "pretty good." It is the opposite of highfalutin' certifications that celebrate, if not inflate, the virtues of a house. Understatement is its essence.

It is in this spirit of understatement that we are calling attention to this "pretty good review." Of all the reviews out there now, and that will no doubt follow, of this important book, Martin Holladay's should not be missed. Holladay, who himself latched onto the "pretty good" moniker early and often in Green Building Advisor, including stealing it (as he freely admits) for his own manifesto, provides an insightful review including a clear description of the book's relevance and a fair critique of its limits.

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