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31.

SHELTER II

Lloyd Kahn & Bob Easton
Paperback

Price: $19.95

Shelter II was published in 1978, five years after the book Shelter. It was a sequel in a sense, but a more sober and practical book (in black and white, not color) for any owner-builder interested in…

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Shelter II was published in 1978, five years after the book Shelter. It was a sequel in a sense, but a more sober and practical book (in black and white, not color) for any owner-builder interested in building a simple stud-frame house. The heart of the book consists of an introduction to the principles of house design, followed by a condensed 24-page instruction manual for the novice builder for building a stud-frame home: foundation, floor, wall and roof framing; roofing, windows, doors, interior finish, as well as plumbing and electrical work.

Featured is a section of complete, to-scale drawings by Bob Easton of seven different homes, accompanied by floor plans. These unique drawings allow the first-time builder to visualize each structure as a whole by showing every member of the house frame.

Indigenous builders are studied with an eye to the still-usable skills of the past. There are many photos of North American houses and barns: still-standing reminders of an era of practical building.

Rehabilitation projects then underway in major cities are also covered. There's a critical analysis of domes - they were found to be neither practical nor durable, and there's a detailed critique of America's program in those years to establish colonies in space.

Shelter II tells a story: Practical builders (past and present, in country and city) have always built with time-tested techniques and materials readily at hand: lumber, earth, stone, concrete, brick, thatch or abandoned city buildings. Design is governed by weather, purpose and economy. Building technique is determined by tradition, experience and practice. Then, as now, initiative and hand labor by owners can beat the high cost of building and reduce or eliminate lifetime mortgage obligations.

Out of print for some 20 years, Shelter II is an integral part of the Shelter Publications suite of books on handbuilt homebuilding, and we're happy to make it available once again.


32.

EARTHEN FLOORS

S. Reay Crimmel & J. Thomson
Paperback

Price: $29.95

For most of human history, people have lived in durable, comfortable buildings made from natural materials such as soil, sand, rocks and fiber. All over the globe, these ancient traditions persist; a …

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For most of human history, people have lived in durable, comfortable buildings made from natural materials such as soil, sand, rocks and fiber. All over the globe, these ancient traditions persist; a quarter to a third of the world's population today lives in houses built partially or entirely of earth. Conventional Western building techniques using industrial materials may save time and create efficiencies, but these perceived savings come at considerable financial and environmental cost.

As well as boasting a unique and beautiful aesthetic, natural building techniques are accessible, affordable and nontoxic. Earthen Floors: A Modern Approach to an Ancient Practice is the first comprehensive, fully illustrated manual covering the history, use and maintenance of this attractive, practical flooring option. This detailed, fully illustrated guide explains every part of the process, including:

  • Sourcing and harvesting materials
  • Preparing the subfloor
  • Pouring, finishing and sealing the floor
  • Living with and maintaining your earthen floor

Because information on creating quality earthen floors was not previously widely available, there have been some negative experiences. Drawing on the combined knowledge of the most qualified earthen floor practitioners, as well their own substantial experience, the authors deliver the definitive resource for this exciting technique, perfect for everyone from the novice to veteran builder.


33.

GREEN HOME BUILDING

Miki Cook & Doug Garrett
Paperback

Price: $24.95

According to conventional wisdom, building a green home is an expensive endeavor. The standard approach treats green as an add-on, tacking "premium" products, finishes and equipment onto a traditional…

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According to conventional wisdom, building a green home is an expensive endeavor. The standard approach treats green as an add-on, tacking "premium" products, finishes and equipment onto a traditional home design. As a result, many green home projects end up over budget or fail to achieve their environmental and performance goals.

Green Home Building explodes the myth that green homes have to cost more. Using proven methods based on applied building science, authors Miki Cook and Doug Garrett show how to:

  • Lower base construction costs to provide funding for high performance upgrades
  • Achieve a net zero energy home, including "zero-ing" water, waste, carbon and associated costs within 15 years
  • Live affordably into the future, despite anticipated rising costs for fuel, water, materials, taxes and health care

This comprehensive guide to building green on any budget defines the strategies that maximize the return on green investments. Written for anyone who has ever been swayed by the argument that the price tag limits how green a home can be, Green Home Building is a must-read for builders, contractors, architects, designers and homeowners.

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