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Home > Browse By Topic > Green Homes > Building Materials

We Found 18 items, sorted in Bestselling order.

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1.

TIMBER FRAMING FOR THE REST OF US

ROB ROY
Paperback

Price: $24.95

This is the first book to describe in depth the timber framing methods used by most contractors, framers and owner-builders — methods that use modern metal fasteners, special screws, and common-sense …

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This is the first book to describe in depth the timber framing methods used by most contractors, framers and owner-builders — methods that use modern metal fasteners, special screws, and common-sense building principles to create post and beam structures in much less time. The book includes everything an owner-builder needs to know about building strong and beautiful structural frames from heavy timbers.

Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, Mother Earth News is recommending books to readers. For 40 years, Mother Earth News has been North America’s “Original Guide to Living Wisely,” creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.

2.

CONCRETE COUNTERTOPS

Fu-Tung Cheng
Paperback

Price: $29.95

In this complete, start-to-finish book, author Fu-Tung Cheng takes you step-by-step through the process of making a concrete countertop — from building the mold and mixing and pouring concrete, to cur…

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In this complete, start-to-finish book, author Fu-Tung Cheng takes you step-by-step through the process of making a concrete countertop — from building the mold and mixing and pouring concrete, to curing, grinding, polishing and installing the countertop. The 350 color photographs that bring this medium to life will inspire you.

3.

EARTHBAG BUILDING

Kaki Hunter & Donald Kiffmeyer
Paperback

Price: $29.95

More than 70% of Americans cannot afford to own a code-enforced, contractor-built home. This has led to widespread interest in using natural materials — straw, cob and earth — for building homes and o…

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More than 70% of Americans cannot afford to own a code-enforced, contractor-built home. This has led to widespread interest in using natural materials — straw, cob and earth — for building homes and other buildings that are inexpensive, and that rely largely on labor rather than expensive and often environmentally-damaging outsourced materials.

Earthbag Building, a Mother Earth News Book for Wiser Living, is the first comprehensive guide to all the tools, tricks and techniques for building with bags filled with earth — or earthbags. Having been introduced to sandbag construction by the renowned Nader Khalili in 1993, the authors developed this "Flexible Form Rammed Earth Technique" over the last decade. A reliable method for constructing homes, outbuildings, garden walls and much more, this enduring, tree-free architecture can also be used to create arched and domed structures of great beauty — in any region, at home, in developing countries or in emergency relief work.

This fully-illustrated guide first discusses the many merits of earthbag construction, and then leads the reader through the key elements of an earthbag building:

  • Special design considerations
  • Foundations, walls and floors
  • Electrical, plumbing and shelving
  • Lintels, windows and door installations
  • Roofs, arches and domes
  • Exterior and interior plasters


With dedicated sections on costs, making your own specialized tools, and building code considerations, as well as a complete resources guide, Earthbag Building is the long-awaited, definitive guide to this uniquely pleasing construction style.

About the contributors:

Kaki Hunter and Donald Kiffmeyer have been involved in the construction industry for the last 20 years, specializing in affordable, low-tech, low-impact building methods that are as natural as possible. Together, over the last nine years they developed the "Flexible Form Rammed Earth Technique" of building affordably with earthbags. They have taught the subject and contributed their expertise to several books on natural building.

4.

GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR WOOD-BUYING BUCKS


Paperback

Price: $10.97

CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $19.95 AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST! Find, cut and dry your own lumber. This essential guide will save you money and expand your knowledge of wood.

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CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $19.95 AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST! Find, cut and dry your own lumber. This essential guide will save you money and expand your knowledge of wood.

For woodworkers who want to purchase wood wisely and save money by finding, cutting and drying it on their own, this guide from the experts at American Woodworker is a must. Along with learning the most economical way to buy and process lumber, there are a number of how-to's in this book, including:

  • Interpreting rough lumber
  • Working with defects
  • Deciding which grade is most economical for the project
  • Re-sawing thick wood
  • Storing lumber
  • Using boards that are not perfect
With expert advice, detailed drawings and step-by-step photographs, this is a skill-expanding and money-saving book that every woodworker needs.

5.

ROUNDWOOD TIMBER FRAMING

Ben Law
Hardcover

Price: $39.95

This definitive manual marks the birth of a new vernacular for the 21st century. More than 400 color photographs and step-by-step instructions guide you through the building of anything from a garden …

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This definitive manual marks the birth of a new vernacular for the 21st century. More than 400 color photographs and step-by-step instructions guide you through the building of anything from a garden shed to your own woodland house. This practical ‘how-to’ book will unquestionably be a benchmark for sustainable building using renewable local resources and evolving traditional skills to create durable, ecological and beautiful buildings.

6.

HOUSING RECLAIMED

Jessica Kellner
Paperback

Price: $24.95

Housing is a fundamental human right. For most of human history, our homes were built by hand from whatever local materials were available. However, since the Industrial Revolution, most housing has…

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Housing is a fundamental human right. For most of human history, our homes were built by hand from whatever local materials were available. However, since the Industrial Revolution, most housing has become little more than quickly constructed, mass-produced, uniform boxes. At the same time, the invention and standardization of the 30-year mortgage and our ever-increasing reliance on credit has come to mean that most of us never own our homes outright.

Housing Reclaimed is a call to arms for nonconventional home builders. It examines how technological advances, design evolution and resourceful, out-of-the-box thinking about materials and efficiency can help us meet the challenge of building affordable, environmentally friendly, beautiful and unique homes. Focusing on the use of salvaged and reclaimed materials, this inspirational volume is packed with case studies of innovative projects including:

  • Phoenix Commotion — working together toward low-income home ownership through sweat equity and 100% recycled materials
  • HabeRae — revitalizing neighborhoods by creating urban infill using modern technology and sustainable and reclaimed materials
  • Builders of Hope — rescuing and rehabilitating whole houses slated for demolition
These projects and others like them demonstrate that building one's own home does not have to be an unattainable dream. This beautifully illustrated guide is a must read for anyone interested in creating quality zero- or low-debt housing, reducing landfill waste and creating stronger communities.

About the author
Jessica Kellner is editor-in-chief of Mother Earth Living magazine (www.motherearthliving.com) and a passionate advocate of using architectural salvage to create aesthetically beautiful, low-cost housing.

Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is recommending books and products to readers. For more than 40 years, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been North America's "Original Guide to Living Wisely," creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.

7.

SMALL GREEN ROOFS


Paperback

Price: $24.95

Until now, the green roof movement has been limited to large-scale, professional endeavors and public buildings. But homeowners everywhere are catching onto the benefits of a green roof — water conser…

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Until now, the green roof movement has been limited to large-scale, professional endeavors and public buildings. But homeowners everywhere are catching onto the benefits of a green roof — water conservation, energy savings, and storm water management. In Small Green Roofs authors Nigel Dunnett, Dusty Gedge, John Little, and Edmund Snodgrass profile ordinary homeowners who scaled green roofs down to the domestic level.

Small Green Roofs is the first book to focus on small-scale and domestic green roofs. More than 40 profiles of small and domestic-scale projects of all shapes and sizes include green roofs on sheds, garden offices, studios, garages, houses, bicycle sheds, and other small structures, as well as several community projects. For each project, details are given for design, construction, and installation, as well as how-to tips on how the roof was planted and cared for.

For readers looking for inspiration when hiring a contractor or taking the adventurous step of building their own, Small Green Roofs provides the knowledge and encouragement to make it possible.

8.

GREEN ROOF PLANTS

Edmund & Lucie Snodgrass
Hardcover

Price: $12.65

CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $29.95 AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

In just a few years, green roofs have gone from a horticultural curiosity to a booming growth industr…

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CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $29.95 AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

In just a few years, green roofs have gone from a horticultural curiosity to a booming growth industry — primarily because the environmental benefits of extensively planted roofs are now beyond dispute, whether for industrial or governmental complexes or for private homes in urban or suburban settings. Despite the high level of interest in green roofs, until now there has been no reliable reference devoted exclusively to the various species of drought-tolerant plants that are suitable for use on extensive green roofs. Green Roof Plants fills that void. The book contains photographs and cultural information for more than 200 species and cultivars of plants, including valuable data on moisture needs, heat tolerance, hardiness, bloom color, foliage characteristics and height. Concise, accurate, and easy to use, this book is destined to become an indispensable practical reference guide, not just for architects, landscape designers, engineers, and environmentalists, but also for environmentally conscious home gardeners.

9.

BUILDING WITH SECONDHAND STUFF

Chris Peterson
Paperback

Price: $19.99

Building with Secondhand Stuff takes green remodeling and construction practices to new extremes. From deconstruction methods and salvaging tips to plotting efficient cutting plans and devising creati…

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Building with Secondhand Stuff takes green remodeling and construction practices to new extremes. From deconstruction methods and salvaging tips to plotting efficient cutting plans and devising creative new uses for everyday items, it is packed with clever ways to obtain low-cost materials (and reduce landfilling in the process).

This book contains the answer to a question most of us have wondered about at some point: Is that pile of used maple flooring I saw on Craigslist worth taking? From plywood to hardwood flooring, to windows, doors, carpeting and more, salvaging building materials can save you thousands of dollars (and is about as green as you can get). This book is a hands-on, do-it-yourselfer's guide that shows you how to identify materials that can be salvaged efficiently and then gives you step-by-step instructions on how to go about doing it. Plus, it provides over one dozen complete plans featuring clever ideas for putting salvaged materials to good use as useful home furnishings.

10.

BACKYARD SHEDS & TINY HOUSES

Jay Shafer
Paperback

Price: $19.95

Good things do come in small packages.

Just ask internationally recognized small living expert Jay Shafer. His small buildings have appeared on CNN, Oprah, Fine Homebuilding, and This Old…

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Good things do come in small packages.

Just ask internationally recognized small living expert Jay Shafer. His small buildings have appeared on CNN, Oprah, Fine Homebuilding, and This Old House. Ranging in size from 64 to 110 square feet, these tiny backyard buildings can be used as guest cottages, art or writing studios, home offices, craft workshops, vacation retreats, or a full-time residence.

Filled with photos, elevation drawings, and door/window schedules for six Tumbleweed box bungalows, The Tumbleweed DIY Book of Backyard Sheds and Tiny Houses, also includes an extensive how-to set of instructions that can be applied to any backyard building project. Though conventionally built, these handsome little buildings have real doors, windows, and skylights with interesting and practical details throughout. With extra attention given to energy and space efficiency in their design, these tiny houses can help deliver the relief we all need on the road toward a sustainable world.

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