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31.

NORTHWEST GREEN HOME PRIMER

K. O'Brien/K. Smith
Paperback

Price: $24.95

Everyone can make green home decisions on a budget with this inspiring, information-packed guide. Whether you are building, remodeling, buying, or just curious, here are real-world strategies for gett…

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Everyone can make green home decisions on a budget with this inspiring, information-packed guide. Whether you are building, remodeling, buying, or just curious, here are real-world strategies for getting the greenest results from your budget, with hundreds of ideas for a home that is built to last, comfortable and healthy, money- and time-saving in the long term, and kind to the planet.

What shade of green is right for you, your resources, schedule, and setting, and how can you achieve it? What questions should you ask? What approaches and resources are best for the Northwest? From your home's exterior to its operating systems within, from siting to interior design, this is the basic training that has given many the confidence to proceed.

Award-winning sustainable design and building consultant and teacher Kathleen O'Brien and architectural designer and sustainability consultant Kathleen Smith offer their "top picks" for each phase. Their perspective is both down-to-earth and cutting edge. They've also each faced their own green home challenges in a single family house and a duplex, and other case studies show affordable energy-efficient green homes both old and new.

Brimming with ideas, clear and logical, with tips, checklists, and resources for green home planning, construction, remodeling, and maintenance, extensively illustrated with photos and diagrams, this is the essential green home manual for novice and professional alike.


32.

HOW TO BUILD AN UNDERGROUND HOUSE

Malcolm Wells
Paperback

Price: $18.00

Malcolm Wells' fourth book about underground architecture will show you that building a house underground is not only possible but also a very good idea for those who want a friendly-with-the-earth li…

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Malcolm Wells' fourth book about underground architecture will show you that building a house underground is not only possible but also a very good idea for those who want a friendly-with-the-earth life.

This book covers everything you need to know about underground building, from concept basics to house plans you can use for your own underground home.

An architect by trade, Wells lived in The Underground Art Gallery, in Brewster, Mass., and wrote several books about this subject, which he began promoting in 1964. A pioneer of underground building and natural design, he penned such best-selling books as Gentle Architecture and The Earth-Sheltered House. How to Build an Underground House is scanned from his own handwritten and illustrated pages and is self-published.


33.

THE HOW TO GUIDE TO BUILDING WITH STRAW BALES: POST & BEAM

Andrew Morrison
DVD

Price: $39.99

The How-to Guide to Building With Straw Bales (Post and Beam Infill) DVD covers post and beam construction using a structural support system in the home (typically wood), with straw bales as infill in…

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The How-to Guide to Building With Straw Bales (Post and Beam Infill) DVD covers post and beam construction using a structural support system in the home (typically wood), with straw bales as infill insulation (nonstructural bales). In nearly three hours of instruction, this best-selling DVD walks you through the entire baling process of a post and beam home, step-by-step. You'll learn how to:

  • install toe-ups
  • properly set up your baling layout and bale walls (including inside and outside corners)
  • create niches, truth windows and window seats
  • work with tall walls, as well as rounded and straight edges
  • weedwhack your walls
  • apply welded wire mesh
  • work with electrical and plumbing systems in your walls
  • get your walls completely ready for the plastering process
  • and more!


34.

THE HOW TO GUIDE TO BUILDING WITH STRAW BALES: LOAD BEARING

Andrew Morrison
DVD

Price: $39.99

In the How-To Guide to Building With Straw Bales (Load Bearing) DVD, you'll discover how this form of construction uses the bales themselves as the structural element of the home. The roof sits direct…

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In the How-To Guide to Building With Straw Bales (Load Bearing) DVD, you'll discover how this form of construction uses the bales themselves as the structural element of the home. The roof sits directly on the bale walls and the straw itself is load-bearing. Nearly two hours of instruction takes you through the entire process of building a load-bearing straw bale home in a day-by-day teaching format.

The DVD shows in detail everything from creating a pad and pier raised floor foundation to installing toe-ups, baling the walls square and plumb, using the best strapping to pre-compress your walls, installing the rafters, attaching the roof sheathing, installing windows and doors, dealing with cabinetry installations, and much more.


35.

THE HOW TO GUIDE TO FRAMING A STRAW BALE STRUCTURE

Andrew Morrison
DVD

Price: $39.99

This double DVD set with nearly 3 hours of step-by-step footage will walk you through the entire framing process from start to finish. Whether you have never framed before or if you know how to frame…

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This double DVD set with nearly 3 hours of step-by-step footage will walk you through the entire framing process from start to finish. Whether you have never framed before or if you know how to frame but aren't clear on what the differences are between standard construction and straw bale wall framing, this video will provide you valuable information.


36.

THE HOW TO GUIDE TO PLASTERING WITH NATURAL HYDRAULIC LIME

Andrew Morrison
DVD

Price: $39.99

Did you know that the average cost of hiring a plaster crew to apply three coats of plaster to a 1,500-square-foot home is more than $15,000? And that's just for the labor! Fortunately, plastering is …

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Did you know that the average cost of hiring a plaster crew to apply three coats of plaster to a 1,500-square-foot home is more than $15,000? And that's just for the labor! Fortunately, plastering is a skill that is teachable, and people around the world have successfully created beautiful plaster jobs on their straw bale homes.

The How-to Guide to Plastering DVD includes nearly a full hour of information, sourced from professionals, that you need to know to plaster your straw bale structure successfully with natural hydraulic lime. (Due to its durability, breathability, natural ingredients and user-friendly application, natural hydraulic lime may well be the best material for plastering straw bales.) The techniques taught in this DVD can also be used with just about any plaster you choose. The technical details transfer to such finishes as earthen plaster, cement/lime mixes and more. No matter what plaster you choose, the information in this DVD will help you create a beautiful and durable finish.


37.

GUIDE TO BUILDING A MONOLITHIC CONCRETE SLAB FOUNDATION

Andrew Morrison
DVD

Price: $39.99

The How-to Guide to Building a Monolithic Concrete Slab Foundation DVD contains the latest information you need to know to build your own foundation. Walking through each stage of the building process…

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The How-to Guide to Building a Monolithic Concrete Slab Foundation DVD contains the latest information you need to know to build your own foundation. Walking through each stage of the building process, the DVD provides simple how-to techniques that will have you building your own concrete foundation with no prior foundation or concrete experience.


38.

A MODERN LOOK AT STRAW BALE CONSTRUCTION

Andrew Morrison
Paperback

Price: $39.99

In A Modern Look at Straw Bale Construction, Andrew Morrison presents what he believes are the best details for the highest quality construction available.

The idea behind the book was bo…

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In A Modern Look at Straw Bale Construction, Andrew Morrison presents what he believes are the best details for the highest quality construction available.

The idea behind the book was born of his comprehensive straw bale workshops. Each year, Morrison teaches hundreds of people how to build with straw bales, hands-on - and each year, he sketched out the same details and sections over and over again. Asked on several occasions to draw them up on a computer and then bundle them as hand-outs, he did just that.

Then Morrison contacted an excellent straw bale designer, Chris Keefe of Organicforms Design, and asked him to help with the drawings. Having designed more than 40 straw bale homes, Keefe had a ton of experience. Together, they have created a book that, as one reader raves, "fills an enormous gap in what information is available."

Morrison's focus is always on designing and building a structure that is beautiful, durable, safe, efficient, healthy, natural and inspiring, and this book brings that vision to life. It contains a thoroughgoing discussion of topics as well as 22 construction details provided by Keefe.


39.

THE ONLY DIY BOOK FOR ONE-OF-A-KIND PROJECT BUILDERS

Clarence D. Goosen
Paperback

Price: $26.95

Keep busy all year long! The Only Do-It-Yourself Book for One-of-a-Kind Project Builders features more than 25 do-it-yourself projects that you can modify to suit your needs and skills. This book cont…

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Keep busy all year long! The Only Do-It-Yourself Book for One-of-a-Kind Project Builders features more than 25 do-it-yourself projects that you can modify to suit your needs and skills. This book contains photos and complete how-to instructions for designing and building one-of-a-kind projects. Measured drawings, materials lists and step-by-step instructions for most projects are included in this easy-to-understand book. You'll also find articles that focus on learning skills such as welding, plumbing repairs, electrical repairs, shed construction and more.


40.

THE GREENED HOUSE EFFECT

Jeff Wilson
Paperback

Price: $29.95

It’s said that the greenest building is the one that’s already built, because so much energy is embodied in the existing structure.

With greater public awareness of the need for energy independence, the issue of how we can make our existing homes more resource-efficient is becoming ever more critical. Residential buildings make up a large fraction of our energy needs, largely due to heating and air-conditioning. So it’s no longer enough to simply do the small stuff, like switching to compact fluorescent bulbs, or turning down the thermostat at night.

In The Greened House Effect, author Jeff Wilson brings his twenty-five years of construction experience and hands-on knowledge of home building to bear on making our current houses cleaner, greener, more comfortable, and healthier. Think of a deep energy retrofit (DER) as a “whole home makeover”—one that represents a significant investment, but that saves money from the get-go by capturing the energy you “drop on the ground” every month, every year, through inefficiency, poor design, or simply living in a typical older home. This isn’t a book about freezing in the dark, but a solution that allows us to live more comfortably while making a positive impact in the world.

“We can’t buy our way out of the current and impending crises with the latest and greatest high-tech. We can’t buy our way out of it by simply replacing our old stuff with newer, “greener” stuff. That approach only assures that we will continue to experience the vicious circle of energy waste and dependence. I would argue, though, that we can save our way out of these problems,” writes Wilson.

Using his own family’s retrofit of their 1942 home as a prime example, Wilson weaves a readable narrative at a practical, hammer-and-nail level. He presents the solutions to our building and energy problems, making them seem possible for average homeowners and small contractors by offering the right balance of information, skills, financing strategies, and materials.

Technical information is presented in sidebars and graphs, and numerous color photos illustrate the process, including:

  • Testing the energy efficiency of your home and learning where improvements need to be made;
  • Dealing with local building codes and regulations;
  • Financing and paying for a DER;
  • Major components of the DER, such as roofs, exterior walls, basements, and whole house systems; and
  • Details of home-scale renewable energy options to complement the DER, including passive and active solar systems.
  • Wilson’s building experience, along with his lifelong passion for energy issues, all come together to form an inspirational, can-do approach to making our community, our nation, and our world a better place—one home at a time.

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