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41.

THE GREENEST HOME

Julie Torres Moskovitz
Hardcover

Price: $45.00

Passive is the new green. Passive Houses, well-insulated and virtually airtight buildings, can decrease home heating consumption by an astounding 90 percent, making them not only an attractive choice …

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Passive is the new green. Passive Houses, well-insulated and virtually airtight buildings, can decrease home heating consumption by an astounding 90 percent, making them not only an attractive choice for current and prospective homeowners, but also the right choice for a sustainable future. The Greenest Home showcases 18 of the world's most attractive Passive Houses by forward-thinking architects such as Bernheimer Architecture, Olson Kundig Architects and Onion Flats, among many others. Each case study consists of a detailed project description, plans and photographs. Including a mix of new construction and retrofit projects built in a variety of site conditions, The Greenest Home is an inspiring sourcebook for architects and prospective homeowners, as well as a useful tool for students and builders alike.


42.

PREFABULOUS + ALMOST OFF THE GRID

Sheri Koones
Hardcover

Price: $22.95

Prefabrication offers a simple path to the green home of your dreams, and in her latest book, Prefabulous author Sheri Koones highlights the many ways of using prefabrication to create almost-off-the-…

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Prefabrication offers a simple path to the green home of your dreams, and in her latest book, Prefabulous author Sheri Koones highlights the many ways of using prefabrication to create almost-off-the-grid homes: houses that are not only environmentally friendly but often operate at nearly zero annual energy cost.

Taking energy from the grid when necessary and returning any excess energy produced, almost-off-the-grid homes function on a fraction of the energy required by most houses, and additionally are more comfortable, healthier, quieter inside, and far cheaper to operate. As energy costs continue to rise, the almost-off-the-grid house proves its worth.

Prefabulous + Almost Off the Grid profiles more than 30 of the most energy-efficient homes in the United States, and this hardworking guide reveals how homeowners can achieve similar results with floor plans, the latest, most efficient technologies, and multiple images of the exterior and interior of each home.


43.

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.


44.

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.


45.

TINY HOUSE LIVING

Ryan Mitchell
Paperback

Price: $26.99

Tiny homes are popping up across America, captivating people with their novel approach not only to housing, but to life. Once considered little more than a charming oddity, the tiny house movement con…

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Tiny homes are popping up across America, captivating people with their novel approach not only to housing, but to life. Once considered little more than a charming oddity, the tiny house movement continues to gain momentum among those who thirst for a simpler, "greener," more meaningful life in the face of society's "more is better" mindset.

This book explores the philosophies behind the tiny house lifestyle, helps you determine whether it's a good fit for you, and guides you through the transition to a smaller space. For inspiration, you'll meet tiny house pioneers and hear how they built their dwellings (and their lives) in unconventional, creative and purposeful ways. They'll invite you in, show you around their cozy abodes, and share lessons they learned along the way.

Inside you'll find everything you need to design a tiny home of your own:

  • Worksheets and exercises to help you home in on your true needs, define personal goals and develop a tiny house layout that's just right for you
  • Practical strategies for cutting through clutter and paring down your possessions
  • Guidance through the world of building codes and zoning laws
  • Design tricks for making the most of every square foot, including multifunction features and ways to maximize vertical space
  • Tours of 11 tiny houses and the unique story behind each

Tiny House Living is about distilling life down to that which you value most, freeing yourself from clutter, mortgages and home maintenance ... and, in doing so, making more room in everyday life for the truly important things, such as relationships, passions and community. Whether you downsize to a 400-square-foot home or simply scale back the amount of stuff you have in your current home, this book shows you how to live well with less.


46.

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.


47.

REAL GOODS SOLAR LIVING SOURCE BOOK

John Schaeffer
Paperback

Price: $39.95

What book would you want if you were stranded on a desert island? Widely regarded as the bible of off-grid living, the Solar Living Sourcebook might be your best choice. With more than 600,000 copies …

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What book would you want if you were stranded on a desert island? Widely regarded as the bible of off-grid living, the Solar Living Sourcebook might be your best choice. With more than 600,000 copies in print worldwide, it is the most comprehensive resource available for anyone interested in lessening their environmental footprint and increasing their energy independence.

This 14th edition of the sourcebook is the ultimate guide to renewable energy, sustainable living, natural and green building, off-grid living and alternative transportation, written by experts with decades of experience and a passion for sharing their knowledge. This fully revised and updated edition includes brand new sections on permaculture and urban homesteading, and completely rewritten chapters on solar technology, sustainable transportation and relocalization. It also boasts greatly expanded material on:

  • Natural building
  • Permaculture and biodynamics
  • Electric and biofuel-powered vehicles
  • Passive solar
  • Solar water heating
  • Grid-tied photovoltaic systems

You’ll also find maps, wiring diagrams, formulas, charts, electrical code, solar sizing worksheets and much more.

Whether you're a layperson or a professional, novice or longtime aficionado, the Sourcebook puts the latest research and information at your fingertips … everything you need to know to make sustainable living a reality.


48.

HANDMADE WALLS

Jamin & Ashley Mills
Paperback

Price: $24.99

Can't afford to buy that amazing piece from your favorite gallery? Unoriginal, store-bought "art" leaving you ... uninspired? With Handmade Walls, you can finally grasp that creative look you've alway…

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Can't afford to buy that amazing piece from your favorite gallery? Unoriginal, store-bought "art" leaving you ... uninspired? With Handmade Walls, you can finally grasp that creative look you've always wanted without spending a fortune or succumbing to that cookie-cutter feel. Inside this book, you will find 22 imaginative ideas that will encourage you to fill your home with handmade creations. From showcasing a family photograph in a farmhouse-inspired frame to an elegant, multifaceted mirror that lights up an entire room, each of these projects will become a stunning addition to any space.

Perfect for anyone who has ever wanted to fill his or her walls and rooms with personality, Handmade Walls shows you how to use beautiful, budget-friendly art to turn your house into a home.


49.

THE ART OF NATURAL BUILDING, SECOND EDITION

Kennedy, Smith, Wanek
Paperback

Price: $39.95

The popularity of natural building has grown by leaps and bounds, spurred by a grassroots desire for housing that is healthy, affordable and environmentally responsible. While many books cover specifi…

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The popularity of natural building has grown by leaps and bounds, spurred by a grassroots desire for housing that is healthy, affordable and environmentally responsible. While many books cover specific methods (such as straw bale construction, cob and timber framing), few resources introduce the reader to the entire scope of this burgeoning field.

Fully revised and updated, The Art of Natural Building is a complete introduction to natural building for everyone from do-it-yourselfers to architects and designers. This collection of articles from more than 50 leaders in the field is now stunningly illustrated with more than 200 full-color photos of natural buildings from around the world. Learn about:

  • The case for building with natural materials, from the perspectives of sustainability, lifestyle and health
  • What you need to know to plan and design your own beautiful and efficient natural home
  • Explanations of 30 versatile materials and techniques, with resources on where to go for further information on each
  • How these techniques are being used to address housing crises around the world
Clearly written, logically organized and beautifully illustrated, The Art of Natural Building is the encyclopedia of natural building.


50.

THE WATER-WISE HOME

Laura Allen
Paperback

Price: $24.95

Are you looking for ways to save water -- or money? This accessible guide by Laura Allen, founder of Greywater Action, explains how to use water smartly and efficiently, increasing supply, saving mone…

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Are you looking for ways to save water -- or money? This accessible guide by Laura Allen, founder of Greywater Action, explains how to use water smartly and efficiently, increasing supply, saving money, reducing wear on your septic system, and fulfilling your home and garden needs. She describes proven conservation techniques, explains how to create a water-wise landscape, and provides illustrated, step-by-step instructions for setting up a waterless composting toilet as well as systems to reuse greywater, harvest rainwater, and more.

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