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Picks of the Month

Home > Browse By Topic > Green Homes > Design, Planning, Contracting

We Found 47 items, sorted in Bestselling order.

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41.

MAKING BETTER BUILDINGS

Chris Magwood
Paperback

Price: $39.95

From foundation to finish, a wealth of information is available on sustainable construction methods. Entire volumes have been published on individual green and natural building techniques! But with so…

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From foundation to finish, a wealth of information is available on sustainable construction methods. Entire volumes have been published on individual green and natural building techniques! But with so many different ideas from which to choose, there is no single resource that allows an owner or builder to quickly and objectively compare the merits of each system for their particular project.

Making Better Buildings cuts through the hype and provides the unvarnished facts about the upsides and downsides of the most widely discussed materials and technologies. Drawing on the real-world experiences of designer/builders, this comparative guide systematically and comprehensively examines each approach in terms of:

  • Cost, sourcing, labor intensity, and ease of construction
  • Energy efficiency, embodied energy and environmental impacts
  • Availability/accessibility
  • Viable applications and future potential
Each chapter is rounded out by a chart that summarizes the material in a quick and accessible manner.

Whether you are an owner preparing to build a green or natural home, or a conventional contractor determined to integrate sustainable alternatives into your existing construction practices, this up-to-the minute resource will help you make the best decisions for your project, while meeting your energy, efficiency, budgetary and site-specific needs.

42.

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.

43.

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.

44.

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.

45.

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.

46.

MOTHER EARTH NEWS GUIDE TO LIVING ON LESS, 5TH EDITION

Mother Earth News
Paperback

Price: $6.99

Save money this year with hundreds of self-reliance tips found in the 5th edition of the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Guide to Living on Less. It's filled with expert advice, tips and instructions for a sustaina…

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Save money this year with hundreds of self-reliance tips found in the 5th edition of the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Guide to Living on Less. It's filled with expert advice, tips and instructions for a sustainable life. From saving money on groceries to easy projects for instant energy savings, the ideas in this guide let you enjoy the luxury of living on less.

Read 65 self-reliant tips that cover every facet of your life. Learn how to grow $700 worth of food within only 100 square feet. Discover how to raise chickens for meat. Spend less and grow better crops by saving seeds. Compare the pros and cons of your green heating choices and find which choice is best for you and your home.

Other articles includes:

  • Cut Costs, Not Quality: How to Afford Better Food - The path to super-nutritious food at affordable prices offers many entry points. We pilot you through the diverse options in this guide to shopping smart and eating well.
  • Grow More Food in Less Space (With the Least Work!) - Blending the best principles of biointensive and square-foot gardening yields a customized, highly productive growing system.
  • Simple Tips for Better Garden Soil - Instead of thinking of your soil as an input-output system, treat it as a living food web that you feed and protect.
  • Grow a Healing Garden - Plant medicinal herbs to find good health just outside your door.
  • Cozy, Affordable and Inspiring Tiny Homes - Start small, and you can enjoy mortgage-free living in a hand-built home.

47.

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.

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