With Projects to Get You Off the Grid, the Instructables community of do-it-yourselfers have pooled their knowledge into a compact book focused on a series of projects that will get you thinking creatively about thinking green. This collection of 20 projects illustrate just how simple it can be to make your own backyard chicken coop, or turn a wine barrel into a rainwater collector.
Illustrated with dozens of full-color photographs per project as well as easy-to-follow instructions, this Instructables collection uses the best that the online community has to offer, turning a far-reaching group of people into a mammoth database churning out ideas to make life better, easier, and in this case, greener.
Author: Edited by Noah Weinstein
Author: Gerald Rowan
Author: Debbie Lillard
Author: Patricia Foreman & Andy Lee
A picture-book of the Buddha House, by famed craftsman and natural builder Sun Ray Kelley. This house, built in Washington State, features sculpted walls of stucco, stone and cedar shakes, round timberframe construction, a living roof, and Sun Ray's signature curved ridgebeams and railings made from whole trees--roots and all. A collection of 60 color photographs of this one-of-a-kind house with sayings from the world's great thinkers that help explain SunRay's philosophy of natural building. This book is the first in a series documenting the work of SunRay Kelley and his School of Natural Living.
Author: CHRIS MCCLELLAN
Build the garage of your dreams by doing all or part of the work yourself. Planning and constructing a handsome new garage may seem like a daunting task, but you can make it a reality by following the instructions in this essential do-it-yourself guide. All of the techniques and tips you’ll need are inside, there are 175 terrific plans.
Author: Creative Homeowner
If you've ever dreamed of building a rustic log cabin to use as a weekend hideaway, hunting lodge or even an emergency retreat, this book tells you how to make it a reality. This step-by-step guide is chock-full of tips and advice culled from author Michael Mulligan's decades of experience. Specializing in do-it-yourself projects that use improvised materials and avoid bureaucratic hassles, Mulligan first shares invaluable insight on finding your land and negotiating the shark-filled waters of real estate deals. Then, in straightforward terms that even a novice can follow easily, he walks you through the construction process, from selecting and preparing the logs to erecting and chinking the walls to building the roof and finishing the interior. He also includes a chapter on dispensing with public utilities in meeting your water, sewage, heating, cooking, lighting, power and refrigeration needs. Finally, for those who wish to tackle a scaled-up version of Mulligan's basic design, he presents the formulas necessary for calculating the parameters and selecting the proper material.
Author: Michael Mulligan
Discover the huge possibilities to be found in a small house! Whether you're building from scratch or retrofitting an existing structure, these 50 innovative floor plans will show you how to make the most of houses measuring 1,400 square feet or less. Gerald Rowan focuses on efficient layouts and creative ways to use every inch of your space, including closets, decks, porches, bathrooms, attics and basements. Artist renderings bring each house's exterior to life, and detailed interior drawings illustrate special space-saving features. Compact Houses includes one- and two-floor designs and plans with one to three bedrooms.
Author: Gerald Rowan
Buildings from internationally recognized small living expert Jay Shafer have attracted the attention of CNN, Oprah, Fine Homebuilding and This Old House. Ranging in size from 100 to 120 square feet, these tiny backyard buildings can be used as guest cottages, art or writing studios, home offices, craft workshops, vacation retreats, or full-time residences. This revised edition of Tumbleweed DIY Book of Backyard Sheds and Tiny Houses is filled with photos (including many that weren’t in the original publication) and elevation drawings, as well as door and window schedules for constructing six of the handsome little buildings. You’ll also find an extensive how-to set of instructions that can be applied to any backyard building project.
Author: Jay Shafer
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:
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.
Author: S. Reay Crimmel & J. Thomson
Residential consumption represents nearly one quarter of North America's total energy use, and the average homeowner spends thousands of dollars a year on power bills. To help alleviate this problem, Energy-Wise Landscape Design presents hundreds of practical ways everyone can save money, time and effort while making their landscapes more environmentally healthy, ecologically rich and energy efficient.
Combining general guidelines with tips, techniques and actions, this fully illustrated guide explains the many opportunities our landscapes provide for conserving energy. Readers will learn how to:
Intended for homeowners, gardeners, landscape professionals and students, the design ideas in this book will work in every type of setting -large or small, hilly or flat, urban or rural. Written in non-scientific language with clear explanations and an easy conversational style, Energy-Wise Landscape Design is an essential resource for everyone who wants to shrink their energy footprint while enhancing their property and adding value to their home.
Author: SUE REED
Distilling decades of experience, Essential Light Straw Clay Construction is the most complete book in English on the broad range of light straw clay techniques in use today. Fully illustrated, it provides step-by-step guidance for both the DIYer and professional designer and builder alike. It covers: • Material specifications, performance, and when and where to use it • Estimating quantities, costs, and sourcing • Illustrated, step-by-step guidance for mixing and installation, including "slip-chip" variations • Detail drawings for various wall systems including stud, timber, and pole framing, Larsen trusses, I-joists, plus retrofits • Code references, compliance, and best practice • Finishing and maintenance techniques • Additional resources.
Author: LYDIA DOLEMAN
Prefabricated straw bale wall panels combine the performance and low environmental impact of traditional straw bale with reduced labor and more consistent results. Going well beyond the scope of many natural building books, this indispensable manual includes a complete introduction to the use of prefabricated bale walls, packed with all the information you need to determine whether they are the right choice for your project.Written by the world's leading sustainable builders, designers, and engineers, these succinct, user-friendly handbooks are indispensable tools for any project where accurate and reliable information are key to success.
Author: Chris Magwood
Gardening with Less Water offers simple, inexpensive, low-tech techniques for watering your garden much more efficiently — using up to 90 percent less water for the same results. With illustrated step-by-step instructions, David Bainbridge shows you how to install buried clay pots and pipes, wicking systems, and other porous containers that deliver water directly to a plant’s roots with little to no evaporation.
Author: David A. Bainbridge
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:
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.
Author: Miki Cook & Doug Garrett
Zero energy homes produce at least as much energy as they consume through a combination of energy efficiencies, passive design and renewable energy production. California has adopted zero net energy as the new residential standard for 2020; many other governments are considering similar policies. Developing zero energy homes is the first step toward making all buildings zero energy — a critical step in mitigating climate change as buildings account for 40% of material and energy use worldwide.
Home Sweet Zero Energy Home is the first practical guidebook that clearly shows how zero energy homes can be good, livable, affordable homes. The author identifies all the pieces of the zero energy puzzle and how they fall into place, and explains how homeowners and buyers can also take smaller steps toward sharply reducing the energy use of existing buildings. Focusing on real costs and savings, this book takes an in-depth look at:
Author: Barry Rehfeld
Inside you'll learn how to make cleaning solutions and scrubs, and you’ll find tips concerning pets, natural pest control, gardening, your yard, and even beauty care. These recipes and ideas for the home are conveniently organized according to use. With these ingredients you can do almost anything; the possibilities are limitless!
Author: Heather Rodino
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:
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.
Author: Jessica Kellner
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.
Author: Malcolm Wells
A holistic DIY guide designed to help you along the path to creating a sustainable homestead and affordable dwelling. It provides perspectives on the history of small homes, building and zoning codes, as well as on being a landowner, how rural living is different than urban, examples of off-grid dwellings, and much more.
Author: Christopher Marshall