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
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
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
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
Author: Sheri Koones
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Although there is nothing complicated about constructing healthier homes, building for health is still not standard practice, and in fact there are many aspects of conventional home construction that are detrimental to human wellbeing.
From foundation to rooftop, to home care and repair, Prescriptions for a Healthy House takes the mystery out of healthy-house building, renovation and maintenance, by walking the owner/architect/builder team through the entire construction process. Chapters include:
The authors -- an architect, medical doctor and restoration consultant -- bring a singular combination of expertise and perspectives to this book. The result -- now in its third completely updated edition -- is a unique guide to creating healthy indoor and outdoor spaces, including many new resources, as well as specialized knowledge from several nationally recognized experts in the field of building biology.
This unique guide will appeal to architects, designers, contractors, medical professionals and homeowners.
Author: PAULA BAKER-LAPORTE
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:
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.
Author: John Schaeffer
Solar energy is an abundant resource. Once a curiosity, solar electric systems are becoming commonplace. As we transition away from finite and polluting fossil fuels, clean, reliable and affordable renewable technologies such as solar electricity will become the mainstay of our energy supply.
Solar Electricity Basics provides a clear understanding of the sun, solar energy and solar electric systems. It discusses the theoretical, practical and economic aspects of residential solar installations including inverters, batteries and controllers, costs of solar electric systems, financial incentives, system installation and maintenance, permits, covenants, utility interconnection, and buying a system.
Whether your goal is to lower your energy bill through a grid-connected system or to achieve complete energy independence, Solar Electricity Basics is the introduction you need.
Author: Dan Chiras
As fossil fuel supplies dwindle, home heating will be one of the major challenges in temperate and cold climates. The reserves of natural gas used to heat the majority of North American buildings are rapidly being depleted. This latest Green Energy Guide helps readers who want to slash their energy bills and reduce their dependence on scarce resources to navigate the sometimes-confusing maze of clean, reliable and affordable options.
Solar Home Heating Basics focuses on renewable energy strategies to heat new and existing homes and small businesses. These include:
While most solar home heating resources are geared primarily towards new buildings, this practical and easy-to-understand guide also addresses ways of retrofitting existing buildings, making solar a reality for many people.
Packed with all the essential information home and small-business owners need to find alternatives to conventional heating solutions, Solar Home Heating Basics is your key to a personal energy.
Author: Dan Chiras
Increasing the energy efficiency of your home can save you money, help the environment and enhance your comfort, but how do you decide which improvements are the most beneficial and cost-effective? Completely revised to incorporate the latest developments in green technology, The Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings is the definitive resource for consumers who want to better their home's performance while reducing their energy bills.
Well-organized and highly readable, The Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings begins with an overview of the relationships between energy use, economics and the environment. Updated and expanded chapters focus on specific aspects of any home, such as heating and cooling, ventilation, electronics, lighting, cooking and laundry, and provide helpful explanations for each, including:
This comprehensive resource is packed with tips on improving existing equipment and guidance for when and why to invest in new purchases, as well as a reminder to check local government and utilities for purchase or retrofit grants or incentives. It is a must-read for anyone concerned about reducing both their energy bills and their environmental impact.
Author: J Amann, A Wilson, K Ackerly
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:
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.
Author: Jeff Wilson
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.
Author: Julie Torres Moskovitz
Are you looking for creative ways to lower your energy costs, generate more of your own power, or become less reliant on the grid? Energy expert Paul Scheckel offers practical advice for taking matters into your own hands. Understand the fundamentals of solar, wind, water and biofuel energy production as you make your home ready for renewables. Each chapter of The Homeowner's Energy Handbook provides a comprehensive discussion of renewable energy sources, along with "green guides" for building your own energy-saving (and energy-producing) equipment. Step-by-step instructions show you how to build a bicycle-powered generator, biodiesel processor, thermosiphon solar hot-water collector, biogas generator, smokeless wood-gas camp stove, and more. Whether you want to button up your house to be more energy-efficient, find deep energy savings or take your home entirely off the grid, this guide has the knowledge and skills you need to reduce your use, then produce!
Author: Paul Scheckel
Energy bills have skyrocketed in North America, and traditional energy sources can be as damaging to the environment as they are to your pocketbook. The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy will show you how to slash your home energy costs while dramatically reducing your carbon footprint.
Completely revised and updated, this new edition describes the most practical and affordable methods for making significant improvements in home energy efficiency and tapping into clean, affordable, renewable energy resources. If implemented, these measures will save the average homeowner tens of thousands of dollars over the coming decades.
Focusing on the latest technological advances in residential renewable energy, this guide examines each alternative energy option available, including:
This well-illustrated and accessible guide is an essential resource for those wanting to enter the renewable energy field. Packed with practical tips and guidelines, it gives readers sufficient knowledge to hire and communicate effectively with contractors. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in saving money and achieving energy independence.
Author: Dan Chiras
Tips, rules-of-thumb, regional characteristics and many other considerations are presented to help readers with passive solar architecture, from initial site selection to visionary design.
Author: DAVID WRIGHT, AIA
The Sun-Inspired House evolved from the questions about passive solar, passive cooling, energy efficiency and green building that home owners, builders, engineers and architects asked author Debra Rucker Coleman over the last 25 years.
Author: Debra Rucker Coleman
Unusual as they seem, underground buildings are surprisingly common.
Every day, tens of thousands in North America work, shop, dine, study and play in the more than 300 public and commercial structures and 5,000 private homes nestled in the earth.
Underground buildings are safe, attractive, useful and comfortable places to frequent and live. Unlike a common misconception, most are dry and warm, and they are often sun-filled. More than 100 underground buildings are included in this fascinating subterranean tour. These buildings range from the famous to the unnoticed. Some were built for pragmatic reasons, others for aesthetic considerations, and still others, for a combination of both.
There are impressive success stories and discouraging tales of failure. Some underground buildings are incredibly energy-efficient, for example, while others leaked so badly they were abandoned.
A vast spectrum of structures is presented, ranging from stunning examples of hidden opulence to humble subterranean cubbyholes where unassuming people immerse themselves in nature.
Author: Loretta Hall
Wind power is the fastest-growing source of energy in the world, and by the year 2020 it is projected to supply at least 12 percent of global electrical demand.
Wind Power Basics provides a clear understanding of wind and wind energy systems including turbines, towers, inverters and batteries, site assessment, installation, and maintenance requirements.
Whether you're considering your own small-scale wind energy system or just want a straightforward, detailed introduction to the benefits and challenges of this rapidly emerging technology, Wind Power Basics is the guide for you.
About the author:
Dan Chiras is a respected educator and author who has published more than 25 books on residential renewable energy and green building, including Power From the Wind. He is the director of the Evergreen Institute, where he teaches workshops on small wind energy systems, solar electricity, passive solar design, energy efficiency, and green and natural building.
Author: Dan Chiras