Whether you're an architect, engineer, contractor, or owner-builder interested in making informed choices, Straw Bale Building Details is the indispensable guide to current practice in straw bale design and construction.
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:
Clearly written, logically organized and beautifully illustrated, The Art of Natural Building is the encyclopedia of natural building.
Cob (an old English word for lump) is a building material as old as humanity made out of a mixture of clay, sand, and straw. The Cob Builders Handbook is a friendly guide to making your own earth structure, with chapters on design, foundations, floors, windows and doors, finishes, and of course, making glorious cob. Whether you’re just wanting to learn more about cob building or are ready to dive right in, this will be your go-to guide!
The Complete Guide to Sheds has the perfect plan for anyone who is building his or her own tool shed, habitable shed, and many more kinds of structures.
The most popular plans from previous editions are preserved, from small garage-style sheds with overhead doors, to kit sheds, to contemporary utility sheds with a dramatic flair. This new edition delves into new styles that are drawing strong interest today, including tiny sheds, miniature tool sheds, and even small habitable sheds that are designed to function mostly as a quiet retreat for practicing a particular hobby or activity. As with all of the hardworking, practical sheds from earlier editions, the new varieties include full-color step-by-step photos, complete building plan drawings with cutting lists, and clear how-to instructions.
Shed-building, like any other building process, starts with good techniques. That's why the general skills section has been updated and improved. With this complete guide, you can build just about any shed you dream of. Plus, you'll find information on new tools and products that will make your project go faster and more smoothly. Rounded out with helpful information on important considerations like siting and zoning, Complete Guide to Sheds, Updated 3rd Edition truly is a complete guide to this very popular DIY activity.
A step-by-step ultimate guide to building life-saving structures for every climate and wilderness situation which is for beginners and experienced outdoor enthusiasts alike. Without shelter, a person stuck in the wild can die of exposure in a matter of hours—long before they run out of food or water. But most people, even hardened backpackers, don’t know how to build an adequate shelter. Packed with 30 easy-to-follow tutorials and over 200 step-by-step photos, this all-encompassing primer teaches readers how to construct a wide range of life-saving shelters using the natural materials available.
An EcoNest is not just a home … it is a breathtakingly beautiful structure that nurtures health and embraces ecology. This unique approach to construction combines light straw clay, timber framing, earthen floors, natural plasters and other natural techniques with the principles of building biology to create a handcrafted living sanctuary. By bringing together time-honored traditions and modern innovations, owners of EcoNests enjoy living spaces that reflect the best of both worlds.
The EcoNest Home is an in-depth exploration of the benefits of choosing this technique over conventional alternatives, combined with a complete practical guide for prospective designers and builders. Authors Paula Baker-Laporte and Robert Laporte draw on their own extensive experience to provide:
The most comprehensive, North American resource on light straw clay construction, written by its leading proponents, The EcoNest Home is a must-read for anyone considering building their own healthy, affordable, environmentally friendly, natural home.
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.
Building your own tiny house, using your own hands may seem like an impossible feat. We assure you it's not! This step-by-step DVD series is set up to guide you through the entire building process and is laid out in simple and easy to understand terms. By following the instructions laid out in this series of 4 DVDs (over 6.25 hours), you will have the information you need to build your own tiny house, saving you potentially tens of thousands of dollars.
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 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.
Heating with wood is often considered a natural and economical alternative to electricity or fossil fuels. However, even with a fairly new and efficient woodstove, many cords of wood are required for burning over the course of a single winter, and incomplete combustion can contribute to poor air quality. A rocket mass heater is an earthen masonry heating system which provides clean, safe, and efficient warmth for your home, all while using 70 to 90 percent less fuel than a traditional woodstove.
These unique and beautiful installations provide luxurious comfort year-round. In cold weather a few hours of clean, hot burning can provide 20 or more hours of steady warmth, while the unit's large thermal mass acts as a heat sink, cooling your home on sizzling summer days. Packed with hard-to-find information, The Rocket Mass Heater Builder's Guide includes:
Earthen masonry heating systems are well-suited for natural and conventional builders alike. A super-efficient, woodburning rocket mass heater can help you dramatically reduce your energy costs while enhancing the beauty, value, and comfort of your home.
RVs are great for taking vacations, but today more and more people are discovering the advantages of living in an RV full time. Author and entrepreneur Gary Collins has found freedom and fulfillment in life on the road. His mile-by-mile guide shows how you, too, can liberate yourself and find lasting joy through simplicity.
Tiny Homes on the Move chronicles 21st-century nomads: people who inhabit homes that are compact and mobile, either on wheels or in the water. In photos and stories, this fascinating book explores modern travelers who live in vans, pickup trucks, buses, trailers, sailboats and houseboats that combine the comforts of home with the convenience of being able to pick up and go at any time. With more than 1,000 color photos accompanying the stories and descriptions of these movable sanctuaries, this is a valuable and inspirational book for anyone thinking outside the box about shelter.
There's a grassroots movement in tiny homes these days. The real estate collapse, the economic downturn, burning out on 12-hour workdays – many people are rethinking their ideas about shelter – seeking an alternative to high rents, or a lifelong mortgage debt to a bank on an overpriced home.
In this book are some 150 builders who have taken things into their own hands, creating tiny homes (under 500 sq. ft.). Homes on land, homes on wheels, homes on the road, homes on water, even homes in the trees. There are also studios, saunas, garden sheds, and greenhouses.
There are 1,300 photos, showing a rich variety of small homemade shelters, and there are stories (and thoughts and inspirations) of the owner-builders who are on the forefront of this new trend in downsizing and self-sufficiency.
At the heart of our 1973 book Shelter were drawings of five small buildings, which we recommended as a starting point in providing one's own home. Now, almost 40 years later, there's a growing tiny house movement all over the world – which we've been tracking over the past two years.
Many people have decided to scale back, to get by with less stuff, to live in smaller homes. You can buy a ready-made tiny home, build your own, get a kit or pre-fab, or live in a bus, houseboat, or other movable shelter. Some cities have special ordinances for building "inlaw" or "granny flats" in the back yard. There are innovative solutions in cities, such as the "capsules" in Tokyo. There are numerous blogs and websites with news, photos, and/or plans for tiny homes, documented here.
If you're thinking of scaling back, you'll find plenty of inspiration here. Here's a different approach, a 180º turn from increasing consumption. Here are builders, designers, architects (no less), dreamers, artists, road gypsies, and water dwellers who've achieved a measure of freedom and independence by taking shelter into their own hands.
About the Author
In 1968 Lloyd Kahn worked as Shelter editor for the Whole Earth Catalog. In 1971 he published Domebook 2. His shake-covered geodesic dome was featured in Life magazine. Ultimately disillusioned with domes, he took Domebook 2 out of print and in 1973 published the oversized book Shelter, which went on to sell more than 250,000 copies. In 2004, Kahn published HomeWork: Handbuilt Shelter – in many ways the sequel to Shelter – and Builders of the Pacific Coast in 2008. Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter is the fourth book in this series. Kahn and his wife, Lesley live and work in a small coastal town in Northern California.
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:
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.
Featuring profiles on tiny house owners with photographs and floor plans of the homes, ideas on where to find materials, and what to look for and avoid when selecting reclaimed materials, Tiny Houses Built with Recycled Materials is a unique book perfect for your biggest DIY project yet!
Add living space without the cost of adding on. Turn your unfinished basement, attic, or garage into an additional bedroom, family room, new master suite, functional home office, or any other living space your family needs the most.
This book includes:
• More than 50 detailed, step-by-step sequences to guide you through the construction process
• Over 580 inspirational and informative photographs and illustrations
• Easy-to-follow techniques to help you make the conversion yourself
Many of the oldest buildings in the world are made from earth, not because it is the most durable material, but because it’s cheap and easy to get. Often from right beneath your feat. Our ancestors didn’t have dump trucks, so they mostly made do with whatever soil was at hand. In Uncle Mud Cheetsheet #1: Sourcing Earthen Building Materials for Cheap and Easy Mud Fun, you’ll learn about the different ways to find soil and the benefits (such as health, economic, ecological, and social) to building with earth. So whether you’re a mud lover or building lover or both, this 4-page “cheat sheet” will be the first stepping stone into using mud as a building material.