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.
We all need a personal sanctuary: a place where we can be in harmony with the natural world and can nurture our bodies, minds, and souls. And this sanctuary doesn’t have to be an exotic destination, it can be in your own backyard. In Creating Sanctuary, Jessi Bloom taps into multiple sources of traditional plant wisdom to help readers find a deeper connection to the outdoor space they already have … no matter the size. Equal parts inspirational and practical, this engaging guide includes tips on designing a healing space, plant profiles for 50 sacred plants, recipes that harness the medicinal properties of plants, and simple instructions for daily rituals and practices for self-care.
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.
Essential Rainwater Harvesting is a comprehensive manual for designing, building, and maintaining water harvesting systems for the warm and cold climates of the world. Presenting design considerations and approaches for the most common household rainwater supply scenarios – primary, supplemental, and off-grid supply.
Essential Rammed Earth Construction covers design, building science, tools, and step-by-step building methods for any climate, with a special emphasis on building in cold climates of the northern United States, Canada, and northern Europe. The book provides an overview of earthen building, and goes over topics that include the appropriate use of rammed earth walls, stabilized versus raw rammed earth, and design considerations. Inside, you’ll find construction drawings with step-by-step building instructions.
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.
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.
Keeping Bees in Towns and Cities features everything an urbanite needs to know to start keeping bees: how to select the perfect hive, how to buy bees, how to care for a colony, how to harvest honey, and what to do in the winter. Urban beekeeping has particular challenges and needs, and this book highlights the challenges and presents practices that are safe, legal and neighbor-friendly.
The text is rounded out with profiles of urban beekeepers from all over the world, including public hives at the Maryland Center for Horticulture; beekeeping on an office balcony in Melbourne, Australia; and a poolside hive at a hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia.
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:
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.
This guide features easy-to-follow picture tutorials on how to build your own DIY survival projects (50 in all!). One of the prepping movement’s most prolific authors, Jim Cobb has taught readers how to fortify their homes, survive for weeks without electricity, and prepare themselves financially for years of economic turmoil. Now he turns to some of his favorite DIY projects to teach his thousands of fans how to create cheap, easy, and ingenious tools to help survive any natural disaster. Prepper’s Survival Hacks is filled to the brim with intriguing, fun, and innovative projects to secure any home.
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.
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.
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.
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In The Healthy Home, a father and son -- Dr. Myron Wentz, well-known microbiologist and founder of the USANA Corporation, and Dave Wentz, CEO of the USANA Corporation -- take readers on a tour of a specific home for a look at the surprising health risks posed by the everyday products and behaviors of a modern family. Beginning in the bedroom and ending in the garage and backyard, readers learn about the degenerative effects of toxins in the home and receive simple solutions to help minimize exposure without forgoing convenience. The Healthy Home is not a comprehensive tome on modern health hazards, nor is it a treatise on eco-conscious living. Instead, the book focuses on the most important environment -- the home -- and the problems that can most easily be lessened or eliminated. Busy parents who suspect that they should be doing more to protect their family but don't know where to start will learn about practical changes they can make in the next 15 minutes, 15 days or 15 months to create a haven for healthier living.
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.
How can we adequately provide housing when disaster strikes? Catastrophes come in a variety of forms, be they weather-related (hurricanes, floods and droughts) or society-driven (resulting from civil disorder or poverty), instantaneous (earthquakes, tsunamis) or gradual (rising sea levels). Yet all urgently demand safe, sustainable housing designs that are cheap to build, environmentally friendly, and hardy enough to withstand severe environmental conditions. Not only is there climate change to contend with, there are millions of people, right now, who do lack safe or adequate housing.
In Urgent Architecture, Bridgette Meinhold showcases 40 successful emergency and long-term housing projects-from repurposed shipping containers to sandbag homes. She surveys successful structures as well as highlighting promising projects that are still being developed. Every one is quickly deployable, affordable and sustainable. This book is an essential resource for those who are interested in green building, sustainable design, eco-friendly materials, affordable housing, material reuse and humanitarian relief.