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.
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.
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.
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:
When disaster strikes, bugging out will be sufficient to escape short-term danger. But when widespread collapse comes, survival will depend on having a long-term prepper retreat ready and waiting. Prepper’s Survival Retreatsbreaks down the daunting task of strategic relocation into manageable steps that allow readers to create a personalized plan appropriate for their budget, needs, and specific goals. No two preppers are alike and no two strategic relocation plans should be the same,this book will show how to put together the perfect survival retreat for every prepper.
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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.
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.
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.
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!
Bringing together the collective wisdom of a past generation of craftsmen, Traditional Toolmaking provides an in-depth record of the skills and techniques that made the mass production revolution of the 20th century possible. When first published in 1915, this book was an answer to a vast array of toolroom problems and explained many essential toolmaking operations. It includes timeless practices as well as some personally tailored methods by master toolmakers, including how to:
With detailed descriptions of every procedure, essential mathematical rules and calculations for use in the workshop, and a number of illustrative figures, this book stands as an invaluable reference for those with an interest in practicing hands-on toolmaking processes.