Design, plan, and contract or build a sustainable home with these green building design books.

  • BUILD YOUR OWN GARAGE MANUAL (5th EDITION)

    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.

    Item: 8835
  • COMPACT HOUSES

    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.

    Item: 6863
  • ESSENTIAL LIGHT STRAW CLAY CONSTRUCTION

    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.

    Item: 8375
  • HOUSING RECLAIMED

    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.

    Item: 5298
  • PREFABULOUS + ALMOST OFF THE GRID

    Prefabrication offers a simple path to the green home of your dreams, and in her latest book, Prefabulous author Sheri Koones highlights the many ways of using prefabrication to create almost-off-the-grid homes: houses that are not only environmentally friendly but often operate at nearly zero annual energy cost.
    Item: 7115
  • SHELTER II

    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.

    Item: 7195
  • SMALL HOMES: THE RIGHT SIZE

    This book features homes that are larger than “tiny,” but smaller than the national average. Small homes are less expensive, use less resources, are more efficient to heat and cool, and cheaper to maintain and repair. The homes here (some 65 of them) vary from unique and artistic to simple and low-cost. Some are plain, ordinary buildings that provide owners shelter at a reasonable cost, and some are inspiring examples of design, carpentry, craftsmanship, imagination, creativity, and homemaking.

    This book represents a logical step for Shelter Publications, after their two previous books on tiny homes. (By way of comparison, homes in their Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter, averaged 200 to 300 square feet.)

    Item: 8242
  • THE ART OF NATURAL BUILDING, SECOND EDITION

    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:

    • The case for building with natural materials, from the perspectives of sustainability, lifestyle and health
    • What you need to know to plan and design your own beautiful and efficient natural home
    • Explanations of 30 versatile materials and techniques, with resources on where to go for further information on each
    • How these techniques are being used to address housing crises around the world

    Clearly written, logically organized and beautifully illustrated, The Art of Natural Building is the encyclopedia of natural building.

    Item: 7571
  • THE ECONEST HOME

    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:

    • A detailed explanation of the nature-based science behind EcoNests.
    • Fully illustrated, step-by-step instructions to guide you through construction.
    • Dozens of inspiring photos of completed projects.

    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.

    Item: 7687
  • THE NATURAL HOUSE

    This exciting book takes the reader on a tour of fourteen natural building methods, including straw bale, rammed earth, cordwood, adobe, earthbags, earthships, and more. You'll learn how these homes are built, how much they cost, and the pros and cons of each.

    Item: 710
  • THE SUN-INSPIRED HOUSE

    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.

    Item: 6710
  • UNDERGROUND BUILDINGS

    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.

    Item: 7025

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