Sun/Earth Buffering and Superinsulation: Building for Energy Independence

Building for Energy Independence: Sun/Earth Buffering and SuperinsulationAuthor(s): Don Booth, Jonathan Booth, Peg Boyles

Publisher: Rodale Pr (September 1984)

Paperback:
ISBN: 0960442235
ISBN-13: 978-0960442232
Order From: Amazon.com

Hardbound:
ISBN-10: 0960442243
ISBN-13: 978-0960442249
Order From: Amazon.com

(links will open in a new window)

Back in 1983 Don Booth’s company, Community Builders was one of the premier developers of energy efficient homes in New England. This privately published book was probably written to help prospective customer’s understand the technology and boost sales. No matter what his reason, Don’s book became a classic of the genre. Calling upon his experience, he goes step-by-step through the theory and practice of building super insulated and passive solar/geothermal homes. The explanations are clear, the examples are informative and it provides just the right amount of technical detail. If you are planning to build a new home, read this book first. The principles you learn here will save you thousands of heating and cooling dollars. It has already saved me from a very expensive mistake.

Unlike most books on this topic, you can actually read this book without stunning your brain. Instead of bulking up the book with endless pages of sun elevation charts or conversion tables, Don includes twenty ‘reviews’ of solar/geothermal homes by their owners, designers and builders. These vary from the comic to the insane as the early pioneers struggle to build their dream homes. Some of these stories would make good movies. My personal favorite is the lady who lives in a tent on the site while her home is built. We watch with dismay as construction delays move completion deep into the cold New England winter. Finally, she moves gleefully into the shell while waiting for the windows, only to have her children complain that the tent was warmer. Who says we can’t learn from the mistakes of others.

More Small Houses

More Small Houses

Publisher: Fine Homebuilding

ISBN: 1561582786

Order From: Amazon.com
(links will open in a new window)

In this is new collection from Fine Homebuilding magazine, you’ll find 31 articles — each one a study in craft and efficiency of space. The homes include a mountain retreat, an island homestead, an urban row house, a timber-frame farmhouse, an apartment over a garage, a duplex with roof-top garden, a Craftsman-style cottage, a surprising number of towers and more. Some are simple, some elegant… but none are plain. As you would expect from Fine Homebuilding, the articles illustrate a wide variety of real world situations, clever design and superb craftsmanship. A thread of sustainable construction runs through many articles including descriptions of passive solar heating, water efficiency and super-insulation. Whether you’re remodeling your existing house or building a new one, More Small Houses will inspire you to think big about small spaces. Hardcover,160 pages, 1998

The Oregon Experiment (Center for Environmental Structure Series)

The Oregon Experiment (Center for Environmental Structure Series)

Author(s): Christopher Alexander

Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr (Trade)

ISBN: 0195018249

Order From: Amazon.com
(links will open in a new window)

The Oregon Experiment

Hardcover, 190 pages

Focusing on a plan for an extension to the University of Oregon, this book shows how any community the size of a university or small town might go about designing its own future environment with all members of the community participating personally or by representation. It is a brilliant companion volume to A Pattern Language.

About the Author

Christopher Alexander, winner of the first medal for research ever awarded by the American Institute of Architects, is an architect and builder who has built in many countries. He is also Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Center for Environmental Structure.

Creating the Not So Big House: Insights and Ideas for the New American Home

Creating the Not So Big House: Insights and Ideas for the New American HomeAuthor(s): Sarah Susanka

Publisher: Taunton; First Edition edition (October 1, 2000)

ISBN: 1561583774

ISBN-13: 978-1561583775

Order From Amazon.com
(links will open in a new window)

Sarah Susanka’s first book, The Not So Big House, created a movement that is changing the way people think about the American home. That groundbreaking book proposed a new blueprint for the American home: a house that values quality over quantity, with an emphasis on comfort and beauty, a high level of detail and a floor plan designed for today’s informal lifestyle.

Creating the Not So Big House is this blueprint in action. Focusing on key design strategies such as visual weight, layering and framed openings, Sarah Susanka takes an up-close look at 25 houses designed according to Not So Big principles. The houses are from all over North America in a rich variety of styles — from a tiny New York apartment to a southwestern adobe, a traditional Minnesota farmhouse to a cottage community in the Pacific Northwest. The description of each house is accompanied by a floor plan and several beautiful color photographs by Grey Crawford. Informative sidebars sprinkled throughout the book show how specific house features and clever design details illustrate “Not So Big” principles. Whether new or remodeled, these one-of-a-kind homes provide all the inspiration you need to create your own Not So Big House.

As an advocate of “less is more” in residential architecture and interior design, Sarah Susanka has emerged as one of America’s favorite home architects. As a result of the success of the Not So Big House and the new vision it holds for the American home, she was featured by U.S. News and World Report as one of 18 innovators in American culture. Susanka has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Charlie Rose Show, and numerous radio programs around the country. She is a former principal and founding partner of the firm chosen by LIFE magazine to design its 1999 dream home. Plans are available for all the houses featured in Creating the Not So Big House.

258 pages, 2000

“Sarah Susanka shows how to downsize the dream house without diminishing the dream.” –Washington Post

“Sarah Susanka offers us a more hopeful strategy for sustaining human development–just make life richer, not bigger….Improve your life and everyone else’s. Use the ideas in this book–not more square feet!” –William McDonough, FAIA, architect, educator, and winner of the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development

“In The Not So Big House, Sarah Susanka offered so much sound advice for those seeking comfort and beauty with a sense of proportion. Now, she has a new book with additional solutions to that all-important question–how do we want to live?” –Barbara Mayer, author of In The Arts and Crafts Style

“Susanka’s book, Creating the Not So Big House, shows how space can be small but beautiful and visually expansive….She has tapped into those principles that Frank Lloyd Wright used in his ‘Usonian’ Houses and has presented them in a very clear and beautifully illustrated format.” –Eric Lloyd Wright, architect

The New Urbanism: Toward an Architecture of Community

The New Urbanism: Toward an Architecture of CommunityAuthor(s): Peter Katz, Vincent Scully

Publisher: McGraw-Hill

ISBN: 70338892

Order From: Amazon.com
(links will open in a new window)

 

245 pages December 1993

An exploration of new suburban communities and neighborhoods on the edge of the 21st century.

The New Urbanism is a movement that seeks to restore a civil realm to urban planning and a sense of place to our communities. It is a tangible response to the failed Modernist planning that has resulted in unchecked suburban sprawl, slavish dependence on the automobile, and the abandonment and decay of our cities. Katz, who heads a marketing and design firm, brings together in this informative and accessible book the voices and case studies of the young architects and planners who practice the New Urbanism–Peter Calthorpe, Andres Duany, and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, among them. They gear their designs to the scale of the pedestrian and seek to promote a symbiotic relationship between urban development and public transportation. An often published example of this movement is the community of Seaside, Florida. Extensively illustrated with plans, diagrams, and color photographs and renderings, this highly instructive book is a must for architecture and urban planning collections, and suitable for general readers.
– Thomas P.R. Nugent, New York
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Table of Contents:

I. Introduction;

II. Examples of the New Urbanism:

  • Satellite Towns;
  • New Towns on the Edge;
  • Urban Insertions;
  • Urban Reconstruction;
  • Regional Plan, Policy Studies;

III. Appendix, Reference Material. Index. 11 x 8 1/2. 500 illustrations.

Buildings of Earth and Straw : Structural Design for Rammed Earth and Straw Bale Architecture

Buildings of Earth and Straw : Structural Design for Rammed Earth and Straw Bale Architecture

Author(s): Bruce King

Publisher: Chelsea Green

ISBN: 0964471817

Order From: Amazon.com
(links will open in a new window)

Buildings of Earth and Straw : Structural Design for Rammed Earth and Straw Bale Architecture

Paperback, 169 pages
Publication date: April 1997

Chelsea Green’s The Rammed Earth House and The Straw Bale House chronicle the possibilities and realities of straw bale and rammed earth construction. Buildings of Earth and Strawfills in the gaps for professional builders, contractors, engineers, inspectors, lenders, and architectural students. It includes special construction requirements of earth and straw, design capabilities and limitations of these materials, and documentation of testing data for use in addressing the concerns of officials. This book offers the nuts and bolts of rammed earth and straw bale building techniques, and why they are so spectacular, durable, and earth-friendly.

Review

“Bruce King has produced a book that is both long overdue and quite timely. While I find most technical books to be dry, uninteresting, and difficult to read, Bruce has managed to provide technical information in an accessible and entertaining manner. Although parts of his book will admittedly require engineering training to understand, even the uninitiated builder will find a wealth of usable material here.”
Bob Fowler, FAIA, PE, PBO past Chairman, International Conference of Building Officials, founding member, International Codes Council

“A revolution in environmentally friendly house construction is arriving. In this book, Bruce King explores the details and methods for building durable and safe earth and straw houses.”
Sim Van der Ryn, Architect, Educator, Author of Ecological Design

 

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

Who Would Want to Read This Book, and Why?
Earth and Straw: Natural Companions
What We Will and Will Not Talk About
A Footnote About Bamboo…

Part One: BASICS

Abbreviations and Acronyms
Glossary
Structures and Forces

Physical Forces That Act On Structures
Some Other Variables
Foundations
Gravity Loads
Lateral Loads
In-plane Forces
Out-of-plane Forces
Earthquake Loads
Other Lateral Force Systems

Part Two: EARTH

The Material

Stabilized Earth
Rammed Earth
Gunearth
Stabilized Earth Mix Design–A Case Study

density and chemistry tests
compressive strength tests
moisture exposure tests
bond strength tests
fastener tests
admixture tests
absorptivity tests
erosion and wear resistance tests
Analysis

Design in Non-seismic Areas
Design in Seismic Areas
Foundations
Bond Beams
Lateral Loads
Analysis Method
Design and Construction Considerations

Stabilized Earth
Rammed Earth
Gunearth
Sample Calculations

Case 1: Seismic zone 2B

check h/t ratio
axial compressive stress at top of footing
Case 2: Seismic zone 4, wall cantilevered

check h/t ratio
horizontal earthquake load
compressive bending stress
shear stress
tensile bending stress in reinforcing
Case 3: Seismic zone 4, same wall restrained at top

horizontal earthquake load
design fc
compressive bending stress
shear stress
tensile bending stress in reinforcing
wall connection at top
Conclusions
Appendix E-1: Soil References
Appendix E-2: Soil-cement References
Appendix E-3: Sample Specification

Part Three: STRAW

The Material

Straw
Bales
Bale Variables
Bale Wall Types
Test Results–Straw Bale and Wall Properties

Bou-Ali test, Tucson, Arizona
SHB AGRA test, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Ship Harbour Project test, Nova Scotia
Fibrehouse Limited test, Ottawa, Ontario
Analysis

Load-bearing Straw-bale Walls
Gravity (Vertical) Loading
Lateral Loading: Wind
Lateral Loading: Earthquake
Non-load-bearing Straw-bale Walls
Design and Construction Considerations

Bales and Pinning
Wall Settling
Moisture
Fire
Sample Calculations

Case 1: Load-bearing Walls

design for bale bearing and precompression
check plaster skin in compression
design for out-of-plane shear
design for in-plane shear
Case 2: Non-load-bearing Walls

design for bale bearing and precompression
design for out-of-plane shear
design for in-plane shear
Conclusions
Appendix S-1: Straw Panels

Pyramod International, Inc., City of Industry, California
Stramit, U.S.A. L.L.C., Perryton, Texas
BioFab, Redding, California
Meadowood, Albany, Oregon
Conclusions
Appendix S-2: California Straw-bale Code
References

General
Stabilized Earth
Straw
Seismic Zone Map of the United States
Unit Conversion Tables

Base Units
SI Prefixes
SI Derived Unites with Special Names
Conversion Factors

Index

The HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design

The HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design

Author(s): Sandra Mendler, William Odell, Mary Ann Lazarus

ISBN: 0471696137

ISBN-13: 978-0471696131

Hardcover: 480 pages

Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (November 29, 2005)

Order From: Amazon.com
(links will open in a new window)

This comprehensive guide is a real-world design tool for sustainable design. Assembled by the world’s largest architectural/engineering design firm — Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum — this book helps architects, engineers, planners, interior designers and landscape architects integrate sustainable design strategies into their work. Far from being an all-or-nothing proposition, it shows how sustainable design thinking can improve projects within the conventional constraints of budget, schedule and market demand. It provides practical guidelines that enhance real projects, including urban planning, site design, buildings, interiors and renovations. This book:

  • Demonstrates how real, completed, sustainable design projects are economically viable and increase client satisfaction.
  • Provides a clear road map for the integrated multidisciplinary design process that is critical to the successful development of sustainable design projects.
  • Captures the key principles of sustainable design in a list of “Ten Simple Things You Can Do.”
  • Provides concise checklists of issues to consider at each stage of the design process, followed by detailed how-to guidance.
  • Contains a detailed glossary of terms and a list of top print and Internet resources.
  • Covers issues and design strategies related to site planning and design, energy and water conservation, materials selection and specification and interior environmental quality.
  • Features twenty-four case studies of a variety of international HOK projects. 

Built By Hand

Built By Hand
Authors: Eiko Komatsu, Athena Steen, Bill Steen
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Gibbs Smith, Publisher; 1 edition (September 26, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 158685237X
ISBN-13: 978-1586852375

Order From: Amazon.com

A modern, full-color version of the Bernard Rudofsky classic ‘Architecture without Architects’, this book takes readers on a magnificent journey to distant corners of the earth in search of the world’s most amazing vernacular architecture. It is the most comprehensive and groundbreaking documentation of hand-made architecture ever published. (Prarie Avenue Bookshop Holiday Gift Guide )

From elaborate bamboo structures in Sumba, Indonesia, to houses carved out of volcanic rock in Cappadocia, Turkey, and homes made from earth-block in Chipaya, Bolivia, Japanese photographer Yoshio Komatsu (assisted by spouse Eiko) has traveled the world photographing vernacular structures. The Steens (The Straw Bale House) provide captions and notes on construction techniques in stone, reeds and many other materials. With more than 700 full-color photos in an 8″X9″ format, the book takes readers to Ethiopia, Iran, Japan, Spain, Venezuela and many other places. (Publishers Weekly )

“more than just a collection of amazing photos” (The Last Straw Journal )

Product Description

Shelter the Human Family is the most extensive documentation ever published of traditional (“vernacular”) buildings throughout the world. With examples from nearly every continent, the book documents the diverse methods people have used to create shelter from locally available natural materials, and shows the impressively handmade finished products through this truly stunning compilation of photographs. Unlike modern buildings that rely on industrially produced materials and highly specialized electric tools and techniques, the shelters featured here represent a rapidly disappearing genre of handcrafted and beautifully composed structures. They are the work of simple and real people who, as builders and homesteaders, have integrated artistic beauty and practical form into their shelter needs. Shelter the Human Family offers insights into the world of vernacular building, along with potential solutions to many of the problems that plague modern architecture. It is a must-have collection that preserves and documents the rich cultural past of each structure and its community, and offers inspiration for those looking to build in a way that is motivated by something larger than speed, efficiency, and economic profit. Bill and Athena Steen are the authors of The Straw Bale House and The Beauty of Straw Bale. They are active in community building programs that teach low-income families how to build their own shelters, and known for their efforts to incorporate artistic techniques based on local and natural materials into the world of modern construction. They live in Elgin, Arizona. Yoshio Komatsu has been photographing buildings and people around the world for 25 years. His photographs were collected in the Japanese book Living on Earth, and his work is regularly published in books, magazines, and calendars throughout Japan. This is his first book in English. He and his wife, Eiko, live in Tokyo.

A Shelter Sketchbook: Timeless Building Solutions

A Shelter Sketchbook: Timeless Building Solutions

Author(s): John S. Taylor

Publisher: Chelsea Green Pub Co

ISBN: 1890132020

Order From: Amazon.com
(links will open in a new window)

A Shelter Sketchbook: Timeless Building Solutions

Reprint Edition
Paperback, 160 pages
Publication date: September 1997

In a new take on sustainable living and building, John Taylor presents a stunning array of traditional building techniques and housing solutions from around the world and from history. Most are motivated by available materials, economic necessity, and local climate and terrain. In this time of growing interest in earth-friendly building techniques, Taylor shows us that we need to relearn many practical aspects of constructing shelter and must blend the technologies of the present with the traditions of the past, with those of other cultures, and even with those of our own grandparents. Taylor, an architectural designer, has filled this delightful book with remarkable drawings and sketches of building techniques gleaned from his travels; it is a feast for the eyes as well as the brain.

Authentic Small Houses of the Twenties: Illustrations and Floor Plans of 254 Characteristic Homes

Authentic Small Houses of the Twenties: Illustrations and Floor Plans of 254 Characteristic Homes

Author(s): Robert T. Jones

Publisher: Dover Publications

ISBN: 0486254062

ISBN-13: 978-0486254067

Order From: Amazon.com
(links will open in a new window)

As all of history is cyclical, so is home architecture in America. Authentic Small Houses of the Twenties shows wonderful possibilities for houses that capture the “Not so Big House” ideal, a movement gaining momentum in this day of the McMansion. The product of a joint venture by the U. S. Dept. of Commerce and the American Institute of Architects after WWI, these house plans show marvelous use of interior space, detailing and economy. Although the house plans with sketches or photos of each shown are not available, as far as I know, in blueprint form for purchase, they furnish tremendous grist for the creative future home owner. A treasure!

Page 1 of 41234