The Natural House

Author(s): Dan Chiras

ISBN: 0890132578

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Gracious, comfortable and ecologically-benign homes are being built all across America. You may be intrigued by solar techniques and natural materials, yet lack an overview introducing the basic choices now available, along with the pros and cons of various building options. The Natural House addresses that interest with style and substance.

This exciting new book, written by a veteran author who himself lives in a straw-bale and rammed-tire home, takes the reader on a tour of fourteen natural building methods, including straw bale, rammed earth, cordwood, adobe, earthbags, papercrete, Earthships and more. You’ll learn how these homes are built, how much they cost, and the pros and cons of each. A resource guide at the end of every chapter offers a wealth of information.

This comprehensive sourcebook offers in-depth information that will guide your search for the perfect sustainable dream home. It’s a must for builders, contractors, architects and do-it-yourselfers.

With a writing style that is clear, understandable, at times humorous, and fun to read, the author shows how we can gain energy independence and dramatically reduce our environmental impact through passive heating and cooling techniques, solar electricity, wind power and micro-hydropower. Chiras also explains safe, economical ways of acquiring clean drinking water and treating wastewater, and discusses affordable green building products.

While Chiras is a strong advocate of natural building, he takes care not to romanticize natural building techniques. He alerts readers to avoidable pitfalls, offering detailed practical advice that could save you tens of thousands of dollars, whether you’re buying a natural home, building one yourself or renovating an existing structure or considering hiring a contractor to build for you.

468 pages, 2000


Author(s): David MacAulay

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company

ISBN: 0395294576

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Reading level: Ages 9-12
78 pages
September 1980

Book Description
It is not a work of nonfiction but a work of fantasy, and not the story of the making of the skyscraper but the story of the unmaking of a very particular one, the Empire State Building… The exquisite drawing style that marked Mr. Macaulay’s earlier works on architecture remains as whimsical as ever. — New York Times Book Review Booklist Editors’ Choice

Horn Book Fanfare Selection
IRA/CBC Children’s Choice

Card catalog description
This fictional account of the dismantling and removal of the Empire State Building describes the structure of a skyscraper and explains how such an edifice would be demolished.

The Alternative Building Sourcebook

Author(s): Steve Chappell

Publisher: Fox Maple Press, Inc.

ISBN: 1889269018

Order From: Fox Maple Press, Inc
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The Alternative Building Sourcebook Natural & Traditional Building resource guide.

A unique and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, and acedemic architectural reference book collections, The Alternative Building Sourcebook will prove to be an invaluable resource for student, neophyte and even experienced architects. Of special utility are the sections devoted to internet websites and email address, subject listings, and company index.–James A. Cox — Internet Bookwatch, September 1998

Over the years as a professional timber framer, Steve Chappell of Fox Maple School of Traditional Building (the people behind Joiners’ Quarterly magazine) has met a lot of people; no small number of them offering unusual and hard-to-find goods and services of value to those interested in natural and sustainable housing. Over 900 indexed entries interspersed with photos and short articles about traditional and natural building techniques fill 140 pages. It’s fun to go through the listings, taking mental notes; stumbling across answers to arcane bits of long-term wonderings; following up on leads; finding those magic contacts that never would have been found; and knowing that the big payoff will come six months down the road when a positive need to find hemp fiberboard, seagrass carpet, or a one-man sawmill with built-in edger without delay will arise.–Mark Piepkorn — The Last Straw Journal, issue#23, Fall 1998

The SOURCEBOOK is unique among green building guides in its exclusive focus on natural building methods, such as strawbale, clay infill, cob, thatch and timber framing. Useful information on associated products, services, and tools is also provided. For builders, architects, and lay people interested in natural building, The Alternative Building Sourcebook makes an excellent reference. — Environmental Building News, April 1998

This is not just another directory of green building materials. The result is a rich compilation of helpful businesses, rounded out with instructive essays, illustrations, and sidebars. Resource categories include suppliers, publications, schools, software, videos, and workshops and conferences. I’ll be using this book for a long time.–Carol Venolia — Building With Nature, Issue#20, March 1999

Paperback 144 pages

Building with Vision: Optimizing and Finding Alternatives to Wood

Author: Dan Imhoff

ISBN: 097095000

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Building with Vision: Optimizing and Finding Alternatives to Wood

The United States has both the rare fortune and the dubious distinction of being among the only industrialized nations to use wood as its primary material for residential buildings. While other developed countries have evolved masonry and other building systems not reliant on wood, on average, a full acre of trees is consumed to build just one house in the United States. And, for every twenty houses built, enough waste is typically left over to frame another house.

Combining environmental philosophy, practical information, and dynamic visuals, Building with Vision makes accessible many solutions to wasteful tree-dependent construction and design. In addition to identifying the benefits, challenges, and applications of the recommended alternatives to contemporary American construction, this book details building methods to minimize wood waste, maximize efficiency, and emphasize the unique aesthetic properties of non-wood materials.

Part resource guide, part photo essay, this 136-page gem features beautifully composed, nearly tactile photographs that bring to life an array of alternative materials. Case studies highlight successful building projects that utilize innovative and effective framing, siding, insulation, roofing, and finishing materials and techniques.

Building systems featured include Rastra, a new kind of interlocking block made of recovered Styrofoam packaging; Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) made of plywood, OSB, or strawboard with a thick foam core; and a variety of “Eco-Crete,” super-insulating concrete systems. A wide range of finish materials are discussed as well: panel board made from agricultural crop waste, flooring derived from used tires, natural linoleum and certified woods, and cement countertops embedded with finds from the urban waste stream.

“This book can be a lifesaver for trees and our limited architectural horizons. It invites challenges to its critiques. Let the debate begin.” — Ralph Nader

“Building with Vision is timely and extremely useful, a must-have resource for every architectural studio across the country.” — Sim Van der Ryn architect, director of the Ecological Design Institute

About the Author Dan Imhoff has authored dozens of articles and essays on issues ranging from forest conservation and paper production to the global economy, sustainable agriculture, and green building. Imhoff’s articles have appeared in Sierra, Saveur, Whole Earth, Communication Arts, Orion Afield, and many books and journals. With his wife and two children, he lives part-time in an off-the-grid home produced with many certified and salvaged, wood and non-wood materials.

Born in Parma, Italy, Roberto Carra is an internationally renowned photographer, graphic designer, and art director.

softcover :: 9″ x 8″ :: 136 pages, color photographs :: b/w photographs bibliography :: resource list

Building with Papercrete and Paper Adobe

Author(s): Gordon Solberg

ISBN: 1928627005

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Papercrete is a type of industrial strength paper maché made with paper and cardboard, sand and portland cement. The concept is quite simple — you build a mixer (essentially a huge kitchen blender), mix the dry ingredients with water to form a slurry, cast the slurry into blocks or panels, and let it dry. When it hardens up, papercrete is lightweight (it’s 80 percent air), an excellent insulator (R 2.8 per inch), holds its shape even when wet, and is remarkably strong (compressive strength of 260 psi). And, since it contains paper fibers, it has considerable tensile strength as well as compressive strength. Papercrete is a remarkable building material, and is remarkably inexpensive, since all the ingredients (except for the cement) are free or nearly free.

This collection of articles is not a step-by-step manual, but does offer a wealth of information about the topic. It’s the most comprehensive source of papercrete information available in one place. You’ll see two ways to build a papercrete mixer, several dome projects, the use of slipforms, several types of block forms, a structure made from paper bales and how several pioneers are pushing the evolution of papercrete.

The packet includes issues 1 through 5 of Earth Quarterly, plus Papercrete News Issues 1 and two. The book Building with Papercrete was a collection of articles that appeared in the Earth Quarterly (Issues 1 – 4 ). The book is now out of print, but this packet contains everything that appeared in the book, and considerably more.

1999 – 2000, 168 pages

A Home for the Soul : A Guide for Dwelling With Spirit and Imagination

Author(s): Anthony Lawlor

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

ISBN: 0517704005

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A Home for the Soul : A Guide for Dwelling With Spirit and Imagination

1 Ed
Publication date: November 1997

Philosophy and Religion Editor’s Recommended Book, 01/01/98:
Mindfulness has become a common religious buzzword. In A Home for the Soul award-winning architect Anthony Lawlor shows us how to decorate a home that encourages mindfulness from every bathroom and bibelot. Despite a (perhaps unavoidable) tendency toward camp and solipsism, the stunning photographs and insights into the potentially sacred details of domestic living prompt you to pay closer attention to your immediate environment. For example, “Books are like small altars, each page serving as a threshold for crossing into realms of broadened vision.” Investing the items around us with soulful symbolism is like living in a temple of one’s own design.

Perceiving and creating a home that uplifts the soul is the purpose of this book that invites readers to discover the abode of inspiration and delight hidden within their homes. Proceeding from kitchen to bedroom to garden, explaining how rooms and spaces can be arranged to harmonize with one’s deepest self, Lawlor gives creative, practical suggestions for decorating, renovating and even building houses and apartments that will nurture the spirit.

150 photos, 75 in color.

Simply Build Green

Simply Build Green : A Technical Guide to the Ecological Houses at the Findhorn Foundation

Simply Build GreenAuthor(s): John Talbott

Publisher: Findhorn Press

ISBN: 1899171908

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Simply Build Green : A Technical Guide to the Ecological Houses at the Findhorn Foundation

Paperback, 224 pages
Publication date: September 1997

The theory, practice and products used in the Eco-Village Project at Findhorn. Combines standard building techniques and methods with the basic philosophy of ecological building and its application. Includes many b&w pictures.

Creating Sacred Space With Feng Shui

Author(s): Karen Kingston

Publisher: Broadway Books

ISBN: 0553069160

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Creating Sacred Space With Feng Shui : Learn the Art of Space Clearing and Bring New Energy into Your Life

Paperback, 272 pages
Publication date: February 1997

The ancient oriental art of feng shui teaches that the buildings one occupies affects personal physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. This easy-to-understand, illustrated guide shows how to apply the art of space clearing and other principles of feng shui to create inner peace and comfort in the home and workplace.

From the Publisher :
Feng Shui is the ancient oriental art of enhancing and harmonizing the flowof energy in your surroundings. Over the last twenty years, Karen Kingston haspioneered the study of a specialized branch of Feng Shui called Space Clearing.In this fascinating and easy-to-follow guide she shows how you can use Space Clearing and other principles of Feng Shui to enhance the flow of energy inyour home or workplace and so create happiness and abundance in every area ofyour life.

You will learn how to:

* Clear “stuck” energy and create sacred space
* Consecrate your home
* Create a clutter-free environment and simplify your life
* Safeguard yourself against electromagnetic and geopathic stress
* Place furniture, mirrors, wind chimes, and other Feng Shui enhancements to create balance and harmony

Karen Kingston divides her time between London and Bali, Indonesia. She blendsthe results of her studies with Balinese priests and shamans together with FengShui wisdom and ancient knowledge from other cultures into a program thatreally works. Karen leads workshops around the world and is in great demandfor both business and private consultations.

The Complete Illustrated Guide to Feng Shui

Author(s): Lillian Too

Publisher: Element

ISBN: 1852309024

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The Complete Illustrated Guide to Feng Shui: How to Apply the Secrets of Chinese Wisdom for Health, Wealth and Happiness

Paperback, 224 pages
Publication date: October 1996

Feng Shui is the 4,000-year-old Chinese art of living in harmony with your environment. This illustrated introduction is the first Western book to offer the clarity, authenticity, and practical applications presented by Lillian Too. Writing from personal experience, Too explains the role of Feng Shui in the thriving economies of the East, and reveals the secrets of the art. Full color. $100,000 budget.

Midwest Book Review:
Feng Shui (wind and water) is the ancient Chinese metaphysical science or art of living in harmony with your environment in order to promote health, wealth, and happiness. Lillian Too is offers her years of experience with feng shui in The Complete Illustrated Guide To Feng Shui. Too provides the practical information needed to understand and apply feng shui principles to their own environments and lives. It also explains the roots of feng shui in ancient China, and contains lavish color artwork demonstrating the application of the principles. The Complete Illustrated Guide To Feng Shui is a perfect introduction to the principles, practices, and purposes of feng shui for the western reader.

The Western Guide to Feng Shui

Author(s): Terah Kathryn Collins

Publisher: Hay House

ISBN: 1561703249

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The Western Guide to Feng Shui: Creating Balance, Harmony, and Prosperity in Your Environment

Paperback, 224 pages
Publication date: April 1996

Feng Shui teacher Terah Kathryn explains why the arrangement of readers’ homes and workplaces affects every aspect of their lives, including relationships, health, and finances. This informative text takes readers on a step-by-step journey through their home and office, opening their Feng Shui eyes to see the problems and the solutions in their environment.

Midwest Book Review:
For thousands of years, the Chinese have used the teachings of Feng Shui to enhance their lives. Now, these powerful principles are translated into a practical and thought-provoking guide for people in the Western world. Kathryn Collins is an instructor in Feng Shui and she explains why the arrangement of your home and workplace affects every aspect of your life, including your relationships, your heath, and your finances. She takes you on a step-by-step journey through your own home and office, opening your Feng Shui eyes to see the problems (and the solutions) in your physical world. The Western Guide To Feng Shui is a fascinating collection of many stories about the positive changes that have occurred in people’s lives after making Feng Shui adjustments. The Western Guide To Feng Shui is highly recommended for all metaphysical reference book collections.