Building With Junk and Other Good Stuff : A Guide to Home Building and Remodeling Using Recycled Materials

Building With Junk and Other Good Stuff : A Guide to Home Building and Remodeling Using Recycled MaterialsAuthor(s): Jim Broadstreet

Publisher: Loompanics Unlimited

ISBN: 1559500360

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Building With Junk and Other Good Stuff : A Guide to Home Building and Remodeling Using Recycled Materials Hardcover October 1990 159pp illustrated The publisher, , December 19, 1996 …for home handypersons and prospective builders looking for inspiration. -Booklist- A master scrounger’s guide to the millions of dollars of building supplies thrown away every day. -Real Goods- A complete guide to building and remodeling using recycled materials. Millions of dollars worth of building materials are thrown away every day. This book shows how to find, store and use this good stuff. Cover floors, ceilings, walls, foundation, roofs, plumbing, wiring, utilities, windows, doors, cabinetry, trim, insulation, appliances, furniture-even solar power!

Be Your Own Home Renovation Contractor

Cover, Be Your Own Home Renovation ContractorAuthor(s): Carl Heldman

ISBN: 1580170242
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Be Your Own Home Renovation Contractor: Save 30% without Lifting a Hammer (revised and updated) by Carl Heldman.

This book explains finding and appraising a restorable structure, obtaining financing, and hiring subcontractors. Includes sample contracts, bids, inspection reports, insurance forms, and blueprints. 6×9, 176 pages, paperback. review:
One of the surest ways to save a bundle of money on any serious home renovation is to be your own contractor. However, if an individual embarks on this effort not armed with all the facts and formalities, it can also be the proverbial primrose path to financial hell. Becoming your own contractor is neither as simple as it might seem, nor as potentially intimidating as worst-case scenarios might leave one to believe, if you have the facts and information you need before you begin.

Heldman, the author of Be Your Own House Contractor, one of the classics in the field, lays out how to evaluate your structure, estimate costs, negotiate loans as needed, and hire subcontractors; he also gives a thorough look at the forms and legalities involved in taking on this task. Done knowledgeably, with this book as a guide, a homeowner can save many thousands of dollars on renovation costs.

Heldmann provides savvy advice on whether certain kinds of projects are advisable under certain circumstances, whether renovations are financially practical for increased value, and approaches the subject with full knowledge of the kinds of disruption and confusion home renovating projects can cause in peoples’ lives. This book will likely become yet another Heldmann classic for do-it-yourself home renovators in years to come. –Mark A. Hetts


The Owner Built Home

Cover, The Owner Built Home  - Original 1972 Edition

Author(s): Ken Kern

ISBN: 0686312201

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The Owner Built Home

10 Chapters: Building site, Planting Design, Climatology, Summer Cooling, Ventilation, Light & Shade, Central heating, Heating, Fireplac, Heat Circulatiing Fireplace,

Covers How to on: Adobe block, Pressed block (cinva ram) Rammed Earth, Stone Masonry, Masonry Block and brick, Concrete, Precast concrete panels,(tilt up concrete walls) Stone slipformss, Wood, Wood frame, Pole frame, Composite materials (early papercrete ideas), Plastics (shell & foam houses. Salvage materials(includes “zome “car tops design), Tools, Foundations, Floors, Walls, Wood floors, Masonry roofs, Stairs, Plumbing, Wiring and lighting, Light and color, DIY painting, Conclusion,110 pages, index, B&W photos and diagrams. Original book (used several in stock now.

This is the book that made Ken Kern famous! 6″x8” size, softcover. All in good or fair shape, some with underlining, marking, or scuffing as is expected from a heavily used “primer” on owner building!

Appropriate Building Materials

Cover, Appropriate Building Materials

Authors: Roland Stulz, Kiran Mukerji

ISBN: 1853392251

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Appropriate Building Materials

The grandaddy of information on building techniques and materials. Imported from the UK this big book covers EVERYTHING about natural building, with photos, hundreds of sketches, uses in practice, unusual treatments, very low cost methods used in countries with few resources and much more useful information. Great to keep as a basic reference and idea book.

433 pages, 6×9, paperback

The Production of Houses (Center for Environmental Structure Series)

The Production of HousesThe Production of Houses

Author(s): Christopher Alexander, Julio. Martinez, Howard Davis

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0195032233

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As an innovative thinker about building and planning, Christopher Alexander has attracted a devoted following. His seminal books–The Timeless Way of Building, A Pattern Language, the Oregon Experiment, and The Linz Cafe–defined a radical and fundamently new process of environmental design. Alexander now gives us the latest book in his series–a book that puts his theories to the test and shows what sort of production system can create the kind of environment he has envisioned.
The Production of Houses centers around a group of buildings which Alexander and his associates built in 1976 in northern Mexico. Each house is different and the book explains how each family helped to lay out and construct its own home according to the family’s own needs and in the framework of the pattern language. Numerous diagrams and tables as well as a variety of anecdotes make the day-today process clear.
The Mexican project, however, is only the starting point for a comprehensive theory of housing production. The Production of Houses describes seven principles which apply to any system of production in any part of the world for housing of any cost in any climate or culture or at any density.
In the last part of the book, “The Shift of Paradigm,” Alexander describes, in detail, the devastating nature of the revolution in world view which is contained in his proposal for housing construction, and its overall implications for deep-seated cultural change.

About the Author

Christopher Alexander, winner of the first medal for research ever awarded by the American Institute of Architects, is a practicing architect and contractor, Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Center for Environmental Structure. He also wrote Notes on the Synthesis of Form.


Publication date: May 1984

Building Construction Illustrated

Cover, Building Construction IllustratedAuthor(s): Frank Ching, Francis D. K. Ching

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0471288853

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2nd Edition
Publication date: May 1991

Customer Comments:
from Norman, OK , 04/16/98, rating=8: Helpful architect’s reference. This book gives simple guides to design work. Like a simplified “Graphic Standards”. Ching offers super illustrations, lots of details and answers a lot of questions for me as an architecture student. I recommend to all designers.

from Los Gatos, CA
02/18/98, rating=9:
Very useful for understanding small-scale construction

The first edition was entirely hand-drawn (the 2nd ed. may be as well) and covers the difference between a hip and a gable roof, slabs, grade beams and other details of modern construction. If you want to know the difference between western platform and balloon framing, this is a fine book. It’s primarily a reference book, but it could be read cover to cover.

Design Guide to Frost Protected Shallow Foundations

Cover, Design Guide to Frost Protected Shallow Foundations

Design Guide to Frost Protected Shallow Foundations

Author(s): NAHB Research Center

Available as web page or PDF
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For decades, standard construction practice and building codes required that foundation footings be built below the frost line. A frost protected shallow foundation uses strategically placed insulation to raise the frost depth around a building, which can reduce the footing depth to as little as 16 inches, even in severely cold climates. Nordic countries have been using these methods for years. And now you can too, with the information in this detailed report prepared by the National Association of Home Builders Research Center. The report covers the theory and practice of frost protected shallow foundations and includes all the details you need to design and build in any U.S. climate. 42 pages. 1995

How Buildings Learn : What Happens After They’re Built

Cover, How Buildings Learn : What Happens After They're Built

Author(s): Stewart Brand

Publisher: Penguin USA (Paper)

ISBN: 0140139966

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Reprint Edition
Paperback Publication date: October 1995

From Kirkus Reviews , 04/15/94:
Brand, founder of The Whole Earth Catalog and CoEvolution Quarterly, launches a populist attack on rarefied architectural conventions. A hippy elder statesman (once one of Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters), Brand argues that a building can “grow” and should be treated as a “Darwinian mechanism,” something that adapts over time to meet certain changing needs. His humanistic insights grew out of a university seminar he taught in 1988. Catchy anti- establishment phrases abound: “Function reforms form, perpetually,” or “Form follows funding.” Thomas Jefferson, a “high road” builder, is shown to have tinkered his Monticello into a masterpiece over a lifetime. Commercial structures, Brand says, are “forever metamorphic,” as a garage-turned-boutique demonstrates. Photo spreads with smart and chatty captions trace the evolutions of buildings as they adopt new “skins.” Pointedly, architects Sir Richard Rogers (designer of the Pompidou Centre in Paris) and I.M. Pei (the Wiesner Building, aka the Media Lab at MIT) are taken to task for designing monumental flops that deny occupants’ needs. Later sections track the social meanings of preservationism and celebrate vernacular traditions worldwide (e.g., the Malay house of Malaysia; pueblo architecture; the 18th- century Cape Cod House). Brand also documents his own unique habitats. He lives with his wife in a converted tugboat and houses his library in a metal self-storage container. Here, as throughout, Brand’s self-reliant voice rings true–that of an engaging, intellectual crank. Brand makes a case for letting people shape their own environments. His crunchy-granola insights bristle with an undeniable pragmatism. — Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

All kinds of structures–domestic, commercial, institutional–are examined as they change with time and with varied usage in this fascinating, vividly accessible book that beckons toward a new frontier in architecture. 340 illustrations and photos.

Like people, buildings change with age, forced to adapt to the needs of current occupations. This provocative examination of buildings that have adapted well, and some that haven’t, calls for a dramatic rethinking in the way new buildings are designed, one that allows structures to grow and change easily with the environment. Photos.

Booknews, Inc. , 12/01/94:
Kind of like the theory that a literary text is never closed, but is temporarily appropriated in its reading and rereading, Brand, of Whole Earth Catalog fame, proposes that buildings adapt best when constantly refined and reshaped by their occupants, and that architects can grow from artists of space into artists of time. As a resource or just as a read, Brand shows how to work with time rather than against it. He provides loads of examples and loads of photographs and drawings. 11×8.75 Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

The author, Stewart Brand , 07/26/97:
Now a BBC TV series In July 97 the BBC aired a 6-part TV series called How Buildings Learn. I was the writer and presenter. It got lovely reviews in the Brit press. I hope it gets picked up for US broadcast. A British edition of the book (from Orion Books) came out at the same time as the TV series. It’s better manufactured than the US edition from Penguin, so the 350 photos read more clearly. You can probably get a copy from Blackwells on the Web. Maybe Amazon will pick up the Brit edition as well? However, the US edition has some harsh comments about buildings by architect Richard Rogers that were expunged from the British edition because he is aggressively litigious about all criticism.

Customer Comments

from Toronto, Canada , 10/09/97, rating=10:
excellent, thought-provoking, calm I’ve hesitated to review this book because I’m personally suspicious of glowing praise. However, this book deserves it. Brand’s starting point is the observation that most architects spend most of their time re-working or extending existing buildings, rather than creating new ones from scratch, but the subject of how buildings change (or, to adopt Brand’s metaphor, how buildings learn from their use and environment) is ignored by most architectural schools and theorists. By looking at examples (big and small, ancient and modern), Brand teases out patterns of re-use and change, and argues (very convincingly) that since buildings are going to be modified many times, they should be designed with unanticipated future changes in mind. Of course, the same is true of programs, and I found again and again that I could substitute the word program for building, and programmer for architect, everything Brand said was true of computing as well (but much better written than any software engineering polemic I’ve ever read).

04/03/97, rating=9:
Explores Architecture and Change I learned of this book while previewing a presentation by a superior software professional working to come up with some principles and ideas for building flexible systems, and whose son (an architecture student) had sent a copy to her. Several metaphors that she included, taken from the book, were so compelling I had to buy a copy immediately. The book turns out to be interesting on many levels, interesting about buildings, unintentionally full of metaphors for software geeks like me, intriguing about what happens when concrete and steel meet the realities of change and human nature. Now if I could only find a book about How People Learn…

02/16/97, rating=9:
A must for architects and preservationists This book is one of my required texts for my master’s degree in historic preservation. Preservationists are often overly concerned with restoring buildings to a specific period and this book should change their minds! The concept of a building as a living breathing CHANGING entity is something that anyone involved with buildings should take to heart. Brand’s book is well written and easy to read, and anyone who has ever been in love with a building should read it!

08/08/96, rating=8:
Very much in the tradition of A PATTERN LANGUAGE (Chris Alexander et al), about how building evolve through remodeling over the decades. Several excerpts: Art begets fashion; fashion means style; style is made of illusion; and illusion is no friend to function…. Formerly stylish clothing you can throw or give away; a building goes on looking ever more out-of-it, decade after decade, until a new skin is grafted on at great expense, and the cycle begins again–months of glory, years of shame…. Real estate is an astonishingly unexamined phenomenon. Books on the history of architecture outnumber books on the history of real estate 1,000 to 0, yet real estate has vastly more influence on the shape and fate of buildings than architectural theories of aesthetics.

Graphic Guide to Frame Construction: Details for Builders and Designers

Cover, Graphic Guide to Frame Construction: Details for Builders and Designers (updated)

Author(s): Rob Thallon

Publisher: Taunton Press

ISBN: 1561583537

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A reigning classic, the Graphic Guide to Frame Construction is a complete visual handbook for wood-frame construction with a special emphasis on energy efficiency. Filled with hundreds of meticulous drawings, it shows the framing details you need to understand when building with wood.

This completely revised and updated edition is more comprehensive and reflects the most recent changes in residential frame construction. It contains more details for energy efficiency, use of modern engineered and composite materials, and construction in high-wind and seismic areas. It’s well annotated and covers foundations, floors, walls, stairs and roofs. Because examples are taken from actual job sites by a trusted expert, this book is an invaluable visual aid that can help builders and homeowners alike to tackle a wide range of framing projects. Whether building a partition or flashing a window, you’ll find the visual explanation here.

Graphic Guide to Frame Construction is a valuable reference for architects and builders, and an ideal primer for students and owner-builders. Starting with the foundation, the book moves systematically from component to component ending with the roof. Regional variations and options are included. These details were mined from actual job sites through the input of a panel of builders and architects from around the U.S. Graphic Guide to Frame Construction is an authoritative reference that helps you review your options and solve specific problems no matter where or what you’re building.

240 pages, 2000

“As a reference on wood framing and enclosure details, Graphic Guide is hard to beat. It’s very well organized and clearly written. The illustrations are sharp, well annotated and drawn at a 1- or 1-1/2-inch scale, so they can be easily transferred to working drawings. And Thallon’s treatment is extensive, often showing several different ways of doing a job.”

Audubon House – Building the Environmentally Responsible, Energy-Efficient Office

Audubon House: Building the Environmentally Responsible, Energy-Efficient OfficePublisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0471024961

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The behind-the-scenes story of the construction of one of the world’s most environmentally sound buildings in the heart of New York City–the headquarters of the Audubon Society. Audubon and the Croxton architects sought to make Audubon House a model for design professionals around the world.

Card catalog description
Audubon House is the inspiring story of how the Audubon/Croxton team converted a 19th-century architectural masterpiece into one of the most environmentally advanced buildings ever designed. Providing a model that can be followed by owners, developers, architects, and building professionals, this book demonstrates how environmental criteria, such as sustainable use of resources, energy efficiency, and air quality can be achieved without sacrificing traditional considerations of cost, functionality, and aesthetics. Built at market cost and using only off-the-shelf technology, Audubon House is sixty percent more energy efficient than the conventional approach would have been. It saves its owners a projected $100,000 dollars annually in operating expenses, and supports an extraordinarily practical, healthy, and handsome office environment. The book is organized into two parts. Part I introduces the project and describes what members of the Audubon team discovered about the environmental impact of buildings and the types of systems that can mitigate this impact. Part II presents four essential systems at Audubon House: lighting, heating and cooling, ventilation and indoor air quality, and recycling. Particular attention is paid to the way in which these systems work together, each contributing to the performance of the whole. These goals could only be realized through the close cooperation of the architects, interior designers, environmentalists, engineers, research scientists, and contractors who collaborated on the project. The description of this collaborative process is as central to the theme of this book as the building’s many design innovations and energy-saving features. Richly illustrated with professional photographs and architectural drawings, Audubon House is both a guidepost for environmentally sound construction and an inspiring chronicle of hope for all environmentally concerned citizens.

The publisher, John Wiley & Sons:
In 1992, the National Audubon Society completed construction on one of the most environmentally advanced edifices ever built. The building’s success is due equally to the new technologies implemented, sound economic principles used to guide the project and the special collaborative approach of the design and construction team. This lavishly illustrated book examines all three elements in a manner that will show others how these principles can be applied to create buildings with improved environmental performance.

Table of Contents

The Built Environment: Counting the Costs
Dimensions of Sustainable Design

Lighting and Other Energy Efficiencies
Heating, Cooling, and Energy at Audubon
The Healthy Workplace: Ventilation and Materials
Recycling at Audubon: Closing the Loop
Conclusion: A Success in the Making