Permaculture: A Designers' Manual

Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual

Permaculture: A Designers' Manual

Author(s): Bill Mollison

Publisher: Ten Speed

ISBN: 0908228015

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For those of us searching for an ecologically responsible lifestyle amid urban and suburban insanity, Bill Mollison has a real and exciting answer. This book is full of helpful advice presented in a very readable way. (The only problem might be getting stuck in the chapters on climates that don’t concern you; just skip them until later!) The groundwork philosophy of permaculture is laid first, and the book moves from there to the practical business of actually designing one. The emphasis is on letting various plant and animal species work together as much as possible, to form a basically self-sustaining system from which people can reap a continual harvest, not only of food, but of interest and self-respect. What a prospect! It is certainly a very different one from what we young people have been taught to expect from life! This volume is much more complete in both the philosophy and the practice than were the original “Permaculture One” and “Permaculture Two.” It is also much less focused on the Southern Hemisphere, which is helpful for North Americans trying to visualize their own permaculture. I can only hope that more people happen upon this book as I did and are themselves inspired to create a fulfilling life for themselves and their children.

— Wendell Berry

This is the permaculture bible, written by the great guru of permaculture. Site design issues are interwoven throughout the text.


Gazebos & Other Outdoor Structures

Gazebos & Other Outdoor Structures

Gazebos & Other Outdoor Structures

Author(s): Joseph F., Jr. Wajszczuk (Editor), Joh Corinchock, Jim Russel

Publisher: Creative Homeowners Press

ISBN: 1880029049

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Paperback, 157 pages
Publication date: March 1995

“This beautifully illustrated guide is the one book you need to build an outdoor retreat that fits your lifestyle. You will find step-by-step instructions with complete materials lists for the most popular gazebos, pavilions, and arbors.”
Green Bay Press Gazette
June 2, 2001

Includes 20 do-it-yourself projects for detached structures designed to provide privacy, shade, and beauty. Midwest Book Review : Along with decks and patios, gazebos are a popular addition to the home for relaxing and entertaining. Gazebos & Other Outdoor Structures from Creative Homeowner Press makes building a gazebo, pavilion, or arbor possible for any do-it-yourselfer. Packed with information and beautiful designs, Gazebos & Other Outdoor Structures clearly explains the process of building any of 8 projects. More than 400 full-color illustrations and over 80 full-color photographs highlight and define the step-by-step instructions. Information is provided on the latest in tools, materials, and customizing design options such as paint types and colors, and decorative trim.

Gazebos & Other Outdoor Structures contains plans and construction procedures for Square Hip Roof Gazebo; Arbor with Deck; Pavilion with Gable Roof; Six-Sided Gazebo; Open-Air Arbor; Eight-Sided Gazebo; Freestanding Pavilion; and Arbor with Picnic Table.

From Contractor to Consumer: the Truth about Heating, Air Conditioning, and Home Comfort Systems: What Your Contractor Won't Tell You

From Contractor to Consumer: the Truth about Heating, Air Conditioning, and Home Comfort Systems: What Your Contractor Won’t Tell You

From Contractor to Consumer: the Truth about Heating, Air Conditioning, and Home Comfort Systems: What Your Contractor Won't Tell YouAuthor: Joe Gorman

Paperback: 72 pages

Publisher: iUniverse (October 17, 2009)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1440178178

ISBN-13: 978-1440178177

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The only book written for homeowners and consumers to help you understand how heating, air conditioning, and duct systems work together as a home comfort system. Whether you are looking to purchase a new heating and air conditioning system or just looking to solve some ongoing problems your contractor keeps saying is “normal” operation, this book will bring to youan understanding of heating, air conditioning, and home comfort systems and how they work together so you will be better prepared to make the right decisions when it comes to making your home or business as comfortable and energy efficient as you want it to be.

Learn how you can:

Save Money and Save Energy with your new or existing heating, air conditioning, and home comfort system

Make the right choices

Choose the right system to fit your needs

Make your home more comfortable

Choose the right contractor


Know what to look for when purchasing a furnace, air conditioner, or home comfort system.

For questions or comments the author may be contacted at

The Independent Home : Living Well With Power from the Sun, Wind, and Water

Cover, The Independent Home : Living Well With Power from the Sun, Wind, and WaterAuthor(s): Michael Potts

Publisher: Chelsea Green Pub Co

ISBN: 0930031652

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Paperback, 224 pages
Publication date: October 1993

How-To Editor’s Recommended Book, 11/01/97:
Whether you already own a home or plan to build one, The Independent Home will show you how to transform it into an energy-efficient, comfortable, self-sustainable home of the future– right now. Michael Potts’s home has been featured on the ABC evening news as an example of the sane approach to simple living; he demonstrates how one can live well, save money, save resources, and still retain modern conveniences and comfort. The Independent Home proves that it is not necessary to live in mud-floored huts and cook brown rice over a campfire to go back to the land.

From Booklist , 10/15/93: An instructive guide to living without the electric and gas companies, by Potts and interviewees who have broken from the power grid. The homes of people interviewed are far from primitive, containing all the conveniences of modern life, though there is the occasional cold shower. Potts advocates a return not to nature, but to a more independent time, and that’s accomplished here mostly by college-educated people who like doing things for themselves. Their experiences are as instructive from a social point of view (a sort of enviro-ethic meets Yankee pragmatism) as for the many possible ways of converting your house to energy independence. Potts also suggests home improvements for energy savings in existing homes, as well as explanations of how our appliances, heating, and air-conditioning systems do–and don’t–work from an energy point of view. A commonsense approach to energy self-reliance. Copyright© 1993, American Library Association. All rights reserved

The author, Michael Potts: , 08/31/96:
We can all learn from renewable energy pioneers It took me 20 years to get ready to write my book — tinkering, visiting, figuring arcane technology out — it is SO much easier now! But independent homesteaders offer us all lessons on using our energy better. We waste half the energy we buy, while they, who carefully harvest every electron, teaspoon of water, and therm of heat, strive to waste as little as possible. This work reconnects them with the planet in ways we all need to emulate as the last fossil fuel energy crisis takes us over. There are important lessons in my book about phantom loads, free energy sources, and small habit changes that have helped many on-the-gridders reduce their energy bills by 30% – 60% — enough to buy a new copy of my book (and give it to a friend) every month! I am continuing the work and planning a new book for the rest of us, who in the next 20 years will have to reform our own domestic energy use. Please visit my web page: for ideas and to help me gather the best energy tips.

Customer Comments , 10/09/96, rating=9:
Required reading for all homosapiens! Because of my total infatuation with the first book (I’m assuming, first) I would get the next without question. Occasionally, this is a mistake, but I don’t think it will be a disappointment. Please quote anything from me regarding how great I think this work is. I find the book an escape on the line of the old, big Sears catalogs that we called the wish book when I was a kid. An often somewhat dry subject spiced with real people living the life. I have read and re-read it many times. I hope for for a sequel that dipicts the continuing state of the art and the folks he interviewd 5 years later. A style with the technical interspersed with the personalities is very refreshing. It’s like learning while reading People Magazine. I felt myself wanting to read more about the people and their feelings. Where Potts injected his opinions, this made me want to read more of what he thought about the life styles and conditions he visited. His opinions about the building departments and reglatory agencies were right on! I wanted to go storm the local building Department with his book in hand as ammunition.

Table of Contents
Foreword By John Schaeffer
Ch. 1. Declaring Independence vCh. 2. Homework: Outgrowing Dependence
Ch. 3. Harvesting Our Own Power
Ch. 4. Home Utilities
Ch. 5. The Tree Game: Reckoning Our Footprints On the Planet
Ch. 6. Choosing a Site for Energy
Ch. 7. Planning a New Independent Home
Ch. 8. Building the Home Energy Machine
Ch. 9. Pioneering and Settling the New Energy Frontier
Ch. 10. Home Entropy: Improvements and Repairs
Ch. 11. Growing With the Land
Ch. 12. Generalists and Specialists
Ch. 13. Living With Constant Change
Ch. 14. Solar Neighborhoods
Ch. 15. Independent Futures
Resource List

The Sauna

Cover, The SaunaAuthor(s): Rob Roy

Publisher: Chelsea Green Pub Co

ISBN: 0930031873

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Paperback, 208 pages
Publication date: March 1997

How-To Editor’s Recommended Book, 03/01/97:
This book could be called Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Saunas and Then Some! It is replete with sauna history; tradition; health benefits; a complete, detailed guide to building one for yourself, along with resources for equipment and supplies; and instructions on the proper use and maintenance of saunas. You name it, it’s here!

Customer Comments from Bloomingdale, New Jersey , 11/03/97, rating=5:
It is a book about rather specific sauna I ordered that book because I wanted to construct a sauna in my basement. Based on the publisher’s recommendation I felt very confident that I will find all the necesseary information to help me with my project. To my deepest disappointment this book deals only with a very specific type of a sauna: one that is constructed from logs in a cement base.

Table of Contents
1. About Saunas
2. Cordwood Masonry
3. The Post-and-Beam Log End Sauna
4. The Earthwood (Round) Sauna
5. The Sauna Stove
6. Variations on the Theme
7. Taking a Sauna
App. 1. Sauna Equipment Manufacturers and Distributors
App. 2. Sauna Societies
App. 3: Annotated Bibliography
App. 4. Glossary of Finnish Sauna Terms

Rainwater Collection for the Mechanically Challenged Book and DVD

Rainwater Collection for the Mechanically ChallengedAuthor(s): Suzy Banks, Richard Heinichen

This 108-page handbook isn’t only cute, it’s smart and funny, too. We cover everything from determining how much rainwater you need to collect to trouble-shooting a problem pump. Read the 1st chapter as a PDF here.


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This is a video that covers the same territory as the book, except it has moving pictures and music. Like the book, this video is highly informative and exquisitely silly. With a Texas deadpan, Richard Heinichen delivers step-by-step instructions for installing most of the components of a residential rainwater collection system. (He leaves pump installation and control up to the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid any potential for suicidal boredom.) Richard describes storage tanks and roof collection systems, illustrates system sizing, displays filters and disinfecting components, shows how to install gutters, piping, tanks and other assorted components, and explains how to maintain your system.

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Builder’s Greywater Guide: Installation of Greywater Systems in New Construction & Remodeling; A Supplement to the Book “Create an Oasis With Greywater”

Builder's Greywater Guide: Installation of Greywater Systems in New Construction & Remodeling; A Supplement to the Book Create an Oasis With GreywaterAuthor(s): Art Ludwig

Publisher: Oasis Design

ISBN: 0964343320

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The Builder’s Greywater Guide will help building professionals or homeowners work within or around building codes to successfully include greywater systems in new construction or remodeling in the US. Includes information on treatment effectiveness, sample codes, and permit submissions.

Topics include: Special reasons for builders to install or not install a greywater system, flow chart for choosing a system, suggestions for dealing with inspectors, legal requirements checklist, detailed review of system options with respect to the new laws, latest construction details and design tips, maintenance suggestions, equations for estimating irrigation demand, and the complete text of the new California greywater law with annotations from Oasis (the California greywater law is very similar to the greywater appendix in the Uniform Plumbing Code, which may apply in all of the US west of the Mississippi and several Eastern States).

Laundry to Landscape: A Simple, Efficient, Economical, Easy-to-Use Greywater System

Laundry to Landscape: A Simple, Efficient, Economical, Easy-to-Use Greywater System


Author(s): Art Ludwig

Publisher: Oasis Design

ISBN: 978-0964343382

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An instructional video that explains how to design, build and use Laundry to Landscape Greywater Systems. These are the simplest, most economical greywater systems to install yourself as an owner or renter, and a good green collar job opportunity as a self-employed installer or as part of your landscape, plumbing, or construction business.

“Everything you need to know to put your greywater to work once it’s done with your clothes… Art’s a knowledgeable genius. Thoughtful and thought-provoking.” –Michael Potts, Author, The New Independent Home

“Core curriculum for green plumbers and water conservationists.” –Christina Bertea, Contractor, First California Journeywoman Plumber

“L2L is an `of course’ upgrade or stand-alone addition to the majority of our clients’ landscapes.” –Daniel Wilson, Landscape Contractor, WELDesign, Inc.

“The depths of greywater have been brought to the light in this easy-to-understand video. Art cares deeply and acts accordingly so that his exhaustive knowledge is accessible to all.” –Laura Bartels, Sustainable Building Consultant, GreenWeaver, Inc.

“The best video on everything you need to know about a simple, effective greywater system for your home garden. Get the latest direct from the greywater guru…help save the planet.” –Robert Kourik, Author, Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape and All Climates

Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers, And Ponds

Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers, And Ponds

Author(s): Art Ludwig

Publisher: Oasis Design


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A do-it-yourself guide to designing, building, and maintaining your water tank, cistern or pond, and sustainably managing groundwater storage. It will help you with your independent water system, fire protection, and disaster preparedness, at low cost and using principles of ecological design. Includes building instructions for several styles of ferrocement water tanks.

The New Create an Oasis with Greywater: Publisher: Oasis Design; 5 Rev Exp edition

The New Create an Oasis with GreywaterAuthor(s): Art Ludwig

Publisher: Oasis Design


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Clean drinking water is getting scarce and expensive. One solution to water shortages is to use some of your household water twice.

The greywater from sinks, bathtubs and even clothes washers can be put to use in the landscape. Create an Oasis with Greywater is a complete guide to designing and building a greywater system.

The book begins by explaining why you would want to use greywater and when it’s not appropriate. It continues with greywater sources, health guidelines, 20 system examples, greywater plumbing principles, components, maintenance, troubleshooting, suppliers and more. The text is clear and each greywater system is illustrated.

The supplement Building Professionals Greywater Guide is highly recommended.