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11.

COMPACT CABINS

Gerald Rowan
Paperback

Price: $19.95

Compact Cabins presents 62 design interpretations of the getaway dream. Whether it be a small cabin on a sparkling lakefront, a breath-taking mountaintop, an expansive beach, or some other peaceful lo…

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Compact Cabins presents 62 design interpretations of the getaway dream. Whether it be a small cabin on a sparkling lakefront, a breath-taking mountaintop, an expansive beach, or some other peaceful location, there is something here to please every taste. Best of all, these small-footprint designs are affordable and energy-efficient without skimping on comfort and style. The cabins range in size form a cozy 150 square feet to a more spacious but still economical 1,000 square feet, and all include sleeping accommodations, kitchen and bath facilities, and a heat source. Complete chapters on low-maintenance building materials, utilities and appliances, and alternative energy sources supply you with the options for living efficiently in small space.

For every design, you will find floor plans with detailed suggestions for designing the space for optimal use. These plans are flexible: many feature modular elements that can be mixed and matched to accommodate your particular needs or hobbies. Features such as an outdoor fireplace, covered porch, or external storage locker might work nicely in several cabin designs. It's all about enhancing and maximizing small spaces to your individual needs and preferences.

  • Need plenty of sleeping space for visiting friends and family? Jean's Run Cabin sleeps six in 501 square feet.
  • Do you own a shallow plot on a beautiful lake? Glass House Cabin offers terrific views, a large deck, and a wide-frontage floor plan.
  • Is your priority a romantic getaway? A Cabin for Two features a fireplace, a spa tub, and a cozy sleeping nook.
  • Love hosting parties? Clerestory Cabin with Dining Room has a dedicated dining space right next to the porch, which is perfect for cocktails or coffee.
In this time of uncertain energy costs, global warming, and tighter budgets, building small is a very appealing idea. Gerald Rowan shows you how to achieve your cabin dreams on a small footprint.

Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is recommending books to readers. For 40 years, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been North America's "Original Guide to Living Wisely," creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.


12.

GREEN RESTORATIONS

Aaron Lubeck
Paperback

Price: $21.90

CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $37.95. AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

Some 40 percent of North Americans live in homes built before 1940, and when it comes time to remodel …

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CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $37.95. AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

Some 40 percent of North Americans live in homes built before 1940, and when it comes time to remodel or restore our older homes, homeowners and contractors can find themselves lost in a morass of wildly divergent information and opinion. With Green Restorations, author Aaron Lubeck brings his expertise as a restoration contractor and preservation consultant to this first-of-its-kind guide, leading the reader through the steps for restoring historic building using sustainable practices and green building techniques.

In a readily accessible room-by-room and system-by-system format, Green Restorations covers rehabilitation and remodelling questions applicable to old homes, focusing on the core techniques and debates often seen in practice. Here you'll find the answers to restoration questions, such as:

  • Is sealing my old crawl space a good idea?
  • Should I replace or rehabilitate my windows?
  • Are there historic aspects of my home I need to preserve, and what can I change?
  • What are the cultural, environmental and financial implications of my proposed changes?
  • Do residential historic tax credits apply to my home and how can I access them?

Written in such a way as to be accessible for homeowners but technical enough for contractors, this book will appeal to anyone trying to green an older home while preserving its historic and cultural significance.

About the Author

Aaron Lubeck is a partner with Trinity Design/Build, a restoration and preservation consultancy in North Carolina that has won numerous preservation awards. He is a member of the United States Green Building Council who has completed the first historic building to be LEED-certified in North Carolina.


13.

TOWARD A ZERO ENERGY HOME

David Johnston/Scott Gibson
Paperback

Price: $13.71

CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $27.95 AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

A "zero energy" home — a home that produces as much energy as it consumes — is an idea whose time has come. By reduc…

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CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $27.95 AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

A "zero energy" home — a home that produces as much energy as it consumes — is an idea whose time has come. By reducing or eliminating utility bills, zero energy homes offer a new direction for housing in America. It is a win-win for the homeowner, for the planet and for a new generation of builders who are building houses that better meet the energy challenges ahead of us all.

With unequaled knowledge and a passion for the subject, authors David Johnston and Scott Gibson explore the design and construction of energy self-sufficient houses from start to finish and feature 12 houses that were built for zero energy living.

About the authors:

A leader in the green building movement, David Johnston is the author of Green From the Ground Up and founder of Green Building and What's Working. His approach to green building has been embraced by building professionals, municipalities, homeowners and sustainability advocates nationwide. Co-author Scott Gibson is a freelance writer and longtime contributing editor to Fine Homebuilding magazine.

Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is recommending books to readers. For 40 years, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been North America’s “Original Guide to Living Wisely,” creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.


14.

ED BEGLEY, JR.'S GUIDE TO SUSTAINABLE LIVING

Ed Begley, Jr.
Paperback

Price: $22.50

From the environmental activist Newsweek called the "star of climate change" comes the ultimate guide to living green for those ready to take their eco-efforts up a notch.

Ed Begley Jr.'s G…

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From the environmental activist Newsweek called the "star of climate change" comes the ultimate guide to living green for those ready to take their eco-efforts up a notch.

Ed Begley Jr.'s Guide to Sustainable Living lays out a detailed road map culled from Ed's 39 years of green living. For the first time ever, a comprehensive plan is provided, from effective conservation techniques to producing your own energy.

Starting with the energy audit, Ed shows us how to create a game plan for resource conservation in the home. Then, once an adequate baseline of resource use is achieved, he leads us into more in-depth eco-matters, such as the production of alternative energy, and how to use solar and wind energy and a geothermal pump. As Ed's guide continues, the focus then turns to sustainable lifestyle management choices, such as home gardening, and guidelines on creating a green nursery for your children. This book covers it all – small to large – in plain language and in a progression from resource conservation to energy production and lifestyle management that makes both environmental and fiscal sense.

There's something here for everyone – new and experienced environmentalists alike – and Ed walks you through every step of the way with helpful sidebars that outline costs and paybacks, as well as essays detailing his experiences of completing these eco-projects on his own home.


15.

GREEN SENSE FOR THE HOME: RATING THE REAL PAYOFF

Eric C. Freed and Kevin Daum
Paperback

Price: $12.05

CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $21.95. AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

When does a green home project make financial sense? The authors of this book provide the answer to th…

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CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $21.95. AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

When does a green home project make financial sense? The authors of this book provide the answer to this and other questions relating to the cost (and relative value) of environmentally friendly home improvements. Eric Corey Freed and Kevin Daum are experts, respectively, in green building and in financing custom homes. In this information-packed book, they walk readers through 50 green home projects and break them down according to the positive impact they have on the environment, as well as the impact they may have (both positive and negative) on the reader's wallet.

They evaluate a wide array of projects, including insulating pipes, weatherizing doors and windows, composting and recycling trash, installing a solar hot water heater, installing green countertops, upgrading appliances, building with reclaimed materials and installing radiant heat. This unique perspective on going green is a reference that green-leaning homeowners simply cannot do without.


16.

SMALL ECO HOUSES: LIVING GREEN IN STYLE

Benitez and Vidiella
Paperback

Price: $35.00

Fresh perspectives on how good design can create stylish yet ecologically sound living spaces in small-scale homes. Anyone who has faced the challenges of limited living space will find inspiration in…

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Fresh perspectives on how good design can create stylish yet ecologically sound living spaces in small-scale homes. Anyone who has faced the challenges of limited living space will find inspiration in this survey of the latest trends in environmentally sensitive, small-scale residential designs.

More than 50 residential spaces are profiled — from woodsy houses and repurposed barns to cool apartments and urban lofts — both inside and out. Most of the projects were designed by up-and-coming architects, and each design proves that small-scale efficiency as well as beautiful, thoughtful design can overcome the apparent constraints of a small setting.

Environmental impact is a growing concern, so each project was chosen because of its ecological sensitivity. Each case history describes the challenges confronting the designer and the solutions. Creating color schemes to enhance the feeling of openness, taking advantage of high ceilings to make multiple levels, and using collapsible furniture and sliding doors to maximize space are some of the design solutions that can be applied in any situation. Filled with beautiful color photographs and helpful floorplans, this book is a remarkable showcase of how good design can transform any small space into a comfortable, modern and environmentally sensitive home.

About the Authors:
Cristina Paredes Benítez has degrees in fine arts and in information science. She is an editor specializing in illustrated books and she has collaborated with several publishers and photo agencies.

Àlex Sánchez Vidiella earned a degree in art history, specializing in contemporary art, baroque art, and entertainment art (cinema), from the University of Barcelona. He has worked as an art history teacher and as an editor and graphic editor for various publishing houses specializing in art, architecture, geographic atlases and scientific encyclopedia. He is currently a writer and editor, working mostly on architecture books.


17.

DIY BOOK OF BACKYARD SHEDS & TINY HOUSES

Jay Shafer
Paperback

Price: $19.99

Buildings from internationally recognized small living expert Jay Shafer have attracted the attention of CNN, Oprah, Fine Homebuilding and This Old House. Ranging in size from 100 to 120 square feet, …

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Buildings from internationally recognized small living expert Jay Shafer have attracted the attention of CNN, Oprah, Fine Homebuilding and This Old House. Ranging in size from 100 to 120 square feet, these tiny backyard buildings can be used as guest cottages, art or writing studios, home offices, craft workshops, vacation retreats, or full-time residences. This revised edition of Tumbleweed DIY Book of Backyard Sheds and Tiny Houses is filled with photos (including many that weren’t in the original publication) and elevation drawings, as well as door and window schedules for constructing six of the handsome little buildings. You’ll also find an extensive how-to set of instructions that can be applied to any backyard building project.


18.

THE NATURAL BUILDING COMPANION

Jacob Racusin/Ace McArleton
Paperback

Price: $31.65

CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $59.95. AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

A State-of-the-Art Resource for Natural Builders

Natural buildings not only bring satisfaction to thei…

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CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $59.95. AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

A State-of-the-Art Resource for Natural Builders

Natural buildings not only bring satisfaction to their makers and joy to their occupants, they also leave the gentlest footprint on the environment. In this complete reference to natural building philosophy, design, and technique, Jacob Deva Racusin and Ace McArleton walk builders through planning and construction, offering step-by-step instructions on:

  • Siting
  • Planning for heat and moisture
  • Developing an integrative design
  • Creating the foundation, wall system, roof, and floors
  • Protecting against fire and insects
  • Planning for acoustics
  • Selecting and making finishes
  • Plastering
  • Budgeting
...and more

Applicable to building in climates that are cold and wet, hot and dry, or somewhere in between, The Natural Building Companion offers thorough coverage of straw bale, straw-clay, woodchip-clay, and cellulose wall systems--as well as earthen and stone wall systems. Integrating holistic design and permaculture principles, this fully illustrated volume informs professionals making the transition from conventional building, homeowners embarking on their own construction, or green builders who want comprehensive guidance on natural-building options.

The book, part of the The Yestermorrow Design/Build Library, is accompanied by an instructional DVD.


19.

TINY HOMES: SIMPLE SHELTER

Lloyd Kahn
Paperback

Price: $28.95

There's a grassroots movement in tiny homes these days. The real estate collapse, the economic downturn, burning out on 12-hour workdays – many people are rethinking their ideas about shelter – seeki…

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There's a grassroots movement in tiny homes these days. The real estate collapse, the economic downturn, burning out on 12-hour workdays – many people are rethinking their ideas about shelter – seeking an alternative to high rents, or a lifelong mortgage debt to a bank on an overpriced home.

In this book are some 150 builders who have taken things into their own hands, creating tiny homes (under 500 sq. ft.). Homes on land, homes on wheels, homes on the road, homes on water, even homes in the trees. There are also studios, saunas, garden sheds, and greenhouses.

There are 1,300 photos, showing a rich variety of small homemade shelters, and there are stories (and thoughts and inspirations) of the owner-builders who are on the forefront of this new trend in downsizing and self-sufficiency.

At the heart of our 1973 book Shelter were drawings of five small buildings, which we recommended as a starting point in providing one's own home. Now, almost 40 years later, there's a growing tiny house movement all over the world – which we've been tracking over the past two years.

Many people have decided to scale back, to get by with less stuff, to live in smaller homes. You can buy a ready-made tiny home, build your own, get a kit or pre-fab, or live in a bus, houseboat, or other movable shelter. Some cities have special ordinances for building "inlaw" or "granny flats" in the back yard. There are innovative solutions in cities, such as the "capsules" in Tokyo. There are numerous blogs and websites with news, photos, and/or plans for tiny homes, documented here.

If you're thinking of scaling back, you'll find plenty of inspiration here. Here's a different approach, a 180º turn from increasing consumption. Here are builders, designers, architects (no less), dreamers, artists, road gypsies, and water dwellers who've achieved a measure of freedom and independence by taking shelter into their own hands.

About the Author
In 1968 Lloyd Kahn worked as Shelter editor for the Whole Earth Catalog. In 1971 he published Domebook 2. His shake-covered geodesic dome was featured in Life magazine. Ultimately disillusioned with domes, he took Domebook 2 out of print and in 1973 published the oversized book Shelter, which went on to sell more than 250,000 copies. In 2004, Kahn published HomeWork: Handbuilt Shelter – in many ways the sequel to Shelter – and Builders of the Pacific Coast in 2008. Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter is the fourth book in this series. Kahn and his wife, Lesley live and work in a small coastal town in Northern California.


20.

NORTHWEST GREEN HOME PRIMER

K. O'Brien/K. Smith
Paperback

Price: $24.95

Everyone can make green home decisions on a budget with this inspiring, information-packed guide. Whether you are building, remodeling, buying, or just curious, here are real-world strategies for gett…

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Everyone can make green home decisions on a budget with this inspiring, information-packed guide. Whether you are building, remodeling, buying, or just curious, here are real-world strategies for getting the greenest results from your budget, with hundreds of ideas for a home that is built to last, comfortable and healthy, money- and time-saving in the long term, and kind to the planet.

What shade of green is right for you, your resources, schedule, and setting, and how can you achieve it? What questions should you ask? What approaches and resources are best for the Northwest? From your home's exterior to its operating systems within, from siting to interior design, this is the basic training that has given many the confidence to proceed.

Award-winning sustainable design and building consultant and teacher Kathleen O'Brien and architectural designer and sustainability consultant Kathleen Smith offer their "top picks" for each phase. Their perspective is both down-to-earth and cutting edge. They've also each faced their own green home challenges in a single family house and a duplex, and other case studies show affordable energy-efficient green homes both old and new.

Brimming with ideas, clear and logical, with tips, checklists, and resources for green home planning, construction, remodeling, and maintenance, extensively illustrated with photos and diagrams, this is the essential green home manual for novice and professional alike.

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