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Home > Books > Home Design Books

We Found 101 items, sorted in Bestselling order.

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21.

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.

22.

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.

23.

SOLAR ELECTRICITY BASICS

Dan Chiras
Paperback

Price: $12.95

Solar energy is an abundant resource. Once a curiosity, solar electric systems are becoming commonplace. As we transition away from finite and polluting fossil fuels, clean, reliable and affordable r…

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Solar energy is an abundant resource. Once a curiosity, solar electric systems are becoming commonplace. As we transition away from finite and polluting fossil fuels, clean, reliable and affordable renewable technologies such as solar electricity will become the mainstay of our energy supply.

Solar Electricity Basics provides a clear understanding of the sun, solar energy and solar electric systems. It discusses the theoretical, practical and economic aspects of residential solar installations including inverters, batteries and controllers, costs of solar electric systems, financial incentives, system installation and maintenance, permits, covenants, utility interconnection, and buying a system.

Whether your goal is to lower your energy bill through a grid-connected system or to achieve complete energy independence, Solar Electricity Basics is the introduction you need.

24.

SOLAR WATER HEATING (SECOND EDITION)

BOB RAMLOW AND BENJAMIN NUSZ
Paperback

Price: $24.95

Heating water with the sun is a practice almost as old as humankind itself. Solar Water Heating, now completely revised and expanded, is the definitive guide to this clean and cost-effective technolog…

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Heating water with the sun is a practice almost as old as humankind itself. Solar Water Heating, now completely revised and expanded, is the definitive guide to this clean and cost-effective technology.

Beginning with a review of the history of solar water and space heating systems from prehistory to the present, Solar Water Heating presents an introduction to modern solar energy systems, energy conservation and energy economics. Drawing on the authors' experiences as designers and installers of these systems, the book goes on to cover types of solar collectors, solar water and space heating systems, and solar pool heating systems, including their advantages and disadvantages; system components, their installation, operation and maintenance; system sizing and siting, and choosing the appropriate system.

This book focuses on the financial aspects of solar water or space heating systems, clearly showing that such systems generate significant savings in the long run. With many diagrams and illustrations to complement the clearly-written text, this book is designed for a wide readership ranging from the curious homeowner to the serious student or professional.

25.

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.

26.

The Earth-Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book

Mike Oehler
Paperback

Price: $24.95

The Earth-Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book is the first to promote the benefits of both passive solar energy and earth sheltering in greenhouse design. This combination results in greenhouses which nee…

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The Earth-Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book is the first to promote the benefits of both passive solar energy and earth sheltering in greenhouse design. This combination results in greenhouses which need no additional heating. Gone are costly heating bills. Gone is the squander of nonrenewable energy resources. This is because aboveground greenhouses get natural heat at night from only one side, the floor. The properly designed earth-sheltered greenhouse is naturally warmed at night - and in the winter.

This book has it all. It takes you step-by-step through the construction of an inexpensive greenhouse that may be built for pennies on the dollar with either newly purchased or salvaged building materials.

27.

FINDING COMMUNITY

DIANA LEAFE CHRISTIAN
Paperback

Price: $16.45

CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $24.95. AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

Finding community is as critical as obtaining food and shelter, since the need to belong is what makes…

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CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $24.95. AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

Finding community is as critical as obtaining food and shelter, since the need to belong is what makes us human. The isolation and loneliness of modern life have led many people to search for deeper connection, which has resulted in a renewed interest in intentional communities. These intentional communities or ecovillages are an appealing choice for like-minded people who seek to create a family-oriented and ecologically sustainable lifestyle - a lifestyle they are unlikely to find anywhere else.
However, the notion of an intentional community can still be a tremendous leap for some - deterred perhaps by a misguided vision of eking out a hardscrabble existence with little reward. In fact, successful ecovillages thrive because of the combined skills and resources of their members.
Finding Community presents a thorough overview of ecovillages and intentional communities and offers solid advice on how to research thoroughly, visit thoughtfully, evaluate intelligently and join gracefully. Useful considerations include:

  • important questions to ask (of members and of yourself)
  • signs of a healthy (and not-so-healthy) community
  • cost of joining (and staying)
  • common blunders to avoid.
Finding Community provides intriguing possibilities to readers who are seeking a more cooperative, sustainable and meaningful life.
About the author
Diana Leafe Christian is the author of Creating a Life Together and editor of Communities magazine. She lives at Earthhaven Ecovillage in North Carolina.

28.

PRESCRIPTIONS FOR A HEALTHY HOUSE

PAULA BAKER-LAPORTE
Paperback

Price: $19.10

CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $28.95. AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

Although there is nothing complicated about constructing healthier homes, building for health is still…

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CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $28.95. AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

Although there is nothing complicated about constructing healthier homes, building for health is still not standard practice, and in fact there are many aspects of conventional home construction that are detrimental to human wellbeing.

From foundation to rooftop, to home care and repair, Prescriptions for a Healthy House takes the mystery out of healthy-house building, renovation and maintenance, by walking the owner/architect/builder team through the entire construction process. Chapters include:

  • Frame construction alternatives
  • Thermal and moisture control
  • Finishes
  • Flooring
  • Furnishings
The authors -- an architect, medical doctor and restoration consultant -- bring a singular combination of expertise and perspectives to this book. The result -- now in its third completely updated edition -- is a unique guide to creating healthy indoor and outdoor spaces, including many new resources, as well as specialized knowledge from several nationally recognized experts in the field of building biology.

This unique guide will appeal to architects, designers, contractors, medical professionals and homeowners.

29.

PHOTOVOLTAICS

SOLAR ENERGY INTERNATIONAL
Paperback

Price: $59.95

Producing electricity from the sun using photovoltaic (PV) systems has become a major industry worldwide. But designing, installing and maintaining such systems requires knowledge and training, and there have been few easily accessible, comprehensive guides to the subject.

Now, with Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual, a world-class solar energy training and education provider - Solar Energy International (SEI) - has made available the critical information to successfully design, install and maintain PV systems. This book contains an overview of photovoltaic electricity and a detailed description of PV system components, including PV modules, batteries, controllers and inverters. It also includes chapters on sizing photovoltaic systems, analyzing sites and installing PV systems, as well as detailed appendices on PV system maintenance, troubleshooting and solar insolation data for more than 300 sites around the world. Used worldwide as the textbook in SEI's PV Design & Installation workshops, topics covered include:

  • The basics of solar electricity
  • PV applications and system components
  • Solar site analysis and mounting
  • Stand-alone and PV/Generator hybrid system sizing
  • Utility-Interactive PV systems
  • Component specification, system costs and economics
  • Case studies and safety issues

Photovoltaics guarantees that those wanting to learn the skills of tapping the sun's energy can do so with confidence.

30.

GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR WOOD-BUYING BUCKS


Paperback

Price: $10.97

CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $19.95 AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST! Find, cut and dry your own lumber. This essential guide will save you money and expand your knowledge of wood.

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CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $19.95 AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST! Find, cut and dry your own lumber. This essential guide will save you money and expand your knowledge of wood.

For woodworkers who want to purchase wood wisely and save money by finding, cutting and drying it on their own, this guide from the experts at American Woodworker is a must. Along with learning the most economical way to buy and process lumber, there are a number of how-to's in this book, including:

  • Interpreting rough lumber
  • Working with defects
  • Deciding which grade is most economical for the project
  • Re-sawing thick wood
  • Storing lumber
  • Using boards that are not perfect
With expert advice, detailed drawings and step-by-step photographs, this is a skill-expanding and money-saving book that every woodworker needs.

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