The Timber-Frame Home: Design, Construction, Finishing - Tedd Benson

>> Friday, January 31, 2014

Learn to adapt the sturdy elegance of timber-frame construction to the needs of modern life. Hundreds of color photos and drawings showcase the latest designs, methods, and materials.

About the Author

Since 1974, Tedd Benson has championed high-performance, sustainable building. He and his custom design-build company, Bensonwood, have been featured on numerous shows in the PBS series, This Old House, as well as Good Morning America, and the Today show. The entire 2008-2009 season of This Old House followed Bensonwood's Weston project -- the first time TOH featured a newly constructed home. Tedd has authored four seminal books on timberframing, the first of which, Building the Timber Frame House, was instrumental in the revival of this centuries-old form of building with heavy timber. Tedd is an internationally recognized authority on sustainable building and a frequent speaker at such events as Greenbuild. Tedd founded Unity Homes in 2012, a diverse line of affordable, high-performance, prefabricated homes.


Cabinology: A Handbook to Your Private Hideaway - Dale Mulfinger

Wouldn't life be a whole lot better if somewhere out in the wild woody yonder sat a snug little cabin with your name on the mailbox? You know it would. If you have a cabin dream, this book is your ticket to making it real. With Cabinology as your map and architect and cabinologist Dale Mulfinger as your guide, you'll know the best way to approach every decision, from choosing a site for a new cabin, to remodeling an old one, to getting exactly the right fireplace for melting away all that ails you. Cabinology doesn't just guide you, it keeps you inspired. Throughout are photos of cabins small and large, great details and design tips, stories from other cabin owners around the country, and clever insights into getting a cabin of your own.

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Great Streets - Allan B. Jacobs

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Georgia O'Keeffe and Her Houses: Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu - Barbara Buhler Lynes

Georgia O’Keeffe’s two houses in New Mexico—at Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch—are essential elements in her paintings, but their history has never before been detailed. Quoting liberally from the artist’s letters, Barbara Buhler Lynes and Agapita Judy Lopez create a vibrant picture of O’Keeffe (1887–1986) and her homes, which have long intrigued the public. An essay by architect Beverly Spears describes the distinctive characteristics of adobe construction.

The bountiful illustrations include photographs made especially for this book showing the houses as they are today, photographs of O’Keeffe at home by major photographers, and her paintings of the houses and the landscapes surrounding them.

Praise for Georgia O'Keeffe and her Houses:

“Beautifully designed and fascinating.” Publishers Weekly

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Architecture Principia: Architectural Principles of Material Form - Gail Peter Borden

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Colossal: Engineering Modernity - Suez Canal, Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower, and Panama Canal - Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby

In this generously illustrated book, acclaimed Berkeley art historian Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby gives us the definitive account of a history that leads from Napoleon s encounter with the gigantic monuments of ancient Egypt to the building of the wonders of the industrial world: the Statue of Liberty, Suez Canal, Eiffel Tower, and Panama Canal. Though now landmarks as famed as the pyramids, Grigsby shows us that all four colossi owe their existence to French engineers and the fantasies of wealth, progress, and colonial expansion they and French financiers and politicians took as a call to destiny. Grigsby goes beyond the boundaries of art history to take her subject in the round. She sets the exploits of characters like Bartholdi and Eiffel against the backdrop of universal expositions touting the new, science fiction predicting future glories, and cartoons deflating the hyperbole. She explains the systems of numbers from profits promised and shares sold to calculations of wind resistance used to promote and then build the colossi. Her book provides more than 200 illustrations, not of art, but of the engineering of the colossi and the visual culture publicizing their construction. Instead of approaching modernism through the emergence of avant-garde practices in the fine arts, Grigsby looks at a time of tragic drama when technology became an instrument of imperialist enterprise and topdown efforts to control and exploit the world s resources, including workers. By uncovering the links between the building of the canals and the erection of the Statue of Liberty and Eiffel Tower, she offers a searing lesson in the network of power and influence permeating even cherished icons of human achievement. Passionately argued, peerless in its research, its synthesis, and its depth of understanding, Colossal: Engineering the Suez Canal, Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower and Panama Canal is a magisterial addition to serious study of the modern world.

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The Place of Houses -

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Northern Delights: Scandinavian Homes, Interiors and Design - Emma Fexeus

Its timeless beauty, premium quality, and humane functionality make Scandinavian interior design ideal for homes, restaurants, offices, and any other rooms in which people should feel comfortable. If the goal were to build a house in which everyone would like to live, the architect would likely be Italian, the engineer maybe German, the gardener probably British, and the craftspeople either Swiss or Japanese. The interior designer of that house, though, should--beyond any doubt--be from Scandinavia. Hardly any other interior or product design is so timeless, so functional, so aesthetic, and of such high quality as that of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark. Throughout the years, countless pieces of furniture, objects, and buildings from Scandinavia have become icons of international design and architecture. A current generation of designers from these countries is consciously building upon local sustainable design traditions and further developing them in a way that is consistent, intelligent, and reflects an unerring sense of style. In Northern Delights, design classics meet young talents, individual products meet skillfully staged living spaces. The book's stunning selection of work reveals what makes Scandinavian design so exceptional. The included examples show how the grains of different woods, the clarity of colored glass, the cheery colors of fabrics and patterns, and the overall quality of craftsmanship contribute to creating simple, inviting, and very comfortable living spaces. Northern Delights offers inspiration to designers, architects, and individuals in equal measure. In a Scandinavian dwelling, everyone feels at home.

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Multifamily Housing Development Handbook (Development Handbook series) -

>> Wednesday, January 29, 2014

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Nano House: Innovations for Small Dwellings - Phyllis Richardson

Forty examples of advanced, ingenious, and responsible homes—each with fewer than 650 square feet of living space.

Space is at a premium in growing cities. In the countryside, we want to preserve nature and the landscape. In impoverished parts of the world, the necessity for sustainable and economical shelter is stronger than ever. Lifestyles and daily routines are also changing. We live in an interconnected world in which digital communication, information, and entertainment are pervasive. Yet basic human needs remain constant: a roof over our heads and somewhere to cook, eat, and sleep. Increasingly, we look for ways to occupy our habitats more ecologically, flexibly, and efficiently.

Digital design tools, sustainable materials, and new prefabrication technologies have led to an explosion in innovative ideas for designing domestic spaces, particularly those in tight surroundings. All the homes in Nano House are drawn from a broad array of climatic and environmental contexts, building methods, and spatial innovations.

This lively book is the perfect resource and inspiration for designers, architects, builders—for anyone looking to maximize living space with minimal environmental impact. 250 full-color and 50 black-and-white illustrations

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The Solar House: Passive Heating and Cooling - Daniel D. Chiras

>> Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Passive solar heating and passive cooling—approaches known as natural conditioning—provide comfort throughout the year by reducing, or eliminating, the need for fossil fuel. Yet while heat from sunlight and ventilation from breezes is free for the taking, few modern architects or builders really understand the principles involved.

Now Dan Chiras, author of the popular book The Natural House, brings those principles up to date for a new generation of solar enthusiasts.

The techniques required to heat and cool a building passively have been used for thousands of years. Early societies such as the Native American Anasazis and the ancient Greeks perfected designs that effectively exploited these natural processes. The Greeks considered anyone who didn't use passive solar to heat a home to be a barbarian!

In the United States, passive solar architecture experienced a major resurgence of interest in the 1970s in response to crippling oil embargoes. With grand enthusiasm but with scant knowledge (and sometimes little common sense), architects and builders created a wide variety of solar homes. Some worked pretty well, but looked more like laboratories than houses. Others performed poorly, overheating in the summer because of excessive or misplaced windows and skylights, and growing chilly in the colder months because of insufficient thermal mass and insulation and poor siting.

In The Solar House, Dan Chiras sets the record straight on the vast potential for passive heating and cooling. Acknowledging the good intentions of misguided solar designers in the past, he highlights certain egregious—and entirely avoidable—errors. More importantly, Chiras explains in methodical detail how today's home builders can succeed with solar designs.

Now that energy efficiency measures including higher levels of insulation and multi-layered glazing have become standard, it is easier than ever before to create a comfortable and affordable passive solar house that will provide year-round comfort in any climate.

Moreover, since modern building materials and airtight construction methods sometimes result in air-quality and even toxicity problems, Chiras explains state-of-the-art ventilation and filtering techniques that complement the ancient solar strategies of thermal mass and daylighting. Chiras also explains the new diagnostic aids available in printed worksheet or software formats, allowing readers to generate their own design schemes.

About the Author

Dan Chiras paid his last electric bill in June of 1996. It is not that he has disavowed the use

of electricity and modern conveniences, but rather that he has turned to the sun and wind

to meet his family's needs.

In 1995, Dan, a former full-time college professor with years of experience in sustainable

development, built a state-of-the-art rammed earth tire and straw bale home in

Evergreen, Colorado. He installed solar electric panels on the roof; a year or so later he

installed a small wind generator. Since that time, he has met nearly all of his electrical

needs for his home and office from these clean, renewable sources.

Dan also heats his home in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains 8000-feet above sea level

with energy from the sun thanks to passive solar design. For backup heat on those cold

winter nights, he burns a cord of wood a year, gathered free from his community. His

annual gas bill, mostly for showers and cooking, runs about $120 a year - about $2 to $3

per month for natural gas and $10 per month to read the meter!

Dan has spent much of the past 30 years studying sustainability and applying what he has

learned in solar energy, natural building, and green building to his residences, and most of

the last ten years sharing the practical knowledge he has gained through writing, lectures,

slide shows, and workshops.

Dan has published 21 books to date including several college and high school textbooks:

Environmental Science: Creating a Sustainable Future, Natural Resource Conservation,

Human Biology, and Biology: The Web of Life. His high school environmental

science text, Environmental Science, was selected as the official book of the U.S.

Academic Decathlon's 1991 competition.

In the early 1990s, Dan published two trade books on environmental issues and

sustainability for a general audience: Beyond the Fray: Reshaping America's

Response and Lessons from Nature: Learning to Live Sustainably on the


Since 1995, Dan has focused most of his attention on residential green building. He

has written extensively on the subject. His is books include: The Natural House: A

Complete Guide to Healthy, Energy Efficient, Environmental Homes; The Natural Plaster

Book; The Solar House: Passive Heating and Cooling; Superbia! 31 Ways to Create

Sustainable Suburbs; and The New Ecological Home.

His newest book, EcoKids: Raising Kids Who Care for the Earth will be

published in the Spring of 2005 by New Society Publishers.

Dan also writes extensively for magazines, journals, newsletters, and newspapers. He

has published nearly 250 articles on environmental issues, sustainability, natural building,

natural plaster, green building, and passive solar heating and cooling. His articles appear

regularly in Home Power, Mother Earth News, Natural Home, and The Last


Dan also writes frequently for World Book Encyclopedia (Science Year) and

Encyclopedia Americana. He authored a 12-page article on the environment for

Encyclopedia Americana. Dan has written environmental pollution section for

World Book Encyclopedia's annual publication, Science Year, since 1993.

In 1997, he wrote an extensive piece for World Book on population growth and its

many implications. Dan also wrote the ecology and air pollution sections for

Encyclopedia Americana.

In addition to his writing, Dan has served as an adjunct professor at the University of

Colorado in Denver and the University of Colorado at Denver. He has been a visiting

professor at the University of Washington, where he taught a course on environmental

science. He currently is a Melon Visiting Professor at Colorado College where he teaches

courses on renewable energy, ecological design, and sustainable development.

Through his writing and teaching in the 1980s and early 1990s, Dan played a leading

role in promoting critical thinking, an understanding of the root causes of environmental

issues, systemic solutions to environmental problems, sustainable development. He

pioneered a systems approach to sustainable development and has played a lead role in

articulating the principles, policies, and practices of sustainable development which seeks

ways that business and society can prosper within a healthy environment. He is currently

focusing most of his research and writing on sustainable building and sustainable


Dan's free time is spent mountain biking, canoeing, playing music, and gardening.

For more information visit


The Cabin: Inspiration for the Classic American Getaway - Dale Mulfinger

>> Monday, January 27, 2014

An illustrated look at the surprisingly versatile cabin, with outstanding examples from around the country

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Cabins: A Guide to Building Your Own Nature Retreat - David Stiles

"Clear, practical book ... full-color photos help do-it-yourselfers realize their dreams." -- Log Homes Illustrated

The best-selling Cabins is back in print, at the same great value of its original price. This authoritative how-to title gives readers all the information they need to build their own cabin, including:

A useful list of essential questions to consider during the planning process

Types of cabin construction, such as pole built, stick built, post and beam, stone, cordwood, wood siding, and the advantages of each

Site preparation, foundations, windows and doors, ladders and stairs, insulation, roofing, electricity, water systems and heating

Essential information on log cabins

Cabin designs and their advantages

Furnishings and accessories

Construction methods are clearly illustrated in meticulous line drawings and precise plans with measurements. Cut-away cross-sections and exploded diagrams give the builder the true perspective and detail needed to obtain the best result, allowing readers to get the most enjoyment out of their newly built wilderness retreat.

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Interior Graphic Standards - Maryrose McGowan

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Building with Cob: A Step-by-Step Guide -

The ancient method of cob building uses a simple mixture of clay sub-soil, aggregate, straw and water to create solid structural walls built without shuttering or forms, onto a stone plinth. It is now undergoing a renaissance as an 'eco-friendly' building material because of its amazing 'green' credentials. 'Building with Cob' shows how to apply this ancient technique in a wide variety of contemporary situations, covering everything from design and siting, mixing, building walls, fireplaces, ovens and floors, lime and other natural finishes, and gaining planning permission and building regulation approval. It also explains in detail how to sensitively restore an old cob structure. This book is a step-by-step guide, lavishly illustrated with over 300 colour photos and 85 diagrams.

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The American City: What Works, What Doesn't - Alexander Garvin

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Container Atlas: A Practical Guide to Container Architecture -

>> Sunday, January 26, 2014

Container Atlas presents a wide range of projects in container architecture--a contemporary architectural phenomenon. It features container structures used as pop-up stores and temporary exhibits as well as sophisticated housing and office spaces that provoke and inspire while setting new standards in functionality and aesthetics. But the book is not only visually inspiring; it also documents plans, describes associated costs, and suggests concrete solutions for common problems. As such it serves as a practical reference for architects, planners, and cultural activists, as well as event and marketing managers, guiding them in deciding what types of containers are best suited to their upcoming projects.

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Fundamentals of Residential Construction -

>> Saturday, January 25, 2014

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Earthbag Building: The Tools, Tricks and Techniques (Natural Building Series) - Kaki Hunter

Over 70 percent of Americans cannot afford to own a code-enforced, contractor-built home. This has led to widespread interest in using natural materials—straw, cob, and earth—for building homes and other buildings that are inexpensive, and that rely largely on labor rather than expensive and often environmentally-damaging outsourced materials.

Earthbag Building is the first comprehensive guide to all the tools, tricks, and techniques for building with bags filled with earth—or earthbags. Having been introduced to sandbag construction by the renowned Nader Khalili in 1993, the authors developed this "Flexible Form Rammed Earth Technique" over the last decade. A reliable method for constructing homes, outbuildings, garden walls and much more, this enduring, tree-free architecture can also be used to create arched and domed structures of great beauty—in any region, and at home, in developing countries, or in emergency relief work.

This profusely illustrated guide first discusses the many merits of earthbag construction, and then leads the reader through the key elements of an earthbag building:

Special design considerations

Foundations, walls and floors

Electrical, plumbing and shelving

Lintels, windows and door installations

Roofs, arches and domes

Exterior and interior plasters.

With dedicated sections on costs, making your own specialized tools, and building code considerations, as well as a complete resources guide, Earthbag Building is the long-awaited, definitive guide to this uniquely pleasing construction style.

Kaki Hunter and Donald Kiffmeyer have been involved in the construction industry for the last 20 years, specializing in affordable, low-tech, low-impact building methods that are as natural as possible. They developed the "Flexible Form Rammed Earth Technique" of building affordably with earthbags and have taught the subject and contributed their expertise to several books and journals on natural building.

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The Third Teacher -

Created by an international team of architects and designers concerned about our failing education system, The Third Teacher explores the critical link between the school environment and how children learn, and offers 79 practical design ideas, both great and small, to guide reader’s efforts to improve our schools. Written for anyone who has school-age children in their life, from educators and education decision-makers to parents and community activists, this book is intended to ignite a blaze of discussion and initiative about environment as an essential element of learning. Including a wealth of interviews, facts, statistics, and stories from experts in a wide range of fields, this book is a how-to guide to be used to connect with the many organizations, individuals, and ideas dedicated to innovating and improving teaching and learning. Contributors include children’s singer and advocate Raffi, author and creativity consultant Sir Ken Robinson, scientist and environmentalist David Suzuki, inventor James Dyson, and other experts who are working to create fresh solutions to problems and create a new blueprint for the future of education.

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Hotel Design, Planning, and Development (Second Edition) - Richard H. Penner

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Earthship: How to Build Your Own, Vol. 1 -

New. Never read. Slight shelf wear. Ships within 24 hours. Satisfaction guaranteed.

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