The Complete Guide to Alternative Home Building Materials & Methods: Including Sod, Compressed Earth, Plaster, Straw, Beer Cans, Bottles, Cordwood, and Many Other Low Cost Materials

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Atlantic Publishing Company, 2010 - Architecture - 288 pages
2 Reviews

In the United States alone, the annual construction of over one million new homes causes a very substantial drain on natural resources. Today, approximately 60 percent of the timber cut down in our country is used for building homes. Using alternative home building materials and creating a greener home are about creating better homes that are environmentally friendly, are less expensive in the long run, and create healthier occupants. Unfortunately, many people are unfamiliar with alternative building materials and do not know the first thing about going green. However, The Complete Guide to Alternative Home Building Materials & Methods will teach you everything you need to know about this movement toward natural construction methods.
This book will show you how to identify, locate, and effectively use alternative building materials. You will learn about straw bale, cordwood, cob, adobe, rammed earth, light clay, pise, earthbag, bamboo, earth-rammed tires, cork, wool carpeting, sod, compressed earth, earth plaster, beer cans, bottles, as well as living roofs and more. In addition, you will learn the costs and performance characteristics of these materials and construction techniques for each, as well as how to integrate plumbing and electricity into these unfamiliar materials and substitutes for conventional approaches.
You will also learn about the structure, climate control, siting, foundations, and flooring options you gain when using these materials. Also included are the advantages and benefits of alternative building materials for both consumers and builders and the key ecological design principles. Ultimately, you will come to understand that these materials are cheaper, easier to build with, stronger, more durable, and more fire resistant.
Architects, designers, students, homeowners, home buyers, owner builders, and those who want to build for a sustainable future will want to read this book. If you are concerned about the environment, want to create a healthier, more enjoyable home, and want to save money, The Complete Guide to Alternative Home Building Materials & Methods will show you how.
Atlantic Publishing is a small, independent publishing company based in Ocala, Florida. Founded over twenty years ago in the company president s garage, Atlantic Publishing has grown to become a renowned resource for non-fiction books. Today, over 450 titles are in print covering subjects such as small business, healthy living, management, finance, careers, and real estate. Atlantic Publishing prides itself on producing award winning, high-quality manuals that give readers up-to-date, pertinent information, real-world examples, and case studies with expert advice. Every book has resources, contact information, and web sites of the products or companies discussed.

 

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User Review  - travelvic - LibraryThing

Ever consider building your own home? If you have, did it automatically include the use of timber or brick? Author Jon Hunan begins the information on the back cover of his book with this unsettling ... Read full review

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Ever consider building your own home? If you have, did it automatically include the use of timber or brick? Author Jon Hunan begins the information on the back cover of his book with this unsettling statement: “The construction of more than one million new homes each year causes a very substantial drain on natural resources.” In his book, “The Complete Guide to Alternative Home Building Materials and Methods: Including Sod, Compressed Earth, Plaster, Straw, Beer Cans, Bottles, Cordwood, and Many Other Low Cost Materials”, he shows his readers how to avoid contributing to that substantial drain and even help the environment by utilizing other more unconventional materials.
“The Complete Guide to Alternative Home Building” is a fun look at the myriad possibilities to consider when planning the construction of an alternative materials home. Nunan covers everything from sod and compressed earth to cordwood and even tires and beer cans! He begins by noting that his book is not the only resource his readers should use then goes on to impart a wealth of information on permits and planning, site considerations, roof choices, insulation, and much more. And while he’s correct in saying that no one book can truly be a ‘one stop shop’, he gives so many helpful pointers that I kept thinking, ‘what else is there for me to research?’ He continues by addressing the various alternative materials, the pros and cons for each, what works best in which climates, etc, etc, etc. Coupled with Nunan’s witty style, the text was both informative and full of personality. I especially enjoyed the color section included in the middle of the book – it really brought the information to life. For readers with little to no exposure to these types of structures, it helped bring a sense of clarity to what Nunan was describing in his chapters. The black and white photographs throughout the book were wonderful as well but it’s fantastic to see these amazing projects in full color!
Every green builder – whether novice or professional - needs to consider alternative materials when undertaking a construction project and “The Complete Guide to Alternative Home Building Materials and Methods: Including Sod, Compressed Earth, Plaster, Straw, Beer Cans, Bottles, Cordwood, and Many Other Low Cost Materials” is the best place to start!
Reviewed by Vicki Landes, author of “Europe for the Senses – A Photographic Journal”
 

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About the author (2010)

Jon Nunan is a writer for the home improvement industry, and staunch supporter of learning by doing and letting that which does not matter truly slide. When not writing, he can be found identifying wild mushrooms, picking berries, and taking on small projects in and around the wood pile he currently calls home.

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