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This absolutely groundbreaking manual doesn't just talk about eco-friendly building techniques, but actually shows every step! More than 1,200 close-up photographs, along with in-depth descriptions, follow the real construction of an ...
This absolutely groundbreaking manual doesn't just talk about eco-friendly building techniques, but actually shows every step! More than 1,200 close-up photographs, along with in-depth descriptions, follow the real construction of an alternative house from site selection to the addition of final-touch interior details. Co-authors Clarke Snell and Timothy Callahan (a professional builder and contractor) provide thorough discussions of the fundamental concepts of construction, substitutes for conventional approaches, and planning a home that's not only comfortable and beautiful, but environmentally responsible. Then, they roll up their sleeves and get to work assembling a guest house that incorporates four different alternative building methods: straw bale, cob, cordwood, and modified stick frame. The images show every move: how the site is cleared, the basic structure put together, the cob wall sculpted, the bales and cordwood stacked, a living roof created, and more. Most important, the manual conveys real-world challenges and processes, and offers dozens of sidebars with invaluable advice. It's head and shoulders above all others in the field.
Posted August 1, 2008
This is a large heavy book filled with great full-color photos and illistrations throughout. It was a good overall reference to some alternative building materials and methods. I was able to learn a lot about the charecteristics of various materials and when and where it is or is not appropriate to use them. Even though the author goes to great length to explain how to build with these materials he can't cover every detail for every situation so you are left with a desire to purchase other books to get the whole picture. Such is the case in the chapter about roofing, when he goes into detail about installing a living roof, then concludes with recommending against beginners utilizing such a roof due to its excessive weight. I would have to say though he does redeem himself by having enough humility to include a few sidebars he called 'construction blunders' where he explains some details that didn't go quite as planned and offers some insight as to how to avoid making the same mistakes. Overall I would recommend this book to others, but with with a cautionary word that it is not going to be 'The only book you'll ever need'.
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