Energy Free: Homes for a Small Planet

Overview

Energy Free is designed to equip building professionals and homeowners alike with a toolkit for creating homes that use no more energy than they produce—this means homes that are free from the vagaries of energy-price fluctuations and that help to free society of the high political and environmental costs of fossil fuels.

Individuals and institutions have been working toward "zero-energy" homes for decades. This volume is the first record of those collective efforts, distilling ...

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Overview

Energy Free is designed to equip building professionals and homeowners alike with a toolkit for creating homes that use no more energy than they produce—this means homes that are free from the vagaries of energy-price fluctuations and that help to free society of the high political and environmental costs of fossil fuels.

Individuals and institutions have been working toward "zero-energy" homes for decades. This volume is the first record of those collective efforts, distilling their experience into a practical and comprehensive how-to guide. The author includes resource information and step-by-step guidance on how to make decisions that will yield an energy-free residential project, whether a single-family home or multifamily building, new or existing, in an urban or a rural setting. The unique needs and opportunities of each context are addressed.

The principal topics include:

  • Project boundaries (why you have to consider not only your home's behavior, but also your own)
  • Prioritizing strategies (e.g., insulation vs. photovoltaics)
  • Economics (including payback periods and incentives)
  • How to minimize a building's energy needs
  • How to minimize your energy needs
  • How to power the energy needs that remain
  • The critical role of integrated project planning

Energy Free offers a wide array of resource information, including detailed window and insulation comparisons; assessments of the relative contribution of different building elements; and overall performance. It draws on research and empirical data from myriad sources, including the Department of Energy's Building America program; Sacramento Municipal Utility District's House of the Future; Passiv Haus Institute in Europe and the Passive House Institute of the U.S.; Florida Solar Energy Center; Living Building Challenge; Affordable Comfort, Inc.'s, Thousand Home Challenge; and many pioneering individual home projects across North America.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In Energy Free, Ann Edminster brings her wisdom and clarity to the issue of net-zero-energy homes. With so much attention being paid to energy savings and reduction of carbon emissions, we need a book like this that helps us sort through the confusing technologies, claims, and economics to create homes that are better for the planet and better for your budget."--Alex Wilson, Executive Editor, Environmental Building News and BuildingGreen.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780976491132
  • Publisher: Green Building Press
  • Publication date: 12/29/2009
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 1,298,191
  • Product dimensions: 8.07 (w) x 10.05 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Edminster, M.Arch., LEED AP, is a recognized national expert on green home design and construction. She is a principal author of the LEED for Homes Rating System and consults to builders, homeowners, developers, supply-chain clients, design firms, utilities, investors, and public agencies. Ann sits on the advisory boards of several private companies. She lives in Pacifica, California.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 What's It All About?
Chapter 2 Net-Zero Home Economics
Chapter 3 Integrated Design
Chapter 4 Minimize the Energy Your Building Needs
Chapter 5 Minimize the Occupants' Energy Needs
Chapter 6 Power the Rest

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