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Hybrid House, The: Designing with Sun, Wind, Water, and Earth

Overview

Here are real examples from around the globe showing how homeowners are creating dream houses that satisfy their low-carbon lifestyles. From solar homes in California to an ecovillage in New York, from a wind-powered ranch in Kansas to a home built from jumbo straw bales in the Swiss Alps, people are doing their part to build a healthful home and planet.

In the industrialized world, half of the energy consumed is used to construct and power buildings. Burning fossil fuels for ...

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Overview

Here are real examples from around the globe showing how homeowners are creating dream houses that satisfy their low-carbon lifestyles. From solar homes in California to an ecovillage in New York, from a wind-powered ranch in Kansas to a home built from jumbo straw bales in the Swiss Alps, people are doing their part to build a healthful home and planet.

In the industrialized world, half of the energy consumed is used to construct and power buildings. Burning fossil fuels for heating and generating electricity pumps pollution into the air, which contributes to global warming. By using energy more efficiently, we can begin to reverse this trend and lower energy bills at the same time.

Like a hybrid car, a hybrid house employs a combination of strategies to save energy and reduce carbon emissions. Designed to utilize the free energy of sunlight, the passing breeze, and the rain falling on the roof, the hybrid household also incorporates non-toxic building materials that can be produced sustainably, as well as using cutting-edge technologies. Thanks to modern-day pioneers leading the way, here is living proof of beautiful twenty-first century homes that are good for both people and the planet.

Catherine Wanek is the author and photographer of The New Strawbale Home and co-editor/author of The Art of Natural Building. Also a filmmaker, she produced The Straw Bale Solution, Urban Permaculture, and the Building with Straw video series. For five years, Catherine published and edited The Last Straw, the International Journal of Straw Bale and Natural Building. She has contributed articles and images to Su Casa magazine, Communities, Permaculture Activist, Mother Earth News, and the New York Times. Catherine is also a founding member of Builders Without Borders.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423603160
  • Publisher: Smith, Gibbs Publisher
  • Publication date: 5/1/2010
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 1,377,845
  • Product dimensions: 8.48 (w) x 10.02 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Author and photographer Catherine Wanek organized the building of a straw bale greenhouse in 1992 and has been an advocate for straw bale construction ever since. She produced and directed the Building with Straw video series, and spent nearly five years publishing and editing The Last Straw Journal. Her first book, The Art of Natural Building, was published in 2002. Wanek lives in Kingston, New Mexico
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Read an Excerpt

In temperate climates the sun may be seasonal.

Typically, solar systems depend on temperature sensors, valves, electronic switches, antifreeze, and/or heat exchangers to keep pipes from freezing in the winter. However, the most practical solar hot water heaters are often the simplest.

In some climates, a solar thermal system can provide all the hot water a hybrid household needs, for both domestic use and space heating. A radiant heating system circulates warm water (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit) through durable polyethylene (PEX) tubing encased in concrete floors or thick plaster. As it is pumped through the system, the warm water radiates its heat into the mass surrounding it. When the sun is shining, a solar system can furnish this heat, backed up by a conventional or on-demand hot water heater.

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Table of Contents

8 What is a Hybrid House?

10 Dangers and Opportunities

15 Strategies

33 Southwest

47 South

65 Midwest

85 Northeast

95 West Coast

113 Europe

140 An Inspired Future

142 Resources

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