Integrated Design and Construction
by Thomas J. Elpel
5th Edition, January 2005
The house of your Dreams does not have to be expensive. The key is all in the planning. How much a house costs, how it looks, how comfortable it is, how energy-efficient it is--all these things occur on paper before you pick up even one tool. A little extra time in the planning process can save you tens of thousands of dollars in construction and maintenance. That is time well spent!
Living Homes takes you through the planning process to design an energy and resource efficient home that won't break the bank. Then, from the footings on up to the roof, author Thomas J. Elpel guides you through the nuts and bolts of construction for slipform stone masonry, tilt-up stone walls, log home construction, building with strawbales, making your own "terra tile" floors, windows & doors, solar water systems, masonry heaters, framing, plumbing, greywater, septic systems, swamp filters, painting and more!
The fifth edition includes fifteen pages of new material covering concrete-fly ash countetops, the latest stone masonry tips, plus revised and expanded tips and techniques throughout the book. Please Note: The NEW 5th EDITION arrived from the printer on January 7th. We shipped all outstanding backorders the same day.
Living Homes is 233 pages, including an incredible 300+ drawings and grayscale photos.
Everything but the cover is printed with soy ink
on 100% post-consumer recycled paper, bleached without chlorine.
$1.00 from every book sold is donated to 3Rivers Park to help purchase habitat for people and wildlife
in the Missouri Headwaters watershed in southwest Montana.
Table of Contents
Building a House on Limited Means: The Elimination of all that is Unnecessary to Achieve a Dream
Part I: Dreams, Goals & Ecology
Integrated Design & Construction: Homesteading in the 21st Century
Choosing a Location: Planning a Thousand Years into the Future
Disaster-Proofing Your Home: Preventing the Obvious. Preparing for the Inevitable
Building Codes, Permits & Inspections: Exceed the Minimum Standards!
Defining Your Goals: A Blueprint is the Sum of the Criteria
Part II: Principles of Energy Efficiency
Principles of Energy Efficiency: Designing Warm Houses for Cold Climates
Insulation & Insulation Systems Many Choices, Most of Them Bad
Thermal Mass: How to Capture, Store, and Release Heat
Solar Input: Passive & Active Solar Heating
Heating Systems: For Backup Heat & Hot Water
Rethinking Appliances: Energy Efficiency is the Path to Independence
Air Quality: Finding Fresh Air in an Airtight Home
Part III: Water Supply & Management
Water Supply & Management Squeezing More Use out of Less Water
Wastewater Management and Reuse Closing the Loop on Water Waste
Part IV: The Nuts & Bolts of Home-Building
Footings, Foundations and Floors: Starting from the Bottom Up
Cement Mixing & Measuring: Additives, Aggregates, Substitutes and Reinforcement
Slipform Stone Masonry: A Stone Masonry Primer
Tilt-up Construction: A New Lift to the Ancient Art of Stonework
Log Building Basics: For Builders with Little Time or Experience
Building with Bales: It's Fast, Inexpensive, and Energy Efficient
Putting the Roof On: The Search for Better Solutions
Windows & Doors: Putting a Plug in the Thermos
Part V: Finishing the Interior
Revival of the Masonry Stove: An Old, but Efficient Heating System
Terra Tiles: Hand-Made Tile Floors from Sand, Cement, Dirt, and Dye
Wood Frame Construction: Building Interior Floors and Walls
Concrete and Fly Ash Countertops: A Nice Kitchen Doesn't have to Be Expensive
Practical Plumbing: Important Tips I Could Have Used
Electricity: Wiring the Alternative Home
A Primer on Paint: Reusing and Recycling
Conclusion--The Road to Sustainability: Breaking Free from Fossil Fuel Dependence
See what the press is saying about Living Homes!
I just want to thank you for creating such wonderful and useful books. I was given your book Living Homes while I was building my house, and I subsequently read Participating in Nature. I'm certain that you must receive constant compliments on your work. As a filmmaker, I know that it never stops feeling good to have people appreciate your work. So I just wanted to let you know, you're work is very much appreciated!!
(used with permission)