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Building with Awareness: The Construction of a Hybrid Home DVD and Guidebook Paperback – October 1, 2006


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Frequently Bought Together

Building with Awareness: The Construction of a Hybrid Home DVD and Guidebook + Serious Straw Bale: A Home Construction Guide for All Climates (Real Goods Solar Living Book) + Building Green, New Edition: A Complete How-To Guide to Alternative Building Methods Earth Plaster * Straw Bale * Cordwood * Cob * Living Roofs (Building Green: A Complete How-To Guide to Alternative)
Price for all three: $79.57

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Synchronos Design; Pap/DVD edition (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977334317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977334315
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #515,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ted Owens is president and co-owner of Syncronos Design Incorporated which promotes the use of appropriate technology and sustainable design in our built environment. Combining interests in design, appropriate technology, film and video, his main focus since 1996 has been on energy- and resource-efficient building design.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
DVD shows how to build a straw bale house step by step.
Munehiko Iwata
I watched the video last night and it was excellent - very professional production and content.
Patrick K. Carnahan
I have watched this video 3 times already and have enjoyed every minute.
Jason Schultz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kongfuzi on April 5, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the TOP 2-3 resources I have come across for an owner/builder that wants to see ALL STEPS of the construction of a house using adobe and/or straw. While the primary envelope of this small house is straw bale, it includes a mass wall of adobe and the project included a workshop built with adobe. It is disappointing that they did not include the construction of this workshop from the ground up in the detailed video presentation.

The video and the small format book (the size of a DVD case) are packed with information and detail. From the layout of the foundation, digging, forming and pouring of the grade beam and ALL other parts of the construction of the house this is a great way to get a complete understanding of all the parts of building a house. Straw bale builders will probably get more info from this since you see the post and beam structure of the house raised and framed the infill of the walls with bales, wiring, and scratch and finishing color plaster ideas. They show the construction of a rain collection system using a buried plastic septic tank for non-potable use (don't know why this limitation).

For the price ($24 at the time of this writing) this is better than 99% of other resources I've come across. For adobe construction, Tibbets' Earthbuilders Encyclopedia CD has much more detail on adobe construction, but does not have any video like this item. FIVE STARS only because I can't award six!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By tater tot on March 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
The pairing of the excellent dvd and a companion guidebook. The book shares the same high-quality production as the dvd, and goes into a bit more detail here and there on topics that the dvd doesn't. Worth a few extra dollars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Munehiko Iwata on November 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
DVD shows how to build a straw bale house step by step. This DVD and guidebook make me easier to understand the process of the building.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MICHAEL BEGGS on August 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've spent several hundred dollars on books in my quest to learn more about sustainable living, alternate construction methods, etc. To be completely honest, I'm sick to death of the preaching/lecturing contained in a majority of the books I've bought. To be fair there are quite a few good bits of information in them but wading through all the "give the earh a hug" and "Luna, the tree is the yard is my best friend" crap has been a huge turn-off.

Building with Awareness, skimps on the preaching and gets right down to the details. The DVD companion to the book is pure gold! Now if all of the other talented, articulate authors out there could quit "preaching to the choir" and write more books like this they might see more of an impact into the way people build their dwellings. People need help and direction to implement change, not pontification.

This book/DVD combo delivers on what it promises. It explains how and why they built the way they did without killing you with the boring hippie junk. There are some references to said hippie junk, but it's not over the top.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Stebbins on October 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great resource for anyone considering building their own home from alternative building materials. Although the emphasis is on construction of straw bale walls, the use of adobe for both interior (for heat storing mass) and exterior walls is covered in detail. Additionally, the use of earth-based plasters and mortars is demonstrated. The use of a rubble footing is demonstrated. Rainwater collection for non-potable use is covered in some detail. The use of sun powered electricity for an off-grid installation is also covered, but with a little less detail. I like the fact that a couple of the building techniques did not go exactly as hoped for, and the author was honest about how he fixed them, and how he would have done things differently. I also appreciate that the author admitted he was not an authority in certain building/electrical/framing areas, and for these topics he recruited experts who do a great job of explaining and demonstrating their areas of expertise. The amount of detail and information is almost awe inspiring. I know that last sentence sounds a little cheesy, but I live off-grid in a self-built home of tires and compacted earth, so I have some appreciation of what the author of this DVD accomplished. Not only did he build a home of mostly sustainable materials, but he was able to demonstrate and explain how and why he did things in ways the average viewer can understand.

The production quality and editing are outstanding.
And here's something interesting about the DVD...if you hit the "audio" button on your remote control, you can hear a second track of audio, which explains stuff in even greater detail! A great value!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Owens on March 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't understand some of the other some what neutral or negative reviews, we are in the process of building a straw bale home and this book/dvd has proved to be priceless. Ted takes you meticulously thru every phase of construction with nothing left to the imagination. Do not build until you watch this video and read this book! We have read other books but this is in a class of it's on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patrick K. Carnahan on January 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
I watched the video last night and it was excellent - very professional production and content. I don't normally write reviews but was inspired to do so on this occasion since my expectations were far exceeded.
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