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Off The Grid Homes: Case Studies for Sunstainable Living Paperback – March 28, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Gibbs Smith (March 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586856898
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586856892
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.4 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #352,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Global warming, ozone depletion, and acid rain are distressing buzzwords of our day. Our overdependence on fossil fuels for virtually all energy needs and our overuse of other resources have come with serious side effects. Nowhere is this reality more apparent than in our homes.

In Off the Grid Homes, architect Lori Ryker addresses these issues in a straightforward and understandable way. We are pouring thousands of dollars into running our homes each year, which, in addition to depleting our pocketbooks, wreaks havoc on the environment. Ryker, however, describes a win-win solution. It is possible to harness the power of the environment by utilizing clean-energy generators, such as photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, solar water heaters, and geothermal systems, to conserve precious resources and save money. Houses can be completely or partially off the grid-that is, homes can be entirely self-sustaining or they can be tied to municipal energy sources while still employing resource-conserving technologies.

Ryker explores the value of case studies in understanding new alternative-energy technologies. She profiles three completed leading sustainable case study projects to lay the groundwork for body of the book, which presents six contemporary architectural projects that integrate alternative technologies for generating and conserving energy. Each project explores how the owner's desire to contribute to a more sustainable culture is brought to bear on the design and execution of the home. Diagrams and clear explanations of technologies and their appropriate applications help the reader understand how the technologies work and how they may best be used in their own homes.

At once groundbreaking and responsible, the ideas presented in this book will hopefully someday become commonplace and ubiquitous, for then we will be living in inspiring and beautiful homes in a pollutant-free, healthy, and thriving environment.

Lori Ryker grew up in Texas and has lived and worked in a variety of locations, including Boston, New York City, Portland, and Basel, Switzerland. She now resides in Livingston, Montana, where she is the executive director of Artemis Institute; teaches at Montana State University's School of Architecture; and is a partner, along with Brett W. Nave, of Ryker/Nave Design. Their work has been published in The House You Build and Western Interiors and Design. Ryker holds a Master of Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design and a PhD from Texas A&M University. She is the author of Mockbee Coker: Thought and Process and Off the Grid: Modern Home + Alternative Energy.

About the Author

Lori Ryker grew up in Texas and has lived and worked in a variety of locations, including Boston, New York City, Portland, and Basel, Switzerland. She now resides in Livingston, Montana, where she teaches in the School of Architecture at Montana State University and is a partner, along with Brett W. Nave, of Ryker/Nave Design. Their work has been published in The House You Build, and Western Interiors and Design. Ryker holds a MArch from Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Ph.D. from Texas A & M University. She is the author of Mockbee Coker: Thought and Process.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Has very little for which I was looking. A lot of white space per page around pretty photos of architectually interesting structures that are off-grid. A lot of paper material for few words and little useful information. If you want information to help you know what it takes to go off-grid, this isn't it; it's just coffee table cosmetics.
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58 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Hap Mullenneaux on July 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Nature is efficient. To become sustainable, we need to relearn the art of efficiency. The six "off the grid" homes featured in this book include two that are over 4,000 sq'. Did the author consider how much energy it took to build these things? The smallest house is about 1,600 sq' and it is the only one of the six that is actually off the grid. Four of the others are on intertie connections and one is featured because it uses geothermal. A more honest title would be "How to Generate Some of the Energy Required by Your Oversized House". This book demonstrates that sustainability depends not so much on changes in technology but changes in the way we think. Two books which I found helpful in changing my understanding of shelter are the classic "Owner Built Home" by Ken Kern and "The Hand-Sculpted House" by Evans, Smith and Smiley.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dale R. Bard on August 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book was really fun to read. The pictures were beautiful and the surrounding of most of the homes were incredible. Some times the floor plans were a bit confusing and one of them had no definitions for the numbers that represented the rooms. It definately inspired me to do more with less and to consider green building as my next project. I was a bit dissapointed in the definitions of some of the energy saving apparatuses. I wish that the book would have gone into more detail on the excerpts of geothermal, solar hot water, PV arrays, and wind turbines. At best these were teasers and left me wanting much more explaination. I will say it gave me a world of great ideas. I would be very interested in a book on totally off the grid, fully functional with flushing toilets etc incorporating all aspects of rain water collection, grey water heating and collection, optimal design to do this and more, plus sub 1200 square feet homes that offer options on what can be afforded. In depth explainations on all the buzz words like living machines what it entails (cost,size,optimal location, size vs. amount processed per hr or day or what? better diagrams with flow directions and larger in format etc. This should give the author another book to write that I for sure will purchase. I am well over 13!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ryan T on January 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
What this book is not:
1. a how-to guide
2. full of ideas you can implement right now
3. particularly ecologically or budget conscious

What this book is:
1. inspiring
2. beautiful
3. thought provoking

We picked this up in a modern art museum if that tells you anything. The houses are not shining examples of green living but they are beautiful and inspiring as my mate and I plan and think about our own dreams and plans. The people that are panning this book were likely expecting a different book - I say it's successful at its intended purpose.
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