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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars8
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on July 5, 2006
Although I liked this book, it is not necessarily helpful. Most of the featured homes are much too expensive for your average middle income homeowners. I was looking for housing solutions for the Southeastern US and like almost every other publication out there, this book completely ignores our region. I suspect it is because our hot, muggy conditions are not as conducive to off the grid living as the other areas featured.
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on May 11, 2009
Lori can put together a good photography book of some great solutions to "sustainable" design. I enjoy studying the imagery, and the details I want to learn. The book doesn't get high marks for the detail explaining the ideas she shows, but it's a decent publication recording some good ideas.
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on April 6, 2007
My husband and I are looking into building an off-the-grid cabin, and Lori Ryker's book was really helpful for putting all the options in perspective. It is not a technical, in-depth how-to book; it is more of an overview of the different possibilities. The author, a working architect and a professor of architecture at Montana State University, looks at ten different homes that range from grid tied to completely independent for their energy needs. After reading Ryker's book we decided we could build a house that is entirely off the grid; in particular, I was inspired by the four entirely off the grid homes featured in the book, one of which was designed by the author. The homes were built for different environments and living situations--from a full-time 2620 square foot residence in a remote part of Australia, to a 620 square foot vacation cabin on an island in Minnesota, to a 2620 square foot vacation home that is open to the elements of the Texas Hill Country. Some of the energy solutions surveyed are relatively simple and inexpensive (collecting water in cisterns) and others are more high tech and expensive (solar electric panels). This book is a great starting place for someone who wants to see what the possibilities are.
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on May 11, 2007
This is a tremendous book that provides great food-for-thought for those interested in both quality design and off- or nearly-off grid living. Even if some of the houses might be out of range as noted by one commenter, there are still boat-loads of ideas around every corner.

Great photos, too!
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on October 21, 2007
This book, "Off the Grid", and Lori Ryker's other book, "Off the Grid Homes", are just mildly interesting. I regret having ordered them both at the same time. Had I seen one, I would not have bothered with a second. In fact, had I seen one before before purchasing, I would not have purchased either. Kemp's book, "The Renewable Energy Handbook: A Guide to Rural Energy Independence, Off-grid And Sustainable Living", is what most people will find interesting and useful.
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on April 16, 2014
This is truly a great guide for the home owner/builder to foresee what they might be able to achieve with some planning and careful forethought to accomplish a lesser energy footprint.
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on September 20, 2015
Mostly aesthetic design ideas but it was one of the first Off the Grid books I read & I got a lot of useful info from it.
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on June 3, 2015
it was alright but not much details
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