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Prefabulous and Sustainable: Building and Customizing an Affordable, Energy-Efficient Home Hardcover – April 1, 2010


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Prefabulous and Sustainable: Building and Customizing an Affordable, Energy-Efficient Home + Prefabulous + Almost Off the Grid: Your Path to Building an Energy-Independent Home + Prefabulous: Prefabulous Ways to Get the Home of Your Dreams
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; 3.2.2010 edition (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810984830
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810984837
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sheri Koones is a widely respected author who helps readers understand that getting the house of their dreams can be done in an ecologically responsible way. Her book, Prefabulous, explored the variety, beauty and eco-friendly benefits of prefab homes and recently won the prestigious Gold Award in the 2008 Robert Bruss Real Estate Book Awards from NAREE. Sheri is a member of the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the Sustainable Building Industry Council, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Sheri is also a columnist for Home Resource Guide and a freelance writer and speaker. She lives in Connecticut.


More About the Author

I began writing about home construction when I had the difficult task of supervising a major renovation of my family's house. After being dissatisfied with the the books available I decided I would write a book (From Sand Castles to Dream Houses)and include all of the information I wish I'd had when I built my own house. People then began to ask me about the various options available to them - roofing, siding, trim,etc. I didn't know much about these items myself - so I spent the next 2 years researching every available option so my readers would be able to select those that were best for them before beginning to work with their architect or builder. House About It was the result of this arduous research. While I was reviewing the various methods of construction for a chapter of House About It, I discovered modular construction, which I found incredibly exciting. In the last few years I have found other methods of prefab construction which I believe are also wonderful methods of building a house. I hope that my books have created more informed homeowners who will build homes that they will throughly enjoy living in - that are healthy, sustainable, energy efficient and beautiful.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Very interesting and informative.
Linda Witt
Prefabulous + Sustainable is Sheri Koones's fascinating new book on green, prefabricated homes.
Anonymous Reader
Green is the way home building is moving and this book is an excellent resource!
Patrick Edmonds soundhomesCT

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Skinner on August 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Let's start of with the good. The book is beautiful. The photography is excellent, the layout is good and there is a nice variety of homes. It's a great book to flip through for someone ready to take on a mortgage and have a green home built for you. You can find your architect, builder and designer in the Resource List at the back of the book.

I think the text presentation leaves something to be desired. I do not need to read over and over the benefits of prefabrication. I really wish Ms. Koones had simply stated those benefits up front and then done the individual houses as case studies pointing out how each one accomplished the design goals. Ms. Koones does a fair job of explaining what goes into the houses to make them green, but never is the actual cost of any of those things mentioned. Some relative costs are discussed such as the concession to vinyl windows in one home, but not how much that actually cost or saved.

No where did I find the green aspect of a smaller house mentioned. There are only two houses under 1000 square feet and one of those was designed and built by the University of Maryland for just under $550,000. Ten houses are 1000-1999 square feet, 7 are 2000-2999, 4 are 3000-3999 and two are over 4000.

I would really like to see a book on affordable green building with hard data and some DIY information. If you never care to pick up a hammer or touch any of the materials of your home before it's complete you may love this book, but I wanted to know much more than the glossy overviews given here.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By John Rossi on April 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'd like to weigh in specifically on the comment stating that this book is about Euro style houses. In full disclosure, I designed one of the buildings in this book, but far from slanting my opinion, it puts me in a better place to address some of Pixel's thoughts. The book covers a design of ours, built in Lawrence MA, one of the poorest communities in the state - the poverty rate is more than three times the state average and double that of the rest of the US. Our mission was to create a capital "A" Affordable house that was also stylish, healthy and energy efficient. Modular was one tool we used to get us there, among many others. I personally feel that the genius of this book is that it has BOTH Euro (perhaps expensive) houses AND houses like ours that were constructed at well below the regional average cost, despite its desne, urban infill location. If anything, the spectrum of styles and price points illustrated here shows folks that "green" does not have to look like anything in particular or cost any more than a "normal" house. I think painting innovative, sustainable housing and this book with one big brush "misses the boat".
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By John on March 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
If you want to see the future of home building you really need to follow this new book and Sheri's other books. Prefabulous & Sustainable beautifully displays the possibilities of modular homes, and other building systems for Green Building. Just like her earlier book, Modular Mansions, dispelled the myth that modular homes are limited to low end cookie cutter designs, her new book, carefully and with great detail, both shows and tells the reader that the future is now. Sustainable and prefab are two concepts that are forever married.

The collection of 24 homes is broken down into three groups based upon their level of "Green-ness," using labels of Green, Greener, and Greenest, the book clearly shows that Green can be defined in different ways by different buyers. Building design, selection of materials, finishes and systems can result in sustainable homes that vary in size, style and buyer appeal. Even some of the Greenest homes still offer affordability.

Perhaps one of the greatest contributions of the book is it provides options and discusses tradeoffs and design goals. Far too many books on sustainability take on a preachy tone and try to sell an agenda supporting one optimum solution.

A subtle message throughout the book is the idea that diversity is welcome in the search for sustainability. A variety of solutions in a graphically beautiful and detailed presentation may be just what is needed to finally spur people to actually start building more sustainable homes and to search out the factories, builders and designers who have already accomplished the wonderful designs in this wonderful book. A handy tool in this book is the Resource Guide that will help homeowners find the professionals and suppliers they need to build their own sustainable homes. A must read for all homeowners.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Word Lover VINE VOICE on April 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Prefabulous + Sustainable makes me wish I could run out, buy land and erect any one of the handsome homes featured in the pages of this beautifully produced book. I have loved Sheri Koones's other two books, which blow away outdated notions of "prefabs." This book, however, is not only especially well-crafted, but it shows readers--clearly and simply--how they can build environmentally friendly homes without lowering their standards for superb and functional design.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Writegirl18 on April 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sheri Koones won me over to the world of modular and prefabricated homes with her previous books. She has outdone herself with Prefabulous + Sustainable by tapping into the nation's new desire to be more ecologically conscious. The homes depicted are not only beautiful, but within reach of many homeowners and are much more energy-efficient than traditional houses. This is an important and timely book.
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