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The Integral Urban House: Self-Reliant Living in the City Paperback – June 12, 1982

ISBN-13: 978-0871562135 ISBN-10: 0871562138 Edition: 1st
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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The Integral Urban House: Self Reliant Living in the City is a comprehensive guide to achieving a completely sustainable urban lifestyle by creating a mini-ecosystem where residents grow their own fruits and vegetables, raise chickens, rabbits, and fish, recycle 90% of their waste, solar heat their hot water, and use a variety of other alternative technologies-all on a 1/8-acre city lot. Long considered the bible of urban homesteading, this book is the result of four years of living with and refining the systems of the Integral Urban House in Berkeley, California-a collaborative project which combined the collective skills of the members of the Farallones Institute to develop a center for creating and testing experimental, ecologically stable and resource-conserving living systems. With its vision of an intimate connection between the urban habitat and ecological principles The Integral Urban House will inspire and empower people to act within their own communities to create places where they can live more sustainably.

The Integral Urban House: Self-Reliant Living in the City is a magnificent, inspiring record of eco-technically effective intelligent human cooperation… This is magnificent news for humanity. We are on our way.
- R. Buckminster Fuller

Civilized cities, nourishing food, renewable energy, closed nutrient cycles ,- these form the vision of this pioneering guidebook. With it we can start to build a new urban culture that is practical, sustainable, inviting and exciting.
- Amory Lovins

(2008-11-12) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Sim Van der Ryn is a visionary, author, educator, architect and public leader, and has been described by the New York Times as an "intrepid pioneer on the eco-frontier". For more than 40 years, Sim has been at the forefront of integrating ecological principles into the built environment. He served as California's first energy-conscious State Architect, authored seven influential books, and won numerous honors and awards for his leadership and innovation in architecture & planning. Sim's collaborative approach and meta-disciplinary accomplishments help show the way to an evolving planetary era that values both the integrity of ecological systems and the quality of life. He is Professor Emeritus in Architecture at the University of California where he taught from 1961 to 1995, and president of the Eco-Design Collaborative (www.ecodesign.org) based in Inverness, California.

Helga Olkowski was a founding member of the Farallones Institute, a nonprofit organization active in the development of appropriate community technologies, with an emphasis on renewable sources of energy and food systems.



Bill Olkowski was a founding member of the Farallones Institute, a nonprofit organization active in the development of appropriate community technologies, with an emphasis on renewable sources of energy and food systems.



Tom Javits was a founding member of the Farallones Institute, a nonprofit organization active in the development of appropriate community technologies, with an emphasis on renewable sources of energy and food systems.



The Farallones Institute was an independent association of scientists, designers, horticulturists and technicians which served for several decades as a pioneering center for teaching and research in appropriate technology and sustainable design. Integrating architecture, agriculture, waste recycling, water conservation, and renewable energy, the Institute has been widely recognized as a model for ecological design. The Farallones' resource conserving systems, solar dwellings, and organic gardens have been used extensively as a teaching tool. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 494 pages
  • Publisher: Random House, Inc.; 1st edition (June 12, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871562138
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871562135
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 8.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #596,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By William H. (Will) Rice on January 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is a bible for anyone seeking to live in a community without contributing to the growing crisis in infrastructure provision. It shows in practical terms, illustrated with easily understood sketches and diagrams,and supported by easily read and understood tables, ways to live more independently of, and offer less of a burden to our city. First published in 1974, it was a quarter century ahead of its time. Its time has come.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even though this book is older (1970s) it is still pretty valuable. Like other tomes during this time period, it is pretty heavy in its description in order to make it easier for others to copy.

That said, this book really is a starting point. Some of the ideas are not very applicable to now, due to advances in technology and understanding, such as geothermal energy and improvements in solar energy.

I did like how the authors were honest about some of the downfalls of what they built. They don't go much in how to correct them, but it is something that can be researched. For example, they had a problem with flies in the rabbit area, and they brought in chickens to dig around and eat the fly larva in the droppings. I think that problem might be fixed with better screening instead.

Overall, it is a good book and I like how it focuses on making one more self sufficient in an urban setting, which is where most people live. It's not realistic for everyone to give up their jobs and move to the country.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Baja James on June 10, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book and I hate to ding it but, it is listed as a new book and is not. It is a reprint of a book form the 70's published by the Sierra Club.Good info but VERY dated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BestProductsOnEarth on January 11, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Absolutely crazy about this book - everything and much more than expected; a fount of information and wisdom. One of those books that has a permanent place on the "Most Important" self-reliant-living shelf in our home library.

This book comes with excellent illustrations. This is a large book - over 400 pages jam-packed with really comprehensive and very well written information.
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