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Off The Grid: Modern Homes + Alternative Energy Hardcover – November 3, 2005

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Our homes are connected by a nearly invisible grid of infrastructure that binds us together. It is a system of electrical poles, wire, substations, hydroelectric dams, telecommunication towers, and water extraction and sewage systems. It is also one of the greatest environmental challenges known to modern civilization. Profiling ten beautiful homes in regions as diverse as New York City, urban Germany, suburban Southern California, rural Canada, and the remote "bush" of Australia, Off the Grid: Modern Homes + Alternative Energy shows you how to take responsibility for your future choices and conveniences by living in a beautifully designed home that uses much less energy. Off-the-grid living is a concept that can be easily understood and adopted by everyone, regardless of where you live or how much money you make. Learn why understanding a site's geography and climate are vital to knowing which off-the-grid technologies will be the most efficient. See how each technology, from geothermal heat pumps to wind turbines to photovoltaic arrays, can be integral to the beauty and design of a home. Revolutionary and responsible, Off the Grid is gorgeous proof that alternative energy speaks the language of modern design. 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 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.

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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Gibbs Smith (November 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586855166
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586855161
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #955,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Hardcover
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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