Prefabrication offers a simple path to the green home of your dreams, and in her latest book,Prefabulousauthor Sheri Koones highlights the many ways of using prefabrication to create almost-off-the-grid homes houses that are not only environmentally friendly but often operate at nearly zero annual energy cost. Taking energy from the grid when necessary and returning any excess energy produced, almost-off-the-grid homes function on a fraction of the energy required by most houses, and additionally are more comfortable, healthier, quieter inside, and far cheaper to operate. As energy costs continue to rise, the almost-off-the-grid house proves its worth. Prefabulous + Almost Off the Gridprofiles more than 30 of the most energy-efficient homes in the United States, and this hardworking guide reveals how homeowners can achieve similar results with floor plans, the latest, most efficient technologies, and multiple images of the exterior and interior of each home.
This attractive coffee-table-style book, the third in Koones's Prefabulous series, features 32 prefabricated houses that, to a greater or lesser extent, boast environmentally friendly, efficient, and renewable-energy elements. Koones's definition of "almost off the grid," which she considers the optimal amount of energy independence, is "a minimal need for energy use from the utility company, while also presenting the possibility of returning energy back to the grid." She also wants to debunk the myth that prefabricated houses are "all double-wides and ugly little boxes"; in fact, the homes shown are architect-designed and stylish, although they run the gamut of pricing, styles, and luxury, from the modernist house in Newport Beach, Calif., and the steel-framed Snowhorn House engineered onto a cliff in Austin, Tex., to the Charlotte, Vt., Habitat for Humanity ART House. Each entry begins with lists of information about the house and its builders, "green" aspects (which include building materials such as low-flow faucets and recycled-content countertops, and lifestyle amenities such as walking distance to town), and "energy" aspects (such as solar heating, LED lights, and triple-paned windows). Unfortunately, some essential information-most notably, with a few exceptions, building costs-is missing. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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October 01, 2012
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