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 Grid profiles 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. Praise for Prefabulous + Almost Off the Grid: Recipient of the 2013 Robert Bruss Gold Book Award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) "You can build a high quality, environmentally friendly and efficient home at a reasonable price with a look and feel of a traditional home. Advancements like those used in our house and the other houses in this book will transform the homebuilding industry." --Christine Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey and administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency "The time has come to throw out the old stereotypes and to embrace prefab building techniques as the way of the future--and the best approach for today. For anyone wanting to create a house that's sustainable in every sense of the word, this book is an excellent place to start." --Sarah Susanka, architect and author of The Not So Big House series "I'm passionate about prefab because I know that it can spark an incredibly positive change in the building industry and dramatically reduce costs and construction duration. Prefabulous + Almost Off the Grid is an enlightening guide on using prefab to create your own affordable, energy-efficient home." --Bruce Ratner, chairman and chief executive of the Forest City Ratner Companies "Sheri Koones highlights the many ways of using prefabrication to create almost-off-the-grid homes that are not only environmentally friendly but often operate at nearly zero annual energy cost. . . . This is an easy-on-the-eyes guide that includes floor plans and multiple images of the exterior and interior of each home. It is not a manual for green construction, but a general overview of aspects of prefab and green construction. And it does that well." --Natural Life magazine "If you're ready to do something about your energy dependence, or if you enjoy stories of people who've bucked the trends, you owe it to yourself to give Prefabulous + Almost Off the Grid a look. Beautifully illustrated, it ends with a great resources list for the homes showcased." --Examiner.com "Indispensable guide to creating the ideal, almost-off-the-grid home. . . . This text is both timely and tempting to anyone interested in inhabiting a more comfortable and cost-efficient abode." --Bask "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." --Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-09-24
- Reviewer: Staff
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.)