the Tire Bale house project


Magazines we found helpful:

Home Power magazine   We feel it's the best magazine out there on solar living.


Books we found very informative and helpful:

Earthbag Building: The Tools, Tricks and Techniques, by Kaki Hunter and Donald Kiffmeyer

The Natural House, A Complete Guide to Healthy, Energy-Efficient, Environmental Homes, by Daniel D. Chiras. There are separate chapters on the different types of alternative house construction (rammed earth, straw bale, earthships, adobe, cob, cordwood, log, stone). It's a great starting place to learn and compare the techniques.

The Natural Plaster Book, earth, lime, and gypsum plasters for natural homes, by Cedar Rose Guelberth & Dan Chiras. If you are undecided about what to use to finish your walls, inside and out, this book can really help.

Greenhouse Gardener's Companion, by Shane Smith. I would consider this the bible on gardening in a greenhouse or sunspace. It tells what types of plants grow well indoors and what to do to control the bugs (and where there are plants, there are bugs!).

Do-It-Yourself Housebuilding, The Complete Handbook, by George Nash. Excellent reference for general building.

The Solar Electric House, by Steven J. Strong. Great for figuring out loads, number of solar panels and batteries you'll need.

Earthship I, Earthship II, and Earthship III, by Michael Reynolds. Although tire bale building is different, many of the concepts still apply (like building a bathtub, etc.).

Working with Concrete (Taunton Press), by Rick Arnold. See next book.

For Pros by Pros, Foundations & Concrete Work, (Taunton Press) Between this book and the one above, you'll have all you need to know about concrete.

The Septic System Owner's Manual, by Lloyd Kahn, Blair Allen, and Julie Jones. Explains septic systems and how they work for the novice.

Rainwater Collection for the Mechanically Challenged, by Suzy Banks with Richard Heinichen. Excellent for explaining rainwater collection. It also has a formula for calculating the amount of rainwater you can collect based on roof catchment area. Also helpful in designing a purification system.

Cottage Water Systems, by Max Burns. Another great book on understanding water sources and purification.

Building with Stone, by Charles McRaven. If you plan on doing any stonework, this book makes a great reference.

NEC 2011 Handbook (National Electrical Code) by the National Fire Protection Association. Has solar code information.

For Pros by Pros, Wiring a House, (Taunton Press) by Rex Cauldwell. Excellent for general house wiring and grounding.

For Pros by Pros, Plumbing a House, (Taunton Press) by Peter Hemp. Don't install plumbing without it. Great at explaining.

Code Check Building, A Field Guide to the Building Codes, by Michael Casey, Redwood Kardon, and Douglas Hansen

Code Check Plumbing, A Field Guide to the Plumbing Codes, by Redwood Kardon, Michael Casey, and Douglas Hansen.

Code Check Electrical, A Field Guide to Wiring a Safe House, by Redwood Kardon, Douglas Hansen, and Michael Casey.

Solar Radiation Data Manual for Flat-Plate and Concentrating Collectors, by National Renewal Energy Lab (NREL) Estimating solar radiation in your area.


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