Earth-Sheltered Houses:How to Build an Affordable Underground Home ... by Rob Roy. This large book combines information that appeared in two of my earlier out-of-print books with a wealth of new material, including case studies and lots of new images. Everything you need to know about the earth sheltering details and the earth roof for both the Log End Cave and Earthwood designs are in this single volume. The light-weight living roof appears for the first time. A Bibliography and comprehensive Sources list update earth-sheltering for the 21st century. This is the textbook for our Earthwood Techniques workshops. 256 pages plus 8-page color section.
Mortgage Free!:Innovative Strategies for Debt-Free Home Ownership ... by Rob Roy. This is a banker's worst nightmare - a book that tells you how to live without being financially enslaved for the best years of your life. (The word mortgage comes from the old French meaning "death pledge!") While not a building book, Mortgage Free! is full of radical (but workable) strategies that enable you to own your own home. Raising the grubstake, finding and buying the land at the best possible price, the temporary shelter strategy and designing a low-cost home are just some of the topics covered. Learn how Jaki and I have managed to own five different homes, all mortgage-free, and read six other case studies which show how others have accomplished the same thing. People who have read all my books say that this is the best and the most important. It's probably the one which will do you the most financial good, no matter what kind of house you build. 348 pages and about 100 photos and illustrations. $25.00
Timber Framing for the Rest of Us ... by Rob Roy. Many natural building methods rely upon the use of post and beam frame structures that are then in-filled with straw, cob, cordwood, or more conventional wall materials. But traditional timber framing employs the use of finely crafted joints and wooden pegs, requiring a high degree of craftsmanship and training, as well as much time and expense. However, there is another way …
This book describes the timber framing methods used by most contractors, farmers, and owner-builders, methods that use modern metal fasteners, special screws, and common sense building principles to accomplish the same goal in much less time. And while there are many good books on traditional timber framing, this is the first to describe in depth these more common fastening methods. The book includes everything you need to know about building strong and beautiful structural frames from heavy timbers, including: crucial design and structural considerations; procuring timbers; foundations; roofs; infilling considerations and an illustrative description of the common fasteners. A detailed case study of a timber frame project from start to finish completes this practical guide, along with a useful appendix of span tables and a bibliography. Highly illustrated, this book enables 'the rest of us' to build a strong timber frame. 176 pages. Well illustrated. $25.00
Continental Cordwood Conference Collected Papers, 2005 ... edited by Rob Roy, Richard Flatau and Alan Stankevitz. This collection of 27 papers reports on the latest innovations in cordwood masonry since CoCoCo/99, the previous conference. It is an excellent supplement to Cordwood Building. listed above. Here, you'll find new papers on cordwood saunas, cordwood on a frost-protected shallow foundation, log-end treatment and insulation techniques, accenting light in a cordwood home, R-value studies, papercrete mortar, cordwood on a basement, "wraparound" log-ends, cordwood mortar, lime putty mortar, the use of foam insulation, and case studies from around North America. There is some beautiful work here: the "next generation" in cordwood building. The 27 articles include four by Rob Roy, two by conference host Richard Flatau, two by Dr. Kris Dick, P.E. and two by Daycreek.com's Alan Stankevitz. Highly recommended. 125 pages, 23 in color. $29.00
Cordwood and the Code: A Building Permit Guide ... edited by Rob Roy, Richard Flatau, Alan Stankevitz and Dr. Kris Dick, PE. Here's documentation for presenting a cordwood project to your building inspector. The questions code enforcement officer's most frequently ask are answered in a professional manner. Topics include thermal monitoring (R-values) of a cordwood wall by Dr. Kris Dick, fire resistance of a cordwood wall, certified compression tests of cordwood mortar, cordwood in a seismic 3 zone, REScheck (energy) analysis, and a fine paper by Richard Flatau called Conversations with a Wisconsin Code Official. In fact, Wisconsin's top code official has called this the best document of its kind that he has seen for any alternative building system. The 17-page Appendix includes a copy of Alan Stankevitz's own successful building permit application. You can use the CD supplied with each book to download that application to your computer, and make changes for your own application. This is the definitive document to leave with your local building inspector at permit application. 54 pages. $26.00
The Complete Cordwood DVD with Rob and Jaki Roy. Our Cordwood Masonry Techniques VHS video was filmed at our workshops and serves as an excellent instructional video and refresher course for former cordwood students. Our Cordwood Homes VHS video was a tour of 8 cordwood homes around North America. With the switch to DVDs, these VHS videos are no longer available. However, this DVD combines all of the material of the original videos with lots of new footage, including the use of paper-enhanced mortar with Jim Juczak, the 16-sided post-and-beam frame (to build a round cordwood home under cover), and the use of cement retarders. An extensive captioned slideshow rounds out the DVD, showing examples of round, post-and-beam and stackwall buildings, as well as construction details and special features. This DVD runs well over 3 hours. $39.00
Stone Circles: A Megalithic Workshop with Rob Roy, VHS video version, Reduced to $9.
Same as DVD version above, but unindexed.nnnSee content description above. $9.00
The Bicycle Powered Water System at Earthwood … Rob Roy. For years, we’ve been asked for information about the bicycle-powered water system in use at Earthwood since 1982, so here it is. This paper has eight large 8.5” by 11” pages, one line diagram, 8 full color illustrations, and over 3000 words of explanatory text. $8 if ordered separately. Free with Tamara Dean's The Human Powered Home book, listed in the next
section of books by other authors. $8.00
This page has Rob Roy's books listed first, including works written and edited by Rob Roy, and CDs, and DVDs filmed at Earthwood Building School. After these items, we list other related books by other authors, on subjects of interest to anyone whose goals are to build their own green shelter using natural materials or to live gracefully on the land in a self-reliant manner.
Why order books and videos direct from Earthwood?
1. Rob Roy's books are signed by the author. Big deal. But see next item.
2. Roy's Cordwood, Underground, Stone Circle and Timber Framing books are the textbooks for our workshops. If you purchase them from Earthwood - we know, because they are signed - and then decide to take a workshop, you get a full deduction of the book cost from your registration.
3. You help support small business instead of big business ... so that we can stay in business!
Cordwood Masonry Special Effects CD We are very proud of this new Power Point CD. (You can play it on your computer whether you have Power Point or not.) The presentation has 106 color images of special design features, bottle-ends, cordwood textures and the like. A 5000-word commentary tells about the features and how to do them, including a section on various ways of making bottle-ends.
The image at left is just a sample.$20.00
Earthwood Step by Step CD This CD, really a building manual, is a 110-page, 100-image, 7500-word Power Point. It can be shown on computers made since 1998 (including Windows 98, Second Edition) whether or not you have a Power Point program because a PP reader is included. You can view, project or print it. This CD expands and updates the slides or prints (60 captioned images) which we used to offer and will help anyone wanting to build an Earthwood-type home, one or two stories. It also covers the 16-sided post-and-beam frame. The CD should be used in combination with Rob's book Earth Sheltered Houses and the Earthwood Plans (see below.) The image at left is a sample. $40.00
Earthwood Plans These architect-stamped plans are $210 and include my book, Earth Sheltered Houses, (see description above) which details the step-by-step construction of the Earthwood home. The plans now include a 10-page packet about how to incorporate a 16-sided timber frame in the external walls. This additional material is not stamped by the architect, but should make your local code enforcement officer happy. The frame is easily incorporated into the plans, as many have done throughout North America. If Jaki and I were to build Earthwood again, we would build under the protective cover of a roof supported by a 16-sided frame. See also next item for adding the Step-by-Step CD for just $20 more. $210.00
Earthwood Plans with Earthwood Step by Step CD This package includes the plans described in the previous item (with the Earth Sheltered Houses book) and also the Earthwood Step by Step CD, described two items above this one. The CD, which can be viewed on a computer whether you have Power Point or not, is like a step-by-step manual for building the Earthwood House. This package saves you $20 over
the items ordered separately. $230.00
Other related Books
The items above are all of the Earthwood Books and media presently offered. Please have a look through the following list of books by other authors, some of which may be of additional interest or serve as related information to our material above. We offer three different books on human waste disposal, for example, covering different kinds of situations.
Cordwood Construction: Best Practices ... Richard Flatau CoCoCo/05 organizer (and long-time cordwood writer and builder) Richard Flatau has just published this new compendium, his best yet. True to its title, the author details "best practices" methods about cordwood masonry and its relationship to foundations, electrical considerations, energy codes and so much more. By themselves, two recent case studies (the Cordwood Education Center in Wisconsin and the Whole Earth Reservation Cordwood Home in Minnesota) are worth the price of this beautifully illustrated and meticulously documented work. 196 large 8.5" by 11" pages, including 259 color pictures and diagrams. $26.00
Homework: Handbuilt Shelter ... Lloyd Kahn Imaginative ways to put a roof over your head. From yurts to caves to tree houses to tents, thatched houses, glass houses, nomadic homes and riverboats … each handbuilt dwelling is one with its environment, using natural materials. A hard book to put down, this one is sumptuously illustrated with 1000 (mostly) color photos and 300 drawings. Large 9” by 12” paperback. A favorite at our book store.
256 pages. $27.00
Builders of the Pacific Coast … Lloyd Kahn This beautiful new book features more handcrafted homes – from California to Alaska - using indigenous and recycled materials. Lots of amazing saunas! Even an oval cordwood cabin with wood shingles. (And keep an eye peeled for various cordwood sidings and floors.) Sun Ray Kelley’s magical work is prominently featured, but the other 47 builders are amazing, too. 1200 color photos.
Large 9” by 12” paperback. 256 pages. $27.00
The Encyclopedia of Wood … U.S. Department of Agriculture Praise be unto Skyhorse Publishing, who brought this book back from "out of print." Way back in our 1996 catalog, I wrote: “Look up the strength, shrinkage, rot resistance, moisture content, thermal properties, and practically anything else you want to know about any particular species of wood. I’ve used this book as reference in both writing my books and at Earthwood when students ask about some exotic wood I’ve never heard of. There are chapters on fastening, gluing, plywood, preserving, and more.” And now this large format 496-page book is $5 less than it was 15 years ago! $20.00
The Hand-Sculpted House: A Practical and Philosophical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage … Ianto Evans, Michael G. Smith and Linda Smiley “Cob” is a natural building material made from clay, sand and straw. Although Jaki and I have worked with the authors on successful “cobwood” (cordwood and cob) walls, this book sticks to the cob part of the equation and tells how to do it right. (Cordwood Building – see top of this page – has a chapter on cobwood.) The illustrations and text are crystal-clear and Ianto’s building philosophy on building is practical and inspiring. Great on siting, earth floors, natural plasters, and more. A delight. 356 pages, 8 in full color. $35.00
The Earth-Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book: How to Build an Energy-free Year-round Greenhouse … by Mike Oehler From the Foreword by Rob Roy: “Yep, it tells you how, and in Mike’s colloquial, humorous, sometimes curmudgeonly and always inimitable manner. (On economy), Mike outflanks me every which way from Sunday. The guy builds cheap, dirt cheap, and I say this with begrudging admiration. After too long a remission, the happy hippie hobbit surfaces once again to improve the nick of time.”
If you enjoyed Mike’s $50 and Up Underground House Book (previous item) then this is the greenhouse book for you. And an earth-sheltered greenhouse is the most sensible kind. Mike’s covers his PSP construction, glazing, ventilation, passive solar and more. 7” by 10” paperback. Well-illustrated, some color. $25.00
NEW ! Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter ... by Lloyd Kahn, Scaling Back in the 21st Century. Inspiring new book about small houses, campers, road rigs, handmade trailers, houseboats, cob, straw bale, round timber, and much more. Beautifully illustrated in color throughout. Large 9x12 paperback 214 pages $27.00
The Stone Primer … Charles McRaven I’ve always been a fan of McRaven’s books, but this, his latest one, is my favorite. With beautiful full color every page, it’s a sumptuous visual feast of stone masonry, beginning in ancient times and taking us right up to wonderful work being done by skilled stone masons today. And the book shows you how. Part One, Starting with Stone, gives the basics. Part Two, Stone Features for the Home and Landscape, shows what beautiful work is possible. And Part Three, Step-by-Step Projects, covers 11 varied projects that you can do yourself. It’s a pleasure to read and wander though these 256 pages. 8.5” by 11” quality paperback. $25.00
The $50 and Up Underground House Book ... Mike Oehler This underground classic describes the construction of basic but comfortable survival shelter at absolutely the lowest possible cost using Mike's "PSP" (post-shoring-polythene) method. Information not found in other books is combined with Mike's entertaining wit and philosophy. $20.00
Green Roof Plants: A Resource and Planting Guide … Ed & Lucie Snodgrass Ed Snodgrass is one of the leading suppliers of sedums and other plants for the green roof industry. In fact, he supplied 450 sedum plants for our own Stoneview guesthouse. (See Stoneview book, in Earthwood section above). The authors cover structural and other building details, but, most importantly, their book is a concise reference guide to the plants most likely to succeed on the roof: valuable data on moisture needs, heat tolerance, hardiness, bloom color foliage characteristics and height. 6” by 9” hardcover. 204 pages, 299 color photos, 2 diagrams. $30.00
The Art and Craft of Stonework ... David Reed Friend and master stone-builder David Reed has outdone himself in his latest book, which covers all aspects of dry-stacking, mortaring, paving, carving and gardenscaping with stone. With clear and thorough text, Dave discusses stone itself, tools, and options for lifting, carrying and hauling the heavy materials. The 20-page section called "Boulderscaping" is really a megalithic primer, with lots of pictures taken at Earthwood and Columcille, amongst others. 9" by 10" quality paperback. 225 color pages. $20.00
The Septic System Owner's Manual ... Lloyd Kahn, Blair Allen and Julie Jones This book takes a middle ground between the radically simple Jenkins system ((Humanure, above) and Alth's more conventional approach, below. Lots of great illustrations and humor make this important material easy to absorb. Pages 112-115 alone, showing 20 different systems for different situations, is worth the book's price. And fixing septic system failure is also covered. 8" by 9". 164 pages. $18.00
Wells and Septic Systems, 2nd edition... Max Alth (revised by S. Blackwell Duncan) Perhaps the first considerations of your home building project should be the water and waste disposal systems. This book will prepare you to make intelligent and code-approved decisions. Too often, owner-builders leave this planning too late or do not give it the careful attention which it must have. 7-1/4" by 9-1/4" paperback. 262 pages. $22.00
The Humanure Handbook: 3rd Edition ... Joseph Jenkins There are almost 7 billion defecating people on this plane, but few who know how to constructively handle the burgeoning mountain of human crap. Joe's book will amuse, educate and possibly offend you, but it will certainly pertain to you - unless, of course, your bowels never move. We've installed Joe's wonderfully simple, economic and ecologically sound crapper at our Stoneview guest house. The 3rd Edition is revised, improved and updated, with clear building diagrams and photographs. 42 tables and charts, 55 drawings, 23 photos, glossary, index, and a few bad jokes. 6" by 9" paperback. 256 pages. $25.00
All three waste disposal books above for $60! Can't decide which of the three books described above (and seen at left) to get? Buy all three books above for just $60 and you'll really know your s***. And pay for shipping on just one book, for a savings of $10. (Sorry, this offer not good in Canada due to high shipping rates.) $60.00
Cordwood Building: The State of the Art ... by Rob Roy and friends. This comprehensive volume collects the experiences of 25 of the world's leading cordwood masons, from early pioneers Jack Henstridge (who writes about Lomax corners) and Cliff Shockey (the double-wall technique) right up to modern visionaries writing about paper-enhanced mortar, cob as mortar, and more. Author/editor Rob Roy's new contributions include a basic cordwood primer; more about cordwood and cob (cobwood); code issues; a personal retrospective; and an article about cordwood's future. This is the book we now use as a textbook at Earthwood's Cordwood Masonry workshops. 248 pages, 8 in full color. $27.00
The Sauna ... by Rob Roy. I've added two chapters to this revision (Siting and Design and Building a Conventional Sauna), and, now, over 90% of the 160+ pictures are in color. (None in the former edition.) We sell it for $25, $5 less than the suggested retail price. Here's what Chelsea Green Publishers says about the new edition:
"The Sauna, now revised and expanded, contains everything you ever wanted to know about the famous Finnish bath. Rob Roy shares his infectious enthusiasm for the sauna and provides a complete, detailed guide to sauna building, along with resources for equipment and supplies. The Sauna is replete with history, tradition, health benefits, and instructions for proper use and maintenance, as well as step-by-step instructions for building a variety of cordwood masonry saunas and, new to this edition, conventionally framed saunas. The beautiful color photographs will inspire you to create your own sauna haven." 240 pages, 163 illustrations, most in color.$25.00
Stoneview:How to Build an Eco-Friendly Little Guesthouse ... by Rob Roy. Stoneview is an octagonal cordwood masonry timber-framed guesthouse with a living roof, located at Earthwood. It cost $5000 to build, complete, about $16/SF for its usable 320 SF of area. Over 130 clear line drawings and step-by-step images detail all the information needed to build Stoneview from start to finish, and a full-color section shows off the beautiful design features of this charming “green” cabin. All design considerations are covered, as well as a thorough discussion octagon geometry. Chapters are devoted to site prep, forming and pouring the slab, timber framing, the light-weight living roof, and the cordwood masonry walls. Instructions for the interior slate & concrete floor are included, as well as a basic plumbing system featuring Joe Jenkins’ “humanure” composting system. Stoneview concludes with a performance evaluation of the building and a complete costing analysis. You don’t need any of my other books to build Stoneview. And the building, which could also serve as a studio, office, or workshop, is appropriate for any climate. 244 pages, four in full color. $26.00
Stone Circles: A Modern Builder's Guide to the Megalithic Revival ... by Rob Roy. Stone Circles tells of my life-long involvement with the great stones, including ancient and modern examples. Two chapters are devoted to circles we've built at Earthwood and at the Center for Symbolic Studies. Several chapters tell of stone circles built by the "Stone People" in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. There is a chapter on stone circle design, another on building small circles, and two chapters on building circles of large stones, by hand and with the aid of heavy equipment. Chapter 15 is a guide to about 30 modern stone circles around the globe, including the great Australian Standing Stones, featured on the cover. There is an extensive bibliography and source list. All told, this book runs almost 400 pages, with hundreds of illustrations, including 8 pages in color. Price reduced from publisher's original $35: now $25.00
Stone Circles: A Megalithic Workshop with Rob Roy Indexed DVD version, $23. During research for his Stone Circles book, Rob met circle builders on both sides of the pond. In August of 2000, Rob and his wife, Jaki, invited English stone builder, Ivan McBeth, to co-instruct a Megalithic Workshop. Sixteen participants attended, including five with previous stone circle experience. All aspects of building were covered during the four days, including design, sacred space-making, and construction with tools available 5000 years ago. Magic happened, both in the rational and transrational realms. Stone Circles: A Megalithic Workshop captures the spirit of those four days and clearly shows various techniques used to move stones in the one- to five-ton range. The climax of the video is the dramatic erection of "Welcome," a megalith which greets guests to Earthwood. 60 minutes.
Power From the Sun ... Dan Chiras As usual, friend Dan Chiras, one of our favorite authors, has backed his considerable amount of experience in making power with a prodigious amount of homework. The only book which covers the topics of planning and installing a complete photovoltaic home power system as thoroughly as Dan's is the expensive ($60) textbook Photovoltaics from Solar Energy International. And Dan's is much more readable, so the info is easier to absorb. And it's more up-to-date. Covers types of PV panels, site assessment, off-the-grid versus grid-tie, inverters, batteries, charge controllers, trackers, the whole ball of wax. 256 pages. $27.00
The Human Powered Home … Tamara Dean
At last, here's a thorough book on all kinds of human-powered devices, most of them pedal powered: blender, grain mill, juicer, water pumping, washing machine, sewing machine, and more. Since 1982, Jaki and I have pumped all our water at Earthwood with a bicycle married to a piston pump. How we do it is described in a separate booklet (above in Earthwood section), free with The Human Powered Home. Large 8" by 10" paperback. Well illustrated. 272 pages. The Earthwood bike pump paper is included free for $30.00
Continental Cordwood Conference Collected Papers, 2011 ... edited by Rob Roy, Richard Flatau, Dr. Kris Dick and Alan Stankevitz. This new collection of 23 papers (3 by Rob Roy) covers everything new in cordwood since 2005, including insight and direction into best practices, energy efficiency and innovations in the field. The papers feature cordwood building in Sweden, Norway, Alaska, Manitoba, Ontario and the US. There are articles on double stackwall, balewall, foam insulation, special effects, engineering perspectives, cast quoins, slipform construction, improved mortar mixes, cordwood on the reservation, school buildings, cordwood special effects, sheds and chicken coops, and more. 129 pages, 212 color photos, 26 diagrams. $28.00
New! Foundations and Concrete Work … from the editors of Fine Homebuilding
New to this book list, this one has 28 separate articles in five parts: Concrete Basics, Building Foundations, Waterproofing, Retrofitting Foundations, and Concrete in the Landscape (excellent on retaining walls, so important with earth-sheltered housing.) I learned a lot of good detailing in Concrete Basics, and liked the comparison of drainage and waterproofing options. This is a large heavy volume with excellent color illustrations throughout and is good value at $25.00. 280 pages, 8.5" by 11".
NEW! The Coincidental Traveler: Adventure Travel for Budget-Minded Grown-ups ... Rob and Jaki Roy. In their first co-authored book, Rob and Jaki share strategies and philosophies that have enabled them to create unique existential travel experiences all over the globe. Five guest writers, all experienced travelers - and grown-ups - contribute more workable ideas and fascinating travel experiences. Learn how to "Take Advantage of Yourself," cultivate coincidences, safely expand your comfort zone, travel inexpensively, and meet people - travelers and locals alike - wherever you go. Although written for people in their 50's and up, younger travelers can also benefit from The Coincidental Traveler, kind of like the Mortgage Free! of travel. You can order this book now - August 1st - and we expect to ship the first copies on our about August 21st.. 70 photos, 24 sidebars and a comprehensive resource list illustrate and expand upon the points. 170 pages. $17.00.