efhsp coverEnergy Free
Homes for a Small Planet

Ann V Edminster, 2009
ISBN 978-0976491132
Paperback, 264 pages

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Energy Free is designed to equip building professionals and homeowners alike with a toolkit for creating homes that use no more energy than they produce - this means homes that are free from the vagaries of energy-price fluctuations that help to free society of the high political and environmental costs of fossil fuels.

Individuals and institutions have been working toward "zero-energy" homes for decades. This volume is the first record of those collective efforts, distilling their experience into a practical and comprehensive how-to guide. The author includes resource information and step-by-step guidance on how to make decisions that will yield an energy-free residential project, whether a single-family home or multifamily building, new or existing, in an urban or rural setting. The unique needs and opportunities of each context are addressed. The principal topics include:

  • Project boundaries (why you have to consider not only your home's behavior, but also your own)
  • Prioritizing strategies (e.g., insulation vs photovoltaics)
  • Economics (including payback periods and incentives)
  • How to minimize a building's energy needs
  • How to minimize your energy needs
  • How to power the energy needs that remain
  • The critical role of integrated project planning

Energy Free offers a wide array of resource information, including detailed window and insulation comparisons, assessments of the relative contribution of different building elements; and overall performance. It draws on research and empirical data from myriad sources, including the Department of Energy's Building America Program; Sacramento Municipal Utility District's House of the Future; Passiv Haus Institute in Europe and the Passive House Institute in the U.S.; Florida Solar Energy Center; Living Building Challenge; Affordable Comfort, Inc.'s Thousand Home Challenge; and many pioneering individual home projects across North America.

Ann Edminster 2 cropped 1 289x300About the Author

Ann Edminster is a recognized national expert on green home design and construction. She is a principal author of the LEED for Homes Rating System, and consults to builders, owners, developers, supply chain clients, design firms, Investors, entrepreneurs, non-profits, and public agencies. She sits on the advisory boards of a number of green building companies, is a contributing editor to GreenBuildingAdvisor.com and Ultimate Home Design, and has consulted on numerous LEED Platinum Home projects that are targeting multiple high-performance ratings and certifications, including zero-energy. She is a widely-acclaimed green building educator and facilitator and has been a co-organizer of numerous international peer-to-peer conferences. Her book, Energy Free; Homes for a Small Planet, is based on the work of scores of national experts and leading organizations, and offers guidance on net-zero energy home design. She lives and works in Pacifica, California.