kimchi & kraut

Passive House + Net Zero Energy + Permaculture Yard


Masanobu Fukuoka, author of The One Straw Revolution. Along with Sepp Holzer, he independently pioneered many of the ideas and techniques that would come to define Permaculture. Author photo: Larry Korn.


Green Building Advisor  Martin Holladay’s Musings of an Energy Nerd.

BS + Beer Show Opportunity, via recorded zoom videos, to learn from professionals in ‘green’ construction.

Zero and Beyond   Spartan and Hannah’s super energy-efficient build.

Edgewater Haus  Passive House project. A lot of information on planning and choosing materials — their struggles with choosing windows is definitely worth reading.

Modern in Minnesota  Cool house project — many interesting design details.

Matt Risinger  Austin, Texas based builder with a lot of useful ‘green’ building info on his series of YouTube videos.

Life of an Architect  Building process from an architect’s POV (definitely worth reading).

frt dr w: light


Green Building / Architecture / Design

Sarah Susanka The Not So Big House

Julie Torres Moskovitz The Greenest Home: Superinsulated and Passive House Design

Sheri Koones Prefabulous + Almost Off the Grid

Janet Cotterell  The Passivhaus Handbook

Christopher Alexander, et al., A Pattern Language

Kevin McCloud  43 Principles of Home

Alain de Botton   The Architecture of Happiness

Matthew Frederick  101 Things I Learned in Architecture School

Cristina Paredes Benitez  Small ECO Houses: Living Green in Style

Leonard Koren  Wabi-Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers

Andrew Juniper  Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence

Permaculture / Landscaping

Masanobu Fukuoka The One Straw Revolution

Toby Hemenway Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-scale Permaculture

Sepp Holzer   Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small-Scale, Integrative Farming and Gardening

Edward O. Wilson   Biophilia

James B. Nardi Life in the Soil: A Guide for Naturalists and Gardeners

Peter Bane   The Permaculture Handbook

Will Allen   The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People and Communities

Eric Toensmeier   Paradise Lot

Jessi Bloom, Dave Boehnlein   Practical Permaculture

Ann Ralph   Grow a Little Fruit Tree

Paul Stamets   Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World

B.C. Wolverton   How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Houseplants that Purify Your Home or Office

John Greenlee   The American Meadow Garden  (lots of info and beautiful photos throughout)

Lew French   Stone By Design (includes many photos of his intricate, amazing work)

Dan Snow   In the Company of Stone (more beautiful examples of stone in the landscape)

Art Ludwig   Create an Oasis with Greywater

Brad Lancaster   Rainwater Harvesting

Robert Kourik   Drip Irrigation: For Every Landscape and All Climates

sd west b4 gutters


Green Building Advisor  Great research tool. A lot of great information, and the Q&A section of the site proved to be invaluable, both during the design phase and even during the build when questions or problems would arise.

Building Science Corporation   Fantastic research tool when designing a Passive House or a Pretty Good House.

Pretty Good House Helping designers, builders, and homeowners navigate a high-performance build without seeking official certification from Passive House or LEED.

Green Guard  Greenguard Certification. Independent third party (part of UL) testing organization that researches product claims regarding their ‘green’ status.

Jetson Green  A lot of interesting ‘green’ building info.

Treehugger  Interesting articles; more wide-ranging than just construction.

Building Green  Great resource for self-builds as well as for those already certified in ‘green’ building techniques.

Green Building Supply  Located in Iowa. Excellent resource for low or No VOC products for a ‘green’ build. I’ve used them several times for our own build, including paints, sealers, and caulks/sealants.

475 High Performance Building Supply  Passive House-oriented building supplies, located in New York. We also used them for our WUFI analysis. Excellent resource for both products and ‘green’ building knowledge when questions come up during a build.

Small Planet Supply  For consumers, another great option besides 475 HPBS, for Passive House or Pretty Good House builds. Located in Washington state and western Canada.

AFM Safecoat  Low or No VOC paints and finishes.

Passive House Accelerator Useful information for everything Passive House.

Source 2050 Passive House-oriented building supplies.

GO Logic  Design/Build firm focused on Passive House projects, located in Maine. Lots of useful info, and their projects are always interesting.

Hammer and Hand  Passive House builder in the Seattle/Portland area. Lots of useful info and fantastic videos — indispensable for DIYers tackling a Passive House-level new build. We couldn’t have built our house without their videos and their Best Practices Manual.

Living Building Challenge  Holistic approach to building; encompassing on-site construction issues apart from overall energy demand. Another option, along with LEED and Passive House, for ‘green’ building certification.

Permies  Plenty of info, regardless of experience with permaculture principles. Great learning tool. Useful forums to share, or just read about, problems/solutions.

Geoff Lawton   Really interesting permaculture projects from around the world. Great videos.

Midwest Permaculture  Based in Illinois. I did a phone consultation with husband and wife team, Bill & Becky Wilson; extremely nice people, and definitely worth it. They offer Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) training throughout the year at various sites.

1000 Home Challenge For anyone considering a deep energy retrofit (DER) project on an existing home or building.

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Fine Homebuilding

Journal of Light Construction

Mother Earth News

Permaculture Design Magazine

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TV & YouTube

This Old House (PBS)

Grand Designs (UK, Channel 4). Program follows the progress of unique builds from start to finish (sometimes shows up on YouTube or Netflix). The builds are always interesting, with many of them ‘green’ builds. It has Australian and New Zealand spin-offs that are equally good.

Growing a Greener World  (PBS)

The Victory Garden (PBS)

P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home (PBS)

Geoff Lawton

Parkrose Permaculture

The Gardening Channel with James Prigioni

708 white porcelain w: spax


Natural Gardening Company  Great selection of organic seeds and veggie transplants.

Peaceful Valley Farm Supply  Peaceful Valley Farm Supply — wide variety of products, seeds, plants, and even fruit and nut trees.

Bluestone Perennials  Wide selection of ornamental ground covers, flowers, shrubs, and even some trees.

High Country Gardens  Western/Southwestern US selection of plants. I’ve had good luck with many of them in the Chicago suburbs as long as they’re at least Zone 5 rated. Their Agastache (Hummingbird Mint) varieties are perfect for attracting pollinators, especially hummingbirds, who definitely love this plant.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds  Employee-owned company supplying seeds, plants, and tools.

Seed Savers Exchange  Wide selection of heirloom seeds. Using their annual catalog you can share unique varieties from small growers all over the US, many of them otherwise unavailable. Great info on their website. Based in Decorah, Iowa. Definitely worth a visit to check out their facilities, but also the downtown district and surrounding area has a lot to offer in terms of shopping and outdoor activities, including great parks and forest preserves.

Prairie Nursery  Wide selection of Midwest natives from Wisconsin.

Praire Moon Nursery  Wide selection of Midwest natives from Wisconsin.

Pleasant Prairie Nursery  Wide selection of Midwest native flowers and grasses grown in Illinois.

Seeds of Change  Large selection of organic seeds and seedlings, along with food products.

Swan Island Dahlias  Large selection of beautiful dahlias. They’re a little fussy, but well worth the effort — hard to beat for size and color; and they make great, long-lasting cut flowers.

Oikos Tree Crops  Large selection of items, including fruiting shrubs, tea plants, and strawberries. Excellent resource for starting or growing your own edible landscape based on permaculture principles.

eggs in yard
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