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UPDATE: Winners Chosen in our 'Toward a Zero Energy Home' Book Givaway

comments (166) May 11th, 2010 in Blogs
Leave a comment to win this book.Click To Enlarge

Leave a comment to win this book.

A complete guide to energy self-sufficiency at home.

By David Johnston & Scott Gibson


Wow! We had such a great response to this contest that we decided to give away 3 copies of the book Toward a Zero Energy Home.

         About the book:

A Zero Energy Home (ZEH) -- a home that produces as much energy as it consumes -- is an idea whose time has come! Authors David Johnston and Scott Gibson explore the design and construction of self-sufficient houses from start to finish.

They make the case for a ZEH; cite climate and geographic challenges; describe exactly how to go about building an energy-efficient home; and feature ten houses that were built for zero energy living. With unequaled knowledge and a passion for the subject, the authors walk readers through the process of building and living in a truly efficient home.

        You can also read the first chapter here.

The 3 randomly chosen winners are:

  • jem4752
  • eguinn123
  • AdrienneBurt

Please come back after you've read the book and tell us how you liked it.

Join the conversation on Twitter...

posted in: Blogs, architecture, energy efficiency, green building, insulation, appliances

Comments (166)

acerbis acerbis writes: This book would be good. Even using these techniques with older homes would be bennificial. Of course the main goal is building an energy efficient house but we have to take steps to get there. I promise to read it!
Posted: 12:10 pm on May 18th

jffwht jffwht writes: We would love to have this book to help in our current design.
Posted: 12:09 pm on May 18th

AZdreamer AZdreamer writes: This is exactly what I'm looking for as my handle states we are dreaming of our retirement place in Tucson. I want to build ZEH for sure.
Posted: 12:05 pm on May 18th

bamquilter bamquilter writes: We plan to build a home in the next 3 years and I am so interested in this topic. My son is in construction and he plans to help get contractors for our home. I want him to read this!
Posted: 11:03 am on May 18th

Davide Davide writes: If you combine ZEH concepts with PassivHaus techniques, then you have a house that produces way more than it consumes. I'd love to build one of these for myself one day.
Posted: 10:50 am on May 18th

jaredpaton jaredpaton writes: Zero energy home = no dependence on the man! Excellent way to live one's life.
Posted: 10:35 am on May 18th

SkeeterB SkeeterB writes: I am looking forward to reading this book, whether I have to buy it or I win it. It makes sense to see if we can get to that point of a ZEH economically. I notice that someone wrote cost vs. return. I that that will be key for the long term sustainment of this current green movement. I hope to try out some of the techniques in this book on my next big project my wood shop/detached garage/guest room.
Posted: 10:17 am on May 18th

Bradleyman Bradleyman writes: Toward a zero energy home is a high pursuit for our life and times. I have been interested in and spoken of this subject for most of my 50 years. I would love to receive this book as an honor of this endeavor. I am raising my 2 sons with a respect and awareness that there is a better way to live and some of the old ways rethought and reawaken can show the respect our planet needs.
Thank you for this opportunity,
Bradleyman in Saskatchewan.
Posted: 11:19 pm on May 17th

NiniKins NiniKins writes: A Zero Energy Home is our retirement home dream build. However I fear that very few contractors in the area have a thorough knowledge of the subject. This book sounds like a must read for us to understand the subject and feel confident our architect & contractor know the material.
Posted: 10:20 pm on May 17th

Whiteski Whiteski writes: As a a luxury home developer in Manhattan Beach, our clients increasingly want energy-efficient homes. It's interesting, though. The ones who really want energy efficiency speak of it in terms of "conservation" and "cost savings." Those who are purely politically motivated speak of it as "green!" Now we're starting to see some builders describe themselves as "green." Their homes aren't any smaller, though. They just contain enormous amounts of materials marketed as being "green." Pretty ironic, and you can easily tell the motivations of those who will buy them.
Posted: 8:18 pm on May 17th

SuZ2010 SuZ2010 writes: I installed a corn-based foam insulation cocoon when my home was gutted due to water damage- this was a good move - no more drafty rooms. I look forward to utilizing as many zero energy features as will suit in my renovtion on this wildlife rehabilitator's abode. Orphaned wildlife require a very eco-friendly environment. This is a major challenge in a market of chemically saturated products where it is difficult to determine the good chemicals from the toxic ones. I look forward to the read.
Posted: 3:43 pm on May 17th

sunsmart sunsmart writes: looking forward to winning and sharing this book with everyone!
Posted: 3:38 pm on May 17th

sunsmart sunsmart writes: WHEN I win this book, I will study it comprehensively and then immediately share it with every one of my colleagues, neighbours, and so on, as everyone should have some exposure to this insightful piece of information!
Posted: 3:36 pm on May 17th

Doune Doune writes: Self-sufficiency--a beautiful thing. Toward a Zero Energy House, the kind of map that will take us there.
Posted: 3:07 pm on May 17th

Dagon Dagon writes: Perfect book for the times! I'm looking forward to putting my copy to use on new construction I'll be starting this summer!
Posted: 11:54 am on May 17th

bartbill bartbill writes: This is timely. Considering downsizing into a retirement home.
Posted: 11:46 am on May 17th

perpetualapprentice perpetualapprentice writes: The Passive Haus goal - regardless of climate - gets me more excited than I can say. Plus knowing as much as possible before talking to a vendor or contractor is how I roll. Books like this can't have too much detail or be published too soon.
Posted: 11:06 am on May 17th

ohiocarpenter ohiocarpenter writes: I'm hoping to win this, but will end up buying anyway!
Posted: 10:53 am on May 17th

rhinoblitz rhinoblitz writes: This is great! It couldn’t have come at a better time. With the recent economic trends, there is heightened, interests in energy efficient building and renewable energy sources for home owners and builders alike. I’ve been driving towards this in my own home, which is an older built 1968 Ranch home. Personally, I thought increasing the efficiency of my home energy was beyond my capabilities. After endless hours, of researching house energy dynamics and renewable energy sources, I’ve been able to complete small projects leading in the right direction. Since I’m not in a home building trade, I’m a pack rat when it comes to books and other references. I’m pretty sure this would be an asset to any home owner s reference library.
Posted: 10:24 am on May 17th

jobphoto jobphoto writes: My wife and I are building a new home next spring, and I'm doing a lot of research into how to build the most energy efficient home we can afford. I think this book will be a valuable purchse towards achieving that goal.
Posted: 10:11 am on May 17th

kenji kenji writes: I would like to start teaching a class in Sustainable design & this looks like a wonderful reference book filled with good information.
Posted: 9:08 am on May 17th

casaheil casaheil writes: I'd like to design a retirement cabin with a very low enery footprint. This book would be great!!!
Posted: 2:28 am on May 17th

Bulldog777 Bulldog777 writes: This has really come at the right time, we are in the process of buying property in the mountains and have been looking around for really good advice and information pertaining to building a home with all the "Off the grid" type of cost saving installations, rain, fog, solar, grey water capture etc ... This is the future of cost effective living.

Really hope we win the book would be nice to see the benefits and see the system grow as the house does.


Posted: 1:56 am on May 17th

Damman Damman writes: Every day the price of oil goes up, the relevancy of this book increases exponentially! It's the way we should all live.
Posted: 11:46 pm on May 16th

dkjr dkjr writes: Whole house net-zero energy would be awesome.
But, even incremental steps on small projects is a step in the right direction.
Posted: 8:08 pm on May 16th

heyIMmike heyIMmike writes: I'd be interested in reading this as I continue to slowly design my wife and I's future home.
Posted: 5:25 pm on May 16th

ngoodell ngoodell writes: If the rest of the book is like the first chapter I will buy it if I do not win it in the giveaway. Good work!
Posted: 4:46 pm on May 16th

RobertaAR RobertaAR writes: Wish I'd had it 5 months ago BEFORE I started to build!
Posted: 12:58 pm on May 16th

skidsteer skidsteer writes: Any builder who wants to keep up with the times should read this book.
Posted: 7:35 am on May 16th

saxforte saxforte writes: This is what energy self reliance should be about. Hopefully, future debate will center around how to build better and consume less rather than which natural resource to plunder.
Posted: 11:10 pm on May 15th

duluth_it duluth_it writes: I struggle to find information on making existing homes zeh homes. I see occasional articles on zeh retrofits, but the bulk of what I can find is new construction. Hopefully the ideas in this book can be modified for an existing structure.
Posted: 10:51 pm on May 15th

Mac58 Mac58 writes: I'm hoping this book will provide additional ideas on building in cold climates (Quebec) with the idea of being "off the grid". This is an ideal situation for retirement living and cottage living in rural areas.
Posted: 7:11 pm on May 15th

robboss robboss writes: My wife is an energy auditor and sees first-hand how leaky even the better constructed homes are. In Maine,reducing leakage saves serious money. Yet one needs to be concerned about making a house too tight when there is no air exchange system in place. Right now air exchange systems are too expensive (and sometimes hard to get) for those who need them most - the low to moderate income homeowner.
Posted: 6:54 pm on May 15th

garymac garymac writes: This would be a nice addition for my green library started in the late 70's with The Passive Solar Energy book. It is my hope to build a European standard Passive House soon. There is one obstacle where I cannot find any guidance. How does one combine an air tight house with an overhead kitchen fan meant to exaust air while blasting heat under a wok for delicious spicy hot Thai food. Looks like a custom job for a metal fabricator. Off to the drawing board!
Posted: 4:07 pm on May 15th

saxforte saxforte writes: This is what energy self-sufficiency is about. Let's hope future public debates revolve around how to achieve this sort of success and not on which natural resource to plunder next.
Posted: 2:46 pm on May 15th

Exit39 Exit39 writes: This book could be exactly what the doctor ordered to give me the insights necessary to get off the damn grid for my clients and myself.
Posted: 2:26 pm on May 15th

jlaurenson jlaurenson writes: I've always dreamed of building a house like this ever since I did a research paper back in high school about energy efficient R20 homes back in the 80's. Now all I have to do is buy some property and I'm off to the races!
Posted: 2:15 pm on May 15th

deancp1 deancp1 writes: good information inside, thx for a chance to win!
Posted: 12:23 pm on May 15th

aaronharmon aaronharmon writes: I will probably pick it up at some point. I have a lot of work on our house coming up, which will involve the building envelope.
Posted: 10:20 am on May 15th

swiftspoon swiftspoon writes: I think this is an idea who's time has come. Unfortunately I am ignorant on zeh and would like to educate myself on the process so I can move towards this with my last home.I think on the surface if we all moved towards this idea our grand children will have a better legacy.
Posted: 10:19 am on May 15th

tek tek writes: Looks like a valuable resource.
Posted: 9:43 am on May 15th

adwoods adwoods writes: Could of used this info in Jan while at my cabin in NC...frozen lake, frozen me, frozen pipe. Only thing hot was the electrical meter from spinning so fast!
Posted: 9:07 am on May 15th

dugg dugg writes: Timely, as I'm in the process of designing my own energy efficient home. The word "Free" definitely does have a nice ring to it!! ;o)
Posted: 5:55 pm on May 14th

carlson52 carlson52 writes: I'm in the process of updating my home - new windows, exterior doors, air exchanger, etc. The price won't be cheap, but I want to ensure I have a healthy home to live in... Maybe this book should be required reading before someone begins such a project? I could certainly use the knowledge!
Posted: 5:08 pm on May 14th

NavyRose NavyRose writes: New windows, heat pump, duct work and moving on down my list. Doing our best to be more energy efficient! This book looks like an awesome read with a lot of valuable information.
Posted: 3:29 pm on May 14th

Ine Ine writes: I'm glad Fine Homebuilding has taken a lead in providing information on energy efficient building practices.Keep up the good work.
Posted: 11:34 am on May 14th

Physics_Vic Physics_Vic writes: This is timely. I'm building this summer
Posted: 11:19 am on May 14th

Frankbain Frankbain writes: Looks like a great resource! I hope I win it!
Posted: 10:51 am on May 14th

Bcramer Bcramer writes: Although my 19 year old home is not "zero energy" it does pretty well. I use 3,000 kWh to heat and cool (we never open windows). At $.10/kWh, that's less than $1 per day. We have a .107 ACH and yes, I have an ERV.
I'd love to have the "zero energy" book to see what I might do to make my usage even less.

Posted: 9:33 am on May 14th

BigBuddah BigBuddah writes: The 0ne thing I worry about in a thermal efficient home is adequate air exchange. I'm not talking about combustion air. I mean breathable air. I have 3 small grandchildren that live with me and believe me, when you change a baby diaper, you need lots of fresh air and quickly. Opening the door during 20 degree F weather can save your life, but is not very energy efficient. I also find that bathroom exaust fans become less efficient in a well sealed home, and cooking odors tend to linger. These issues are seldom discussed or are glossed over with some statement about an air/heat exchanger. Most exchangers that I have looked at are poor at exchanging heat and are inadequate for proper air exchange. HEPA filters are great for particles, but are expensive and don't remove odors.

In Germany the government is subsidizing solar cell technology and puts up a majority of the cost to help it's citizens. I'm not talking about giving billion dollar bailouts to CEO's that have run their businesses into the ground. Nor am I talking about muli-million dollar bonuses to VP's and Managers who should have been fired as village idiots, but instead were rewarded for being selfish and liars to shareholders. The German government helps the little guy, put up solor panels on their homes. Farmers are helped so they can put panels on barns and silos. They are even lining the sloped banks along the Autobahn with panels.

So I say, "DAMN STRAIGHT!" I want an efficient home where I'm not at the mercy of a flock of dunderheads who only look out for their own interests, and give poor service to the every day 9-5 worker.

I own a 20 year old Toyota Van that has 283,000 miles on it and it still runs great. So anyone who talks to me about a limited 5 yr, 50,000 mile vehicle warranty is just saying they are lazy, don't care about me, want my money now, but put me through the ringer when I need suposedly warranteed service. Well . . . the van isn't a house, but homes don't last long unless they have constant, serious upkeep. Homes should last longer, cost less, and be more efficient. So, I'm going to work to make my home more efficient and less costly to heat. That's where we start. Then we need to lobby congress to give tax credits or rebates for homeowners who install solar cells and install wind generators.

Posted: 6:31 am on May 14th

sanpha sanpha writes: As s previously diadvantaged person still trying to uplift myself and family. I think this book will surely work wonders and help me save some money
Posted: 5:15 am on May 14th

Abafixit Abafixit writes: I want to win this copy
Posted: 1:32 am on May 14th

DrDaryn DrDaryn writes: I would love to be rid of several hundreds of dollars of bills per month by being energy use neutral.
Posted: 1:09 am on May 14th

lglowa lglowa writes: My niece just had to gut her house in Nashville due tot he flood. This book would be invaluable in rebuilding the house.
Posted: 11:57 pm on May 13th

RedOak1 RedOak1 writes: What a great goal to aim for!
Posted: 11:07 pm on May 13th

pmurfe pmurfe writes: Costs vs. returns?
Posted: 9:55 pm on May 13th

jamesbuild jamesbuild writes: looking forward to a great read and the way of the future
Posted: 9:34 pm on May 13th

WHATIF WHATIF writes: This first chapter is awesome! As a non-professional, it makes great sense to me - the way I always thought things should be. The author has a wonderful ability to make complex concepts comprehensible without detracting from their complexity. What if everyone could apply these theories to their own homes? Our world would be an even better place.
Posted: 9:10 pm on May 13th

Hercules_ Hercules_ writes: Very inspiring, I'm working on the plans for mine.
Posted: 9:08 pm on May 13th

rbi_rts rbi_rts writes: Knowledge is power. Looks like a worthwhile book for homeowners, builders and contractors.
Posted: 9:03 pm on May 13th

hinmanl hinmanl writes: I installed a geothermal system; it is saving me money now. Need to do some more items to continue to reduce my load. Considering building new from scratch, this book would be good.
Posted: 8:10 pm on May 13th

saddletrampp saddletrampp writes: about time. i've been converting my own home along these lines.
Posted: 7:39 pm on May 13th

Vancebuilders Vancebuilders writes: Looks like a great book...Hope I win
Posted: 6:36 pm on May 13th

pdonelle pdonelle writes: it would be great to build a house that is self sufficont
Posted: 6:12 pm on May 13th

mojd80 mojd80 writes: I am looking into solar power and would love to win this book for additional options!
Posted: 6:05 pm on May 13th

isitdav isitdav writes: Because I am neither an architect nor a professional nor a builder and deserve it!!!
Posted: 5:32 pm on May 13th

joseparc joseparc writes: This is a good book. I've already purchased a copy. I'm planning on building a zero-net energy house in the forseeable future and have been researching it for a couple of years now and this book has help me to focus some of my thinking.
Posted: 5:29 pm on May 13th

heathchambless heathchambless writes: I would like to win this book.
Posted: 5:28 pm on May 13th

PKerby PKerby writes: I will be the winner of this book. I will read it, enjoy it, then build it.
Posted: 5:24 pm on May 13th

APBuild APBuild writes: As a residential architect, this should be
a required read in school. Technology available now
can make a giant difference one home at a time.
Posted: 5:11 pm on May 13th

jvoorhies jvoorhies writes: I'd love to read this. If I don't win it, I'll probably go ahead and buy it anyway.
Posted: 5:08 pm on May 13th

monsnow monsnow writes: Looks like a fascinating read.
Posted: 4:49 pm on May 13th

nbasener nbasener writes: I'm looking forward to reading the whole book!
Posted: 4:47 pm on May 13th

Jasper_50 Jasper_50 writes: Something that pays for itself is a welcome addition to my library.
Posted: 4:44 pm on May 13th

WoodNovice101 WoodNovice101 writes: Would love to make my home a zero energy home.
Posted: 4:30 pm on May 13th

Elderfmly Elderfmly writes: This book looks interesting!
Posted: 4:11 pm on May 13th

bcarey327 bcarey327 writes: ZEH, Love to retrofit my house to that goal.
Posted: 4:00 pm on May 13th

dcbsky dcbsky writes: Here in California, the energy requirements for homebuilders and homeowners are about to be tightened exponentially. This book could well become essential reading.
Posted: 4:00 pm on May 13th

yummymummy yummymummy writes: My husband and I are planning to do this in 10-15 years. I can hardly wait!
Posted: 3:59 pm on May 13th

p_m p_m writes: We are building net-zero energy houses in Edmonton, Alberta (at the 53rd parallel with -20F winters). This can be done anywhere.
Posted: 3:50 pm on May 13th

jwcwilly jwcwilly writes: Sounds interesting....maybe I'll get some reading done. To be 'zero net energy' would be a dream come true.
Posted: 3:38 pm on May 13th

jsand jsand writes: Saving energy is always a Plus
Posted: 3:30 pm on May 13th

KarmaDesigns KarmaDesigns writes: Preparing to build a new home and I would love to have this book to start the process.
Posted: 3:03 pm on May 13th

catchley catchley writes: Looks like a valuable contribution to better home building. I look forward to reading it.
Posted: 3:02 pm on May 13th

Red-dog Red-dog writes: Agree with other's comments - should be required reading for builders and code officials.
Posted: 3:00 pm on May 13th

WyoGreen WyoGreen writes: Having been involved with alternative energy for many years, this book would be a great addition to my library. So yes, draw my name for the book.
Posted: 2:55 pm on May 13th

woodfin woodfin writes: free book always a good deal
Posted: 2:33 pm on May 13th

Dr.Work Dr.Work writes: Free book? Sign me up!

Posted: 2:26 pm on May 13th

Frauenberger Frauenberger writes: Right on! This is what everyone should be doing, let's spread the word! I could use the book to help me build so pick me! :-)
Posted: 2:21 pm on May 13th

jawemer jawemer writes: Planning on a Net Zero in Iowa for next home! In the process of looking for a lot - hopefully will be LEED Platinum and have a negative HERS index using PVs and Geothermal ~ we'll see. Book would be very helpful!
Posted: 2:15 pm on May 13th

txbrushcountry txbrushcountry writes: looks like a good basic book. I can't wait to read.
Posted: 2:07 pm on May 13th

schindlr schindlr writes: I took my solar contractor test in February, hoping that the state of Florida will reinstate their rebate program.
Posted: 1:41 pm on May 13th

mvbernstein mvbernstein writes: I'd love to read this book to apply to my next project.
Posted: 1:31 pm on May 13th

mdpatsr mdpatsr writes: I have been remodeling a house that started about 100 years ago as a 20X20 structure and has been added to and changed many times since until it is now app, 30X50. As my wife and I are aging we hope to create a home that is far more efficient. We have already dropped our water and electricity significantly and hope to make more changes. I think a zero energy goal should be everyones.
Posted: 1:31 pm on May 13th

fwmal fwmal writes: I would very much like to expand my knowledge and understanding of what goes into a zero energy building and how to best adapt the principles to our fairly severe climate.
Posted: 1:30 pm on May 13th

solefeature solefeature writes: My daughter is investigating building a home. This book would be a great reference and spark a few new ideas for her.
Posted: 1:28 pm on May 13th

JimEngr JimEngr writes: I am seeing more and more design/build companies stressing the energy conservation of new buildings. This book is a good start on making people aware of the benefits of conservation - and eventually designing for zero energy usage.
Posted: 1:19 pm on May 13th

lisa16 lisa16 writes: Our house, built in 1949, needs serious upgrades and energy efficiency is on top of the priority list. Moved here from northern Europe a couple of years ago and miss our comfortable, well insulated house - no draft and nice warm floors... Now I watch all of Europe go towards almost-zero-energy home as a standard. This book would help us make the right choices for our soon-to-start remodeling project.
Posted: 1:17 pm on May 13th

Texastreehouse Texastreehouse writes: Hard to believe that as recently as 1994 houses in a city where you run the AC 8 months out of the year were built with single pane windoews.

Knowledge is a good thing.

Steve in Houston.
Posted: 1:10 pm on May 13th

rfd55923 rfd55923 writes: so many homes, so little time
Posted: 1:10 pm on May 13th

jwzalewski jwzalewski writes: Looks like a pretty good book. Would love to read more.
Posted: 1:06 pm on May 13th

Dwayne Dwayne writes: I wonder if it approaches the subject of what projects will give you the most bang for the buck. I don't have a lot of money and would like to see a return quick. It seems like the investment for most of these projects start at 10K and go up fast. Banks are not offering HELOCs these days. I have heard about a company that installs the PV system and then charges you a fee like the gas/electric company would so you are leasing the system essentially. I am not sure how the numbers add up but in the long run this could be really good for the consumer as other fuel prices go up.
Posted: 1:02 pm on May 13th

pmichelsen pmichelsen writes: Getting ready to start construction on a cabin, this book looks like a must read prior to starting.
Posted: 12:59 pm on May 13th

fdb149 fdb149 writes: I never hear anyone bragging about how much energy their home wastes; always complaints about high heating/cooling bills. This book is a good step in the right direction
Posted: 12:59 pm on May 13th

Ami59 Ami59 writes: One of my goals is to make my property self sufficient. Energy usage is part of this. I am in the process of getting my well going again. I can't do hydro, thermal or wind at my location, but solar is very viable. My only concern on solar is the environmental impact of the solar panel manufacturing and that the last company making them in the US has now outsourced to Asia.
Posted: 12:54 pm on May 13th

Carpenter183 Carpenter183 writes: Looks like a good source of information. I'd love to have this for a class I teach.
Posted: 12:44 pm on May 13th

lfpitts lfpitts writes: We must find other ways to get energy - this oil spill in the Gulf will destroy our way of life for years to come. We need to work smarter! Would love to win your book!
Posted: 12:39 pm on May 13th

CarolBart101 CarolBart101 writes: Would like to implement new ideas in next home construction our company will be doing. Love to win a book on energy!!!
Posted: 12:38 pm on May 13th

sandinsnow sandinsnow writes: Zero energy homes are the future better than pumping thousands of liters of oil in an accident due to money saving companys( more profit for Halliburton, bp and the drilling company) into the gulf of mexico so we have cheap power to waste. When I win the book please do not send it Air mail put it on a train or a boat and think that every thing we do effects our home ( the planet earth)

Posted: 12:36 pm on May 13th

Dubious Dubious writes: Definitely the direction we need to go, but there's no free lunch. Energy independence comes with a cost. I predict it will be a long time before zero-energy homes become mainstream.
Posted: 12:33 pm on May 13th

SAFSteve SAFSteve writes: I've always felt the energy grid was inefficient and that a more localized energy source was a better alternative. I would like to learn more about the zero-energy home and how to incorporate more energy efficiency to the home during the design process.
Posted: 12:33 pm on May 13th

Charles_Shade Charles_Shade writes: Always interested in learning
Posted: 12:25 pm on May 13th

daveW123 daveW123 writes: Recently, I read the "Heat pump, schmeat pump" article in Houses. Was surprised to see the statement that the electric utility grid is 32% efficient (according to Dept of Energy). With that kind of efficiency, ZEH homes make even more sense.
Posted: 12:16 pm on May 13th

Rich_from_Seattle Rich_from_Seattle writes: A free book? Absolutely!
Posted: 12:10 pm on May 13th

RossReedstrom RossReedstrom writes: We have interesting climate challenges down here in humid Houston (where the air is often so thick, you can wear it)
Be interesting to see information addressing these issues.
Posted: 12:04 pm on May 13th

KAJJ KAJJ writes: It has always been my dream to build a zero energy use home. However this will be a huge challenge with so few contractors who have very little interest in these types of projects. I will have to learn it myself and be the supervising contractor and the attached book will be a help I am sure.
Posted: 12:02 pm on May 13th

ChristopherPeck ChristopherPeck writes: We bought a 1973 ranch house in Sonoma County 18 months ago, and though everything is straight and square the house leaks like a sieve. When the wind blows, we feel it. So we're slowly tightening thing up.
The challenge is balancing energy efficiency upgrades with quality of life upgrades. Right now I'm upgrading the bathroom, next is kitchen, then the master bath .... and someday we'll get rid of the sliding glass mirror doors with the gold trim and gold marbling that encloses a closet. Or maybe the faux green brick ....
Thanks to Fine Homebuilding and GBA for all the ideas and thoughts on how to upgrade, much appreciated!
Posted: 11:59 am on May 13th

jslash jslash writes: I'm going to start small. I plan to make my cabin a ZEH. Or would that be ZEC? This book would be a great place to start.
Thanks Fine Homebuilding!

Posted: 11:57 am on May 13th

rap55 rap55 writes: A great collection of valuable information.
Posted: 11:55 am on May 13th

WoodenWilly WoodenWilly writes: I can understand how you can start with new construction to reach the goal but I need to make a 35 year old home a Zero Energy Home.

A book for that challenge would be welcome.
Posted: 11:51 am on May 13th

BurtonResArchitect BurtonResArchitect writes: For an underemployed architect, this would be most welcome.
Posted: 11:48 am on May 13th

ozarkcraftsman ozarkcraftsman writes: I have designed and built two of my homes - both using energy efficient means (solar orientation particularly). I am a big fan of the net zero or toward zero energy built homes. This book appears to add to my knowledge on this type of construction/philosophy. I am looking forward to reading the whole book.
Posted: 11:40 am on May 13th

andrewbusic andrewbusic writes: comment comment comment ---> I would like to win the book, too! <--- comment comment comment
Posted: 11:33 am on May 13th

Mark T Mark T writes: I just finished reading the first chapter of the book: Great! The author couldn't be more correct in the assertion that the older a home the more air gaps there are. I'm in the process of renovating an 1887 Victorian and every window, door, ceiling/wall intersection and wall intercetions have large seperations. My first push is to make sure that structurally things are sound and then I am insullating everything.

I would love to get this book, as it looks like a great resource.
Posted: 11:32 am on May 13th

jgbrownie jgbrownie writes: I've been thinking about buying this book!
Posted: 11:31 am on May 13th

cheilman cheilman writes: I'd be interested in seeing how things have changed since my wife and I built a highly energy efficient home 9 years ago (Energy Star consultant said it was the 2nd tightest house they'd ever tested in the state of WI at the time). I'd still like to add a standing-seam metal roof at some point ;-).
Posted: 11:29 am on May 13th

Andrew_M Andrew_M writes: ZEH should in my mind be public policy. Buildings that no longer are a drain on the energy grid, but contribute to the grid with excess energy. We should all do what we can.
Posted: 11:21 am on May 13th

kapnorth kapnorth writes: Every one should look in their area, always grants for saving energy. This helps the payback of any system

Posted: 11:21 am on May 13th

MikeMcT MikeMcT writes: This would be a fantastic resource as I design our new home and help others move towards energy efficiency.
Posted: 11:20 am on May 13th

steveDIY steveDIY writes: The Mrs. and I are very interested in having a net-zero home. Please pick me!

Posted: 11:19 am on May 13th

dirtriderdan dirtriderdan writes: I look forward to learning more about what I can do to make my home more self sufficient.
Posted: 11:18 am on May 13th

miguel_parent miguel_parent writes: Looks like a great book! I just bought a house, and would love to convert it to a ZEH through time...
Posted: 11:18 am on May 13th

DayOldMeat DayOldMeat writes: Looks like a great book!
Posted: 11:16 am on May 13th

Geonaut Geonaut writes: Interesting stuff in the first part!
We all hear about increasing energy costs, and that requires little explanation, although prices do vary considerably (such as the very low natural gas prices lately).
What is sometimes forgotten is that as more homes are built using Zero Energy methods, the utility companies MUST preserve their margins in the face of declining consumption. This will require higher prices for their remaining customers - all the more reason to embrace Zero Energy Homes and get out of that downward spiral!
Posted: 11:14 am on May 13th

jef_keighley jef_keighley writes: Toward a Zero Energy Home is a timely contribution for those who care about the planet and who want to build now with the future in mind. The writing style is straight forward and engaging. The authors clearly know their stuff and how to communicate it to others. Congratulations!

I look forward to reading Toward a Zero Energy Home in its entirety.

Jef Keighley,
CANSTRUX Design Construction
Halfmoon Bay, BC

Posted: 11:14 am on May 13th

Welds Welds writes: I look forward to building a zero energy home in the near future. This book should be a good reference.
Posted: 11:12 am on May 13th

garyphansen garyphansen writes: Sounds like a great book. Gary P. Hansen
Posted: 11:08 am on May 13th

Col_F Col_F writes: It is truly time for PV technology to be made efficient and affordable for widespread consumer/residential use. Solar technologies are essential for warm climate energy efficiency.
Posted: 11:08 am on May 13th

bsandersga bsandersga writes: I am building an addition to my house; using exterior rigid foam insulation, air tight drywall construction, and vented siding (a first for my neck of the woods in Georgia). After all that is accomplished, I hope to begin adding solar panels and reach energy self sufficiency.
Posted: 11:07 am on May 13th

dougeck dougeck writes: Everyone should be doing this
Posted: 11:05 am on May 13th

EthanB EthanB writes: My father is in the design process of making his home a ZEH so this would be a handy book to have for sure!
Posted: 11:02 am on May 13th

phbarchitects phbarchitects writes: Building using energy efficient strategies not only saves energy costs, but has the added benefit of tax credits! How can you loose?
Posted: 11:02 am on May 13th

jcbluesman jcbluesman writes: This should be assigned reading for every home builder and potential home buyer in this country. The least expensive energy, is energy saved. Personally, I would not build a house unless the goal was a ZEH. Think of where our nation would be today, if this intelligent approach was implemented over the last 30 years.
Posted: 11:01 am on May 13th

drews578 drews578 writes: I really want to build a net-zero home for my family someday. Please select me :)
Posted: 11:01 am on May 13th

jarvis16 jarvis16 writes: First chapter is a good start - haven't read a Taunton book I didn't like.
Posted: 10:59 am on May 13th

panamamama panamamama writes: What a cool book!
Posted: 10:57 am on May 13th

Finlandia1 Finlandia1 writes: Hope to win!
Posted: 10:55 am on May 13th

natgas natgas writes: In the long term, as energy costs continue to rise, these building technologies will become commonplace.
Posted: 10:54 am on May 13th

Andrew_F Andrew_F writes: I obtained my LEED certification in part because I would like to build low energy and possibly zero energy homes; this looks like a great book!
Posted: 10:53 am on May 13th

Bob2RAN Bob2RAN writes: Congrats to the Authors and to for this promotion. This is a very effective way to spread the word on an important topic. You should give away several, so you have even more happy winners ;-)
Posted: 10:48 am on May 13th

Joe_Pessell Joe_Pessell writes: Can't wait to read this!
Posted: 10:45 am on May 13th

cw4044 cw4044 writes: I love trying to reach peak energy efficiency!
Posted: 10:44 am on May 13th

crawfordk crawfordk writes: Anxious to read! Off the grid what a concept. Save money,
save the planet. Wise use of construction.
Posted: 10:43 am on May 13th

clayandnancy clayandnancy writes: We built a timberframe 5 years ago and used SIP's and put in Geo-Thermal. I have been looking to add either or both solar and wind energy sources. Also I look for other ways to save on energy and this book would be a great help. Thanks
Posted: 10:38 am on May 13th

Upsalan Upsalan writes: We will be starting construction on a new home in South Dakota a little over a year from now. We plan to incorporate as many energy saving components as possible. The utility serving our property offers many incentives to be a ZEH so we are looking forward to working with them to achieve that goal. If I don't win the book, I will definitely buy it.
Posted: 10:37 am on May 13th

Geoff_Briggs Geoff_Briggs writes: Taunton’s books are almost always approachable, easy to read and well organized. Many have become go-to references. Looks like I may be adding this one to that list.
Posted: 10:35 am on May 13th

jem4752 jem4752 writes: I recently read the article in the March 2010 issue of Fine Homebuilding on Zero energy homes. I am looking forward to the book as well. My experience with energy conservation goes back to 1984 when I built my personal residence in central Fla using a plan provided by FP&L. This new book should be a great resource.
Posted: 10:34 am on May 13th

RONelson RONelson writes: I am always facinated in reading about ways of improving the built environment, and - by what I've read of the first chapter - this will be an excellent resource...
Posted: 10:25 am on May 13th

oiznor oiznor writes: energy efficient home are the way of the future. Think what it will cost to rehab those that are not built to high efficiency standard in the not to distant future.
Posted: 10:20 am on May 13th

contejoseph contejoseph writes: Would love to explore ways to get off of the grid. I try to do what I can currently and would love to learn more ways to be efficient.
Posted: 10:19 am on May 13th

David10 David10 writes: Serious first chapter - I'll take it, and send my winner to a friend. Peak oil in a construction book - wonderful!
Posted: 7:50 pm on May 12th

dugan1 dugan1 writes: sounds like a very helpfull book

Posted: 7:17 pm on May 12th

mrsludge mrsludge writes: I definitely follow all the superinsulation and renewable energy articles in the mag. Interested to see how they attack this from a return-on-investment perspective.
Posted: 2:27 pm on May 12th

AdrienneBurt AdrienneBurt writes: Their previous book, Green from the Ground Up was a great, no-nonsense primer on green building. Highly recommend it for both building professionals and homeowners.
Posted: 9:16 am on May 12th

swiftsureenergy swiftsureenergy writes: This looks like a great book. Looking forward to reading it. I hope that people will realize the importance of energy efficiency in the home, and how easy it is to do. I'm just getting involved myself. We do energy audits. Love to get your comments at

Hope I get the book!
Posted: 11:46 pm on May 11th

mark122 mark122 writes: hope that this can be my house sometime. absolutely the best 25-30k investment!
Posted: 4:58 pm on May 11th

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