Thomas J. Elpel started his building career from a tent in 1989. Twenty-one years old and newly married, Tom and Renee Elpel bought land, moved into a tent, and started building their passive solar stone and log dream home, although they had little construction experience and even less money. But they read books and learned through hands-on experience, completing their home for approximately what most people would spend on a new car. Elpel has continued to refine his ideas on low-cost, high-efficiency construction ever since, designing and building, or participating in the construction, of several additional stone, log, and strawbale buildings. Tom was inspired to write Living Homes in part to show that it is still possible to live the American Dream - to own a great home without a mortgage. Tom is continuing to hone his building skills, with the goal of developing ways to mass-produce and market low-cost, high-efficiency homes. When he is not building, writing, or trying to change the world, he spends much of his free time hiking and camping in the wilderness. His most recent book, Roadmap to Reality (2010), explores the relationships between self-awareness, spiritual consciousness, and the historical development of technologies.
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