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Like the Solar Living Center itself, this book was created by a team of cutting-edge architects, back-to-the-landers from the Mendocino hills, artists and blue collar tradespeople. A Place in the Sun: The Evolution of the Real Goods Solar Living Center tells the story of an unusual building project, completed in an innovative manner, by an irresistible collection of people.

Business is rarely the model for inspiration. Small businesses, especially, need to continually re-invest capital resources and usually have little left for setting good examples. When Real Goods Trading Corporation sold stock to the public, however, its offering memorandum promised to create a physical demonstration site of the products, technologies, and way of life described by the phrase "solar living."

The Real Goods Solar Living Center, which opened in Hopland, California, in June 1996, embodies the building materials, landscaping techniques, renewable energy technologies, and human design processes that future generations will take for granted. Its massive earth-covered walls built of straw bales, whimsical "living structures," an automobile graveyard where trees "drive-through" cars (for a change), and the nation's largest solar calendar, have already surprised and delighted many thousands of visitors.

Contributors to the building project as well as the book include John Schaeffer, Stephen Morris, Stephanie Kotin, Christopher Tebbutt, Baile Oakes, Nancy Hensley, Bruce King, Jeff Oldham and Sim Van der Ryn.

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