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Books about the future of Ecological Architecture
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45 Ecological Architecture

. Books about the future of Ecological Architecture

EcoDesign: A Manual for Ecological Design
by Ken Yeang

Saving the environment from continued devastation by our built environment is the single most important issue for our tomorrow, feeding into our post-millennial fears that this third millennium will indeed be our last.

Ken Yeang reconstructs and revisions how and why our current design approach and perception of architecture must radically change if we are to ensure a sustainable future. He argues forcefully that this can only be achieved by adopting the environmentalist’s view that, aesthetics apart, regards our environment simply as an assembly of materials (mostly transported over long distances), that are transciently concentrated on to a single locality and used for living, working and leisure whose footprints affect that locality’s ecology and whose eventual disposal has to be accommodated somewhere in the biosphere.

This manual offers clear instructions to designers on how to design, build and use a green sustainable architecture. The aim is to produce and maintain ecosystem-like structures and systems whose content and outputs not only integrate benignly with the natural environment, but whose built form and systems function with sensitivity to the locality’s ecology as well in relation to global biospheric processes, and contribute positively to biodiversity (as opposed to reducing it). The goal is structures and systems that are low consumers of non-renewable resources, built with materials that have low ecological consequences and are designed to facilitate disassembly, continuous reuse and recycling a (a cyclic process that mimics the way ecosystems recycle materials), and that at the end of their useful lives can be reintegrated seamlessly back into the natural environment. Each of these aspects (and other attendant ones) is examined in detail with regards to how they influence design and planning.

Ecodesign provides designers with a comprehensive set of strategies for approaching ecological design and planning combined with in-depth analysis and research material not found elsewhere.

The Whole House Book
by Pat Borer (Illustrator), Cindy Harris (Author), Graham Preston (Illustrator), Benedicte Foo (Author)

This is probably the best book for an overview of the principles of environmental design. It's very readable and well illustrated with a wide range of examples given. It's irritating that the price is so high, but it's definitely worth forking out for it if you are serious about eco-building.

Ecohouse: a Design Guide
by Susan Roaf (Author), Manuel Fuentes (Author), Stephanie Thomas (Author)

Learn about the key issues of form and construction in Eco house design around the world -Gain an understanding of building materials and their energy and environmental impacts – now essential for both student and practitioner -Theory is shown in practice with 21 case-studies from around the world Ecohouse is an exciting and timely text that tells you how to design low energy, environmentally friendly buildings today. It also provides the foundations for building design in a warming world, and stepping stones towards the zero-carbon emission buildings of tomorrow.

Sustainable Design: Ecology, Architecture, and Planning
by Daniel E. Williams (Author), David W. Orr (Foreword), Donald Watson (Foreword)

Meeting the Challenge of Sustainable Design

"Daniel Williams's Sustainable Design is . . . a thoroughly practical call for the design professions to take the next steps toward transformation of the human prospect toward a future that is sustainable and sustaining of the best in human life lived in partnership not domination." - From the Foreword by David W. Orr, the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Chair of the Environmental Studies Program at Oberlin College

"In this pioneering book, Daniel Williams provides the sort of intelligent, thoughtful, experienced insights that--if followed--will ensure that we make the right choices. It should be on the desk of every architect in the world." - Denis Hayes, president and CEO of the Bullitt Foundation and coordinator of the first Earth Day in 1970

Architects identify "sustainability" as the most important change in the future of their profession. Sustainable Design: Ecology, Architecture, and Planning is a practical, comprehensive guide to design and plan a built environment compatible with the region's economic, social, and ecological patterns.

In this book, Daniel Williams challenges professionals to rethink architecture and to see their projects not as objects but as critical, connected pieces of the whole, essential to human health as well as to regional economy and ecology. Comprehensive in scope, Sustainable Design answers key questions such as:

How do I begin thinking and designing ecologically?

Unified Design
by Arup Associates (Author), Paul Brislin (Editor)

The book exemplifies Arup Associates vision of the state of architecture, as demonstrated by current and future projects of the practice. It is divided into three sections: an explanation of unified design; a demonstration of the sustainable agenda that is a the heart of this practice, and a complementary series of essays by respected commentators outside of the practice that place the vision of people-focused design in the context of other critical social thought. The content of the book is a straightforward, critical reflection on contemporary architecture - a manifesto of sorts, polemical in parts, philosophical; and determined to set an honest agenda. The objective is to have a straight-talking, hands-on quality: this is the strength of the book, and its attraction for readers.

The New Ecological Home
by Dan Chiras

As homeowners become more environmentally savvy and demand ecological choices, a new generation of architects and builders is emerging, intent on creating warm and inviting homes that cause only a fraction of the environmental impact of conventional building methods. Dan Chiras’ The New Ecological Home provides an overview of green building techniques, materials, products and technologies that are either currently available or promise to be in the near future.

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
by William McDonough (Author), Michael Braungart (Author)

Paper or plastic? Neither, say William McDonough and Michael Braungart. Why settle for the least harmful alternative when we could have something that is better--say, edible grocery bags! In Cradle to Cradle, the authors present a manifesto calling for a new industrial revolution, one that would render both traditional manufacturing and traditional environmentalism obsolete. Recycling, for instance, is actually "downcycling," creating hybrids of biological and technical "nutrients" which are then unrecoverable and unusable. The authors, an architect and a chemist, want to eliminate the concept of waste altogether, while preserving commerce and allowing for human nature. They offer several compelling examples of corporations that are not just doing less harm--they're actually doing some good for the environment and their neighborhoods, and making more money in the process. Cradle to Cradle is a refreshing change from the intractable environmental conflicts that dominate headlines. It's a handbook for 21st-century innovation and should be required reading for business hotshots and environmental activists. - Therese Littleton

Buildings of Earth and Straw: Structural Design for Rammed Earth and Straw-Bale Architecture
by Bruce King

Chelsea Green's The Rammed Earth House and The Straw Bale House chronicle the possibilities and realities of straw bale and rammed earth construction. Buildings of Earth and Straw fills in the gaps for professional builders, contractors, engineers, inspectors, lenders, and architectural students. It includes special construction requirements of earth and straw, design capabilities and limitations of these materials, and documentation of testing data for use in addressing the concerns of officials. This book offers the nuts and bolts of rammed earth and straw bale building techniques, and why they are so spectacular, durable, and earth-friendly.

The HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design
by Sandra F. Mendler (Author), William Odell (Author), Mary Ann Lazarus (Author)

The practical reference guide on the integration of sustainable, high performance design covers major sustainability issues on an introductory level. Newly updated, this edition emphasizes the project process, cost implications, case studies, and lessons learned from HOK's wide range of project experiences. You'll find:

  • Coverage of issues and design strategies related to site planning and design, energy and water conservation, materials selection and specification, and interior environmental quality.
  • Concise checklists of issues to consider at each stage of the design process, accompanied by detailed how-to guidance.
  • New chapters on post occupancy evaluations and greening your practice.
  • A detailed glossary of terms.


Experimental Eco Design: Architecture / Fashion / Product
by Cara Brower, Rachel Mallory, Zachary Ohlman

A showcase of outstanding and innovative work that shows that EcoDesign needn't mean dull design
This book highlights new ways of thinking about sustainable design, while showcasing innovative product.
It is a collection of outstanding, innovative product, graphic, fashion, and environment designs. The thoughts of the world's leading designers - Ezio Manzini (Italy), Ed Van Hinte (the Netherlands), Droog members Richard Hutten (the Netherlands) and Bless (France), Tom Dixon (UK), Jan Dranger (Sweden) and Edwin Datschefski (UK) - provide a grounding in the materials, methods, and processes behind outstanding projects: their work provides visual inspiration for innovative design.

Experimental EcoDesign offers inspirational reading for anyone interested in green design also coming with an extensive directory of sources of materials, manufacturers, design studios, and organizations.

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