Building with Vision: Optimizing and Finding Alternatives to Wood

Author: Dan Imhoff

ISBN: 097095000

Order From: Amazon
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Building with Vision: Optimizing and Finding Alternatives to Wood

The United States has both the rare fortune and the dubious distinction of being among the only industrialized nations to use wood as its primary material for residential buildings. While other developed countries have evolved masonry and other building systems not reliant on wood, on average, a full acre of trees is consumed to build just one house in the United States. And, for every twenty houses built, enough waste is typically left over to frame another house.

Combining environmental philosophy, practical information, and dynamic visuals, Building with Vision makes accessible many solutions to wasteful tree-dependent construction and design. In addition to identifying the benefits, challenges, and applications of the recommended alternatives to contemporary American construction, this book details building methods to minimize wood waste, maximize efficiency, and emphasize the unique aesthetic properties of non-wood materials.

Part resource guide, part photo essay, this 136-page gem features beautifully composed, nearly tactile photographs that bring to life an array of alternative materials. Case studies highlight successful building projects that utilize innovative and effective framing, siding, insulation, roofing, and finishing materials and techniques.

Building systems featured include Rastra, a new kind of interlocking block made of recovered Styrofoam packaging; Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) made of plywood, OSB, or strawboard with a thick foam core; and a variety of “Eco-Crete,” super-insulating concrete systems. A wide range of finish materials are discussed as well: panel board made from agricultural crop waste, flooring derived from used tires, natural linoleum and certified woods, and cement countertops embedded with finds from the urban waste stream.

“This book can be a lifesaver for trees and our limited architectural horizons. It invites challenges to its critiques. Let the debate begin.” — Ralph Nader

“Building with Vision is timely and extremely useful, a must-have resource for every architectural studio across the country.” — Sim Van der Ryn architect, director of the Ecological Design Institute

About the Author Dan Imhoff has authored dozens of articles and essays on issues ranging from forest conservation and paper production to the global economy, sustainable agriculture, and green building. Imhoff’s articles have appeared in Sierra, Saveur, Whole Earth, Communication Arts, Orion Afield, and many books and journals. With his wife and two children, he lives part-time in an off-the-grid home produced with many certified and salvaged, wood and non-wood materials.

Born in Parma, Italy, Roberto Carra is an internationally renowned photographer, graphic designer, and art director.

softcover :: 9″ x 8″ :: 136 pages, color photographs :: b/w photographs bibliography :: resource list

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