Ecological Design

Ecological Design

Author(s): Sim Van Der Ryn, Stuart Cowan

Publisher: Island Press

ISBN: 1559633883

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Hardcover, 200 pages

Ecological Design presents a vision of how the living world and the human world can be rejoined by taking ecology as the basis for design–adapting and integrating human design with natural processes. The authors weave together case studies, personal anecdotes, images and theory to provide a thorough treatment of the concept of ecological design.

Card catalog description
Ecological design, the marriage of nature and technology, can be applied at all levels of scale to create revolutionary forms of buildings, landscapes, cities, and technologies. Some examples include sewage treatment plants that use constructed marshes to purify water; agricultural systems that mimic and merge with their surrounding landscapes; industrial ecosystems in which waste from one productive process becomes fuel for the next. The authors weave together case studies, personal anecdotes, dialogues, images, and theory to provide a thorough treatment of the concept of ecological design. In the process, they present and explain a series of design principles that can help build a sustainable world with increased efficiency, fewer toxics, less pollution, and healthier natural systems. –This text refers to the paperback edition of this title.

Table of Contents
Pt. 1. Bringing Design to Life

  • Sustainability and Design
  • An Introduction to Ecological Design
  • Nature’s Geometry

Pt. 2. The Ecological Design Process

  • Introduction: The Compost Privy Story
  • First Principle: Solutions Grow from Place
  • Second Principle: Ecological Accounting Informs Design
  • Third Principle: Design with Nature
  • Fourth Principle: Everyone Is a Designer
  • Fifth Principle: Make Nature Visible

Resource Guide for Ecological Design

Drawn from African Dwellings

Drawn from African Dwellings

Drawn from African Dwellings

Author(s): Jean-Paul Bourdier, T. Minh-Ha Trinh, Trinh T. Minh-Ha

Publisher: Indiana Univ Press

ISBN: 0253330432

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“… an elegant and lyrical work…. It opens up our understanding of space and built environments in new and exciting ways.” — Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review

“The book offers marvellous drawings of complex patterns of structure, design and object, coupled with connections to the daily lives of the inhabitants. In itself, this book is an essential addition to what Indiana University Press has aptly described as ‘the understanding of vernacular architecture’.” — West Africa

“… a magnificent achievement; [the authors] set an objective and a standard in vernacular architecture research which is without parallel. The text is clear and careful, sensitive to the cultures yet quietly rigorous. The drawings are outstanding and have been exceptionally well reproduced in a book whose quality of production matches that of the content.” — Paul Oliver

“… a lasting monument to African architectures…. a fine creation, a collage of marvelous graphic images, earnest research, good writing, careful thinking.” — Henry Glassie

“Scholars are realizing how important it is to provide a rich, thick cultural and social setting when they attempt to explore art…. This book does that for architecture.” — Patrick R. McNaughton

“… will be regarded as an important contribution to the understanding of vernacular architecture.” — Berkeley Tri-City Post

“… a stunning piece of work… An important contribution to architecture…” — FIST, Afrocentric On-line Magazine

“The photographs and drawings are fascinating. ” — The New Brunswick Reader

Architect Jean-Paul Bourdier and cultural critic and filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha take us into the traditionally built dwellings of African society in this richly illustrated book. Through this “life-in-architecture” we see material evidence of a culture, its socio-economic and cosmological organization, its way of living, and its world view.

About the Author

JEAN-PAUL BOURDIER, Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, is the editor and co-founder of Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review. TRINH T. MINH-HA, Professor in the Departments of Women’s Studies and Film Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of a number of books, including Woman, Native, Other. Her films are Reassemblage, Naked Spaces — Living Is Round, Surname Viet Given Name Nam, Shoot for the Contents, and A Tale of Love.

Daylighting for Sustainable Design

Daylighting for Sustainable Design

Author(s): Mary Guzowski

Hardcover: 448 pages

Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; 1 edition (October 11, 1999)

ISBN-10: 0070254397

ISBN-13: 978-0070254398

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Daylighting is a key element of sustainable design. First, it reduces the need for artificial lighting — often the largest energy use in commercial buildings. Second, daylighting is primarily design-dependent with little additional material expense. Third, daylighting offers a wide range of benefits including energy savings, improved health, better aesthetics as well as higher productivity and sales. These benefits make daylighting one of the most popular features in modern buildings.

Daylighting for Sustainable Design offers practical strategies and techniques for a wide range of building types. Throughout, the author uses illustrations and photos (many in color) to demonstrate key points. The book is filled with examples, including office buildings, hospitals, libraries, private homes and more.

Daylighting for Sustainable Design goes far beyond the architecture and technology of daylighting. Part I addresses environmental considerations that affect the design, including the apparent motion of the sun, sky conditions and other characteristics of the local climate. Guzowski also identifies ways that daylighting can contribute heat, electricity, plant growth, waste processing and even food production. Part III delves into human considerations such as visual comfort, light therapy, contact between humans, human interaction with the building and the connection to the outside environment. Sandwiched in the middle, Part II describes architectural issues such as building forms and massing, windows and appropriate technology.

449 pages, 2000

“Her vision is worldwide and her palette is rich: Light. Architecture. Color. Health. Design. Plants. Energy. Time. Reflection. Shading. Comfort. Form. Economy. Weather. Nature. Heat. Seasons…. Mary Guzowski is showing us the way back to an appropriate, balanced and beautiful world. She brings light into our lives.

— From the foreword by Malcolm Wells, author of Gentle Architecture

“This specific tie of daylighting to larger questions of sustainable design is unique… useful and revealing.”

— John Reynolds, University of Oregon, coauthor of Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings

The Cottage Book

The Cottage BookAuthor(s): Richard Sexton

Publisher: Chronicle Books

ISBN: 0877015139

ISBN-13: 978-0877015130

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Richard Sexton, who himself lives in a small hillside cottage overlooking the city by the bay, has translated his passion for these quaint, rustic, and informal dwellings into a volume of captivating color images. You can live the cottage life vicariously through Sexton; his photographs have an almost three-dimensional feel that gives you the sense of being there. Picturing yourself having lunch on the deck of a houseboat shown in these pages is a breeze, for he is a master of lighting and mood.

Customer Comments

A reader from Trenton, New Jersey , 04/13/98, rating=9:
A mini-vacation between two hard covers. An informative, enjoyable, aesthetically pleasing book about the cottages and cottage styles of San Francisco. The first chapter tells the story of how San Francisco cottages developed, and then specific cottages are showcased. Many views are of the exteriors, but some include interior photos with the homeowners’ stories and quotes. Many individual cottages and styles are shown, providing variety and a feast for the eye. This book is a great get-away when you can’t actually get away, and leads to very pleasant daydreaming. –This text refers to the hardcover edition of this title.

Courtyards: Aesthetic, Social, and Thermal Delight

Courtyards: Aesthetic, Social, and Thermal Delight

Author(s): John Reynolds

Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (November 15, 2001)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0471398845

ISBN-13: 978-0471398844
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Courtyards are special areas that allow the inside and outside to mingle; where rain, wind, daylight, darkness and sound can be showcased. Simply, they are niches of beauty and solace. Since at least 3000 B.C., courtyards have been incorporated into the architecture of the day as a significant part of the physical and cultural landscape. Today, the courtyard continues to be an evolving and popular aspect of design through which landscapers and designers can create privacy amidst increased property development.

Most people have seen the beauty of a courtyard or have experienced its social benefits, but very few studies have shown how successful courtyards are at cooling. Reynolds career-long interest in energy use, especially solar energy, is on display in the chapter on climate and comfort. Here and throughout the book, he addresses energy issues in both quality and quantity.

Courtyards presents a survey of courtyards, contemporary design guidelines and a diverse selection of examples. You will acquire a basic understanding of the balance that must exist between garden and building, including practical advice for planting.

Part One presents the characteristics of courtyards, including classifications, plants, orientation, exposure, materials and changes over time. Part Two offers a tour of some particular courtyards in Spain and Mexico, including details on thermal performance and responses to the urban environment. This section is generously supplemented with 50 color photographs. Part Three presents design guidelines, including day-night temperature ranges, zoning regulations, proportions and innovative proposals incorporating driveways and uses of rainwater.

John Reynolds is a professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Oregon. He has been actively involved in the American Solar Energy Society for many years and served as its president.

242 pages, 2002

Circle Houses

Circle Houses

Author(s): David Pearson

Publisher: Chelsea Green (October 1, 2001)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1890132861

ISBN-13: 978-1890132866

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Nature is filled with circles and animal homes are no exception. From bird nests to beaver lodges, it’s difficult for find an angle. Nomadic people continued the pattern. Round-shaped homes, echoing natural forms, have sheltered human families since the dawn of recorded time. Given this bias toward circles, it’s surprising how unusual circular houses are in industrialized society. In our disconnected world, the circle has given way to the box.

As David Pearson explains in his introduction, “Like our nomadic ancestors, many of us have a deep yearning to roam with the seasons and be close to nature and the cosmos. The traditional forms of the yurt, tipi and bender are the apogee of this experience. . . . Nomadic populations live in some of the most inhospitable and barren regions of the world and this is why they are nomads. Whether it be the deserts of the Sahara and Gobi, the steppes of Mongolia, or the polar tundras, these vast areas are either too hot and arid or too cold and windswept to be cultivated. An African grass-covered hut, a Romany gypsy ‘bender,’ an Asian yurt, or a Native American tipi are all perfect lessons in appropriate design and sustainable building. Refined over generations, they are simple yet sophisticated, beautiful and comfortable.”

Remarkable for their economy, resilience and portability, these structures have continued to exert a powerful appeal in modern times. And beyond practicality, what the circle dwellers in this book speak of most eloquently is the incomparable spiritual resonance of round homes, which “represent the universe in microcosm: the floor (Earth), the roof (sky), and the hole in the roof (the sun).”

Circle Houses is a fascinating glimpse of tradition meeting timelessness, filled with stories of 21st-century nomads and complete with basic instructions for designing and constructing your own yurt, tipi or bent-frame tent.

About the Author David Pearson is an architect and the author of several acclaimed books on natural design.

Hardcover, 95 pages

The Lighting Pattern Book for Homes

The Lighting Pattern Book for HomesAuthor(s): Russell P. Leslie, Kathryn M. Conway

Publisher: McGraw Hill Text
ISBN: 0070380791

ISBN-13: 978-0070380790

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The Lighting Pattern Book for Homes

2nd Edition
Hardcover, 208 pages
Publication date: November 1996

The complete, authoritative residential lighting resource, from the largest research center in the world, supplies all the practical designs, details, and plans architects need to select, design, and install efficient lighting that suits both aesthetic and economic needs. Filled with hundreds of photos and sketches, this book explains and illustrates all common lighting techniques

Table of Contents
How To Use This Book
People, Energy, and Light
Appendix. Ballasts and Power Quality
Associations and Further Reading

Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth (New Catalyst Bioregional Series)

Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth (New Catalyst Bioregional Series)

Author(s): Mathis Wackernagel, William Rees, Phil Testemale (Illustrator)

Publisher: New Society Publishers

ISBN: 086571312X

ISBN-13: 978-0865713123

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Publication date: July 1, 1998

Reducing Human Impact on Earth; down to earth concepts and simple math…a great resource!

from Masai, Johor, Malaysia, 09/07/97, rating=8:
Thought provoking, jolts one from the rat race… I stumbled upon this book in the journal D&G, at a time I was thinking hard about the direction of the civilization. So I ordered one. It was an unassuming book, neatly printed and illustrated with black and white caricatures. At first I thought it was a mistake to order such a book. But as I read on, the insights of the authors emerged, so profound, yet so simply explained. Really, after swallowing all the contents for five consecutive nights, one will ask, How come I did not think of this??. The concept is vivid : it tried to explain what the ecological footprint means : how much of land is required to support yourself. And it turned out that there is already not enough for the world. Further proliferation of current lifestyles is suicidal. The authors devoted a whole long chapter on proposals of alternative lifestyles. These are nowhere hardcore technical, rest assured. They are blindingly simple, and yet hard to swallow. Just ask any Tom, Dick and Harry whether he or she wants such a life, you will get an awkward stare : are you in your right mind? The authors may be right, but when we have gone so far astray, we have forgotten the road from which we come. This book cannot score 10 points, though. The examples on how an economy can develop without growth are not solid enough. While the writers are not economists, to force the reader to think twice about current lifestyles, they must fork out a marvellous thesis, which has yet to be clearly stated. This is a good book at the introductory level. Although it sometimes touch on the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the reader is not expected to have an a priori understanding. It’s explanation is vivid and simple. While it may insult Professors and those high brow academics, it is a book easy to follow. Worth a try.

Ecological Design and Planning (Center Books on Contemporary Landscape Design)

Ecological Design and Planning (Center Books on Contemporary Landscape Design)

Author(s): George F. Thompson (Editor), Frederick R. Steiner (Editor)

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0471156140

ISBN-13: 978-0471156147

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Ecological Design and Planning (Wiley Series in Sustainable Design)

Publication date: March 1997

Card catalog description
The common thread that runs through these essays is the authors’ conviction that the growing rift in landscape design – ecology vs. aesthetics – is an artificial one. Each author expresses abiding concern for the ecological preservation and enhancement of the site, while demonstrating clearly – with both words and pictures – that the best designs are those that harmonize aesthetic form and ecological function. Ecological Design and Planning is a source of ideas and inspiration for landscape architects and planners, architects, and all those who understand the importance of designing with nature.

The publisher, John Wiley & Sons:
This collection of essays on ecological landscape design and planning stresses the preservation and enhancement of the site’s ecological function. It discusses a central issue of the field–the incorporation of ecological principles into landscape design and planning. It addresses the growing rift in landscape design–ecology vs. aesthetics–is an artificial one. Each author expresses abiding concern for the ecological perservation and enhancement of the site, while demonstrating clearly–with both words and pictures–that the best designs are those that harmonize aesthetic form and ecological function.

Table of Contents

  • Landscape Ecological Planning (F Ndubisi)
  • The Expanded Field of Landscape Architecture (E Meyer)
  • Ecology and Landscape as Agents of Creativity (J Corner)
  • Landscape Design and Nature (L Olin)


  • Landscape Architecture and the Changing City (M Laurie)
  • Ecology and the Urban Aesthetic (M Johnson)
  • Bioregional Planning and Ecosystem Protection (C Reiniger)
  • Signature-Based Landscape Design (J Woodward)


  • Beyond Stewardship Toward Partnership (SSchauman)
  • Fostering Living Landscapes (C Franklin)
  • Images of an Ideal Landscape and the Consequences for Design and Planning (M Vroom)
  • Ecology and Design (I McHarg)


Daylighting Performance and Design

Daylighting Performance and Design

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Hardcover: 256 pages

ISBN: 0471286613

ISBN-13: 978-0471286615

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Daylighting Performance and Design


This step-by-step manual shows you how to incorporate daylighting into your building designs. Daylighting Performance and Design first explains the fundamentals of daylighting and then surveys nine design strategies. There is a complete discussion of ways to integrate daylight with electric lighting. Daylighting design tools include a series of worksheets for manual calculations and a thorough discussion of three top computer programs. More than two dozen other computer design and evaluation tools are listed. There’s even a section dedicated to physical modeling using a sky simulator.

Case studies of retail, office, institutional and industrial buildings tie it all together. Each one includes plan and elevation drawings along with several photographs of the completed building. Performance results are presented for each case study. The appendices provide technical data on weather and materials. One extremely useful appendix presents a parametric analysis of daylighting for a standard building in six representative locations in the U.S. Using the DOE-2 computer program, dozens of performance parameters were calculated, including energy used for lighting and HVAC, along with capital cost and payback.

From evaluation to execution, Daylighting Performance and Design is a catalog of strategies, materials and methods. It makes theory, calculations and execution crystal clear with straight-to-the-solution examples and uncluttered language.