The Production of Houses (Center for Environmental Structure Series)

The Production of HousesThe Production of Houses

Author(s): Christopher Alexander, Julio. Martinez, Howard Davis

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0195032233

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As an innovative thinker about building and planning, Christopher Alexander has attracted a devoted following. His seminal books–The Timeless Way of Building, A Pattern Language, the Oregon Experiment, and The Linz Cafe–defined a radical and fundamently new process of environmental design. Alexander now gives us the latest book in his series–a book that puts his theories to the test and shows what sort of production system can create the kind of environment he has envisioned.
The Production of Houses centers around a group of buildings which Alexander and his associates built in 1976 in northern Mexico. Each house is different and the book explains how each family helped to lay out and construct its own home according to the family’s own needs and in the framework of the pattern language. Numerous diagrams and tables as well as a variety of anecdotes make the day-today process clear.
The Mexican project, however, is only the starting point for a comprehensive theory of housing production. The Production of Houses describes seven principles which apply to any system of production in any part of the world for housing of any cost in any climate or culture or at any density.
In the last part of the book, “The Shift of Paradigm,” Alexander describes, in detail, the devastating nature of the revolution in world view which is contained in his proposal for housing construction, and its overall implications for deep-seated cultural change.

About the Author

Christopher Alexander, winner of the first medal for research ever awarded by the American Institute of Architects, is a practicing architect and contractor, Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Center for Environmental Structure. He also wrote Notes on the Synthesis of Form.

 

Hardcover
Publication date: May 1984

Passive Solar Buildings (Solar Heat Technologies : Fundamentals and Applications, Vol 7)

Passive Solar Buildings (Solar Heat Technologies : Fundamentals and Applications, Vol 7)Author(s): J. Douglas Balcomb (Editor)

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262023415

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Passive Solar Buildings (Solar Heat Technologies : Fundamentals and Applications, Vol 7)

Hardcover, 534 pages
Publication date: August 1992

Booknews, Inc, 12/01/92:
This companion to Passive cooling and Solar building architecture covers passive solar heating of residential and commercial buildings. The information is primarily analytical and quantitative. About half the volume is devoted to quantitative methods for modeling, simulation, and design analysis of passive buildings; the other half summarizes the quantitative results of testing and monitoring of models and buildings. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Table of Contents
Series Foreword By Charles A. Bankston
1. Introduction By J. Douglas Balcomb
2. Building Solar Gain Modeling By Patrick J. Burns
3. Simulation Analysis By Philip W. B. Niles
4. Simplified Methods By G. F. Jones, William O. Wray
5. Materials and Components By Timothy E. Johnson
6. Analytical Results for Specific Systems By Robert W. Jones
7. Test Modules By Fuller Moore
8. Building Integration By Michael J. Holtz
9. Performance Monitoring and Results By Donald J. Frey
10. Design Tools By John S. Reynolds
Contributors
Index

How Buildings Learn : What Happens After They’re Built

Cover, How Buildings Learn : What Happens After They're Built

Author(s): Stewart Brand

Publisher: Penguin USA (Paper)

ISBN: 0140139966

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Reprint Edition
Paperback Publication date: October 1995

From Kirkus Reviews , 04/15/94:
Brand, founder of The Whole Earth Catalog and CoEvolution Quarterly, launches a populist attack on rarefied architectural conventions. A hippy elder statesman (once one of Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters), Brand argues that a building can “grow” and should be treated as a “Darwinian mechanism,” something that adapts over time to meet certain changing needs. His humanistic insights grew out of a university seminar he taught in 1988. Catchy anti- establishment phrases abound: “Function reforms form, perpetually,” or “Form follows funding.” Thomas Jefferson, a “high road” builder, is shown to have tinkered his Monticello into a masterpiece over a lifetime. Commercial structures, Brand says, are “forever metamorphic,” as a garage-turned-boutique demonstrates. Photo spreads with smart and chatty captions trace the evolutions of buildings as they adopt new “skins.” Pointedly, architects Sir Richard Rogers (designer of the Pompidou Centre in Paris) and I.M. Pei (the Wiesner Building, aka the Media Lab at MIT) are taken to task for designing monumental flops that deny occupants’ needs. Later sections track the social meanings of preservationism and celebrate vernacular traditions worldwide (e.g., the Malay house of Malaysia; pueblo architecture; the 18th- century Cape Cod House). Brand also documents his own unique habitats. He lives with his wife in a converted tugboat and houses his library in a metal self-storage container. Here, as throughout, Brand’s self-reliant voice rings true–that of an engaging, intellectual crank. Brand makes a case for letting people shape their own environments. His crunchy-granola insights bristle with an undeniable pragmatism. — Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:
All kinds of structures–domestic, commercial, institutional–are examined as they change with time and with varied usage in this fascinating, vividly accessible book that beckons toward a new frontier in architecture. 340 illustrations and photos.

Like people, buildings change with age, forced to adapt to the needs of current occupations. This provocative examination of buildings that have adapted well, and some that haven’t, calls for a dramatic rethinking in the way new buildings are designed, one that allows structures to grow and change easily with the environment. Photos.

Booknews, Inc. , 12/01/94:
Kind of like the theory that a literary text is never closed, but is temporarily appropriated in its reading and rereading, Brand, of Whole Earth Catalog fame, proposes that buildings adapt best when constantly refined and reshaped by their occupants, and that architects can grow from artists of space into artists of time. As a resource or just as a read, Brand shows how to work with time rather than against it. He provides loads of examples and loads of photographs and drawings. 11×8.75 Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

The author, Stewart Brand , 07/26/97:
Now a BBC TV series In July 97 the BBC aired a 6-part TV series called How Buildings Learn. I was the writer and presenter. It got lovely reviews in the Brit press. I hope it gets picked up for US broadcast. A British edition of the book (from Orion Books) came out at the same time as the TV series. It’s better manufactured than the US edition from Penguin, so the 350 photos read more clearly. You can probably get a copy from Blackwells on the Web. Maybe Amazon will pick up the Brit edition as well? However, the US edition has some harsh comments about buildings by architect Richard Rogers that were expunged from the British edition because he is aggressively litigious about all criticism.

Customer Comments

from Toronto, Canada , 10/09/97, rating=10:
excellent, thought-provoking, calm I’ve hesitated to review this book because I’m personally suspicious of glowing praise. However, this book deserves it. Brand’s starting point is the observation that most architects spend most of their time re-working or extending existing buildings, rather than creating new ones from scratch, but the subject of how buildings change (or, to adopt Brand’s metaphor, how buildings learn from their use and environment) is ignored by most architectural schools and theorists. By looking at examples (big and small, ancient and modern), Brand teases out patterns of re-use and change, and argues (very convincingly) that since buildings are going to be modified many times, they should be designed with unanticipated future changes in mind. Of course, the same is true of programs, and I found again and again that I could substitute the word program for building, and programmer for architect, everything Brand said was true of computing as well (but much better written than any software engineering polemic I’ve ever read).

04/03/97, rating=9:
Explores Architecture and Change I learned of this book while previewing a presentation by a superior software professional working to come up with some principles and ideas for building flexible systems, and whose son (an architecture student) had sent a copy to her. Several metaphors that she included, taken from the book, were so compelling I had to buy a copy immediately. The book turns out to be interesting on many levels, interesting about buildings, unintentionally full of metaphors for software geeks like me, intriguing about what happens when concrete and steel meet the realities of change and human nature. Now if I could only find a book about How People Learn…

02/16/97, rating=9:
A must for architects and preservationists This book is one of my required texts for my master’s degree in historic preservation. Preservationists are often overly concerned with restoring buildings to a specific period and this book should change their minds! The concept of a building as a living breathing CHANGING entity is something that anyone involved with buildings should take to heart. Brand’s book is well written and easy to read, and anyone who has ever been in love with a building should read it!

08/08/96, rating=8:
Very much in the tradition of A PATTERN LANGUAGE (Chris Alexander et al), about how building evolve through remodeling over the decades. Several excerpts: Art begets fashion; fashion means style; style is made of illusion; and illusion is no friend to function…. Formerly stylish clothing you can throw or give away; a building goes on looking ever more out-of-it, decade after decade, until a new skin is grafted on at great expense, and the cycle begins again–months of glory, years of shame…. Real estate is an astonishingly unexamined phenomenon. Books on the history of architecture outnumber books on the history of real estate 1,000 to 0, yet real estate has vastly more influence on the shape and fate of buildings than architectural theories of aesthetics.

Audubon House – Building the Environmentally Responsible, Energy-Efficient Office

Audubon House: Building the Environmentally Responsible, Energy-Efficient OfficePublisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0471024961

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Synopsis:
The behind-the-scenes story of the construction of one of the world’s most environmentally sound buildings in the heart of New York City–the headquarters of the Audubon Society. Audubon and the Croxton architects sought to make Audubon House a model for design professionals around the world.

Card catalog description
Audubon House is the inspiring story of how the Audubon/Croxton team converted a 19th-century architectural masterpiece into one of the most environmentally advanced buildings ever designed. Providing a model that can be followed by owners, developers, architects, and building professionals, this book demonstrates how environmental criteria, such as sustainable use of resources, energy efficiency, and air quality can be achieved without sacrificing traditional considerations of cost, functionality, and aesthetics. Built at market cost and using only off-the-shelf technology, Audubon House is sixty percent more energy efficient than the conventional approach would have been. It saves its owners a projected $100,000 dollars annually in operating expenses, and supports an extraordinarily practical, healthy, and handsome office environment. The book is organized into two parts. Part I introduces the project and describes what members of the Audubon team discovered about the environmental impact of buildings and the types of systems that can mitigate this impact. Part II presents four essential systems at Audubon House: lighting, heating and cooling, ventilation and indoor air quality, and recycling. Particular attention is paid to the way in which these systems work together, each contributing to the performance of the whole. These goals could only be realized through the close cooperation of the architects, interior designers, environmentalists, engineers, research scientists, and contractors who collaborated on the project. The description of this collaborative process is as central to the theme of this book as the building’s many design innovations and energy-saving features. Richly illustrated with professional photographs and architectural drawings, Audubon House is both a guidepost for environmentally sound construction and an inspiring chronicle of hope for all environmentally concerned citizens.

The publisher, John Wiley & Sons:
In 1992, the National Audubon Society completed construction on one of the most environmentally advanced edifices ever built. The building’s success is due equally to the new technologies implemented, sound economic principles used to guide the project and the special collaborative approach of the design and construction team. This lavishly illustrated book examines all three elements in a manner that will show others how these principles can be applied to create buildings with improved environmental performance.

Table of Contents

TOWARD A SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE
The Built Environment: Counting the Costs
Dimensions of Sustainable Design

INSIDE AUDUBON HOUSE
Lighting and Other Energy Efficiencies
Heating, Cooling, and Energy at Audubon
The Healthy Workplace: Ventilation and Materials
Recycling at Audubon: Closing the Loop
Conclusion: A Success in the Making
Appendices
Index.

EEBA Builder’s Guide to Mixed-Humid Climates

 Builder's Guide to Mixed-Humid ClimatesAuthor: Joseph Lstiburek

ISBN: 0975512722

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The North American Mixed Climate edition of the Builder’s Guide now provides the building industry with the latest and best practical information on how to apply building science principles to structures as systems in mixed-humid “temperate” climate regions.

©2005
498 pages

EEBA Builder’s Guide to Hot-Dry / Mixed-Dry Climates

 Builder's Guide to Hot-Dry / Mixed-Dry ClimatesAuthor: Joseph Lstiburek

ISBN: 0975512706

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Energy Efficient Building Association
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The North American Hot-Dry / Mixed-Dry Climate edition of the Builder’s Guide now provides the building industry with the latest and best practical information on how to apply building science principles to structures as systems with revised sections on: Foundations, Walls, Roofs and an expanded discussion of Vapor Barriers, Additional Appendixes PLUS a newly added Glossary of Terms.

©2004
490 pages

EEBA Builder’s Guide to Cold Climates

Builder's Guide to Cold ClimatesAuthor: Joseph Lstiburek

ISBN: 0975512714

 

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The North American Cold Climate edition of the Builder’s Guide is augmented to provide the building industry with the latest and best practical information on how to apply building science principles to structures as systems in colder regions.

A concise, graphically rich technical manual, it contains over 150 detailed illustrations showing the latest details and techniques to effectively implement energy and resource efficient residential construction with revised sections on: Foundations, Walls, Roofs and an expanded discussion of Vapor Barriers, Additional Appendixes PLUS a newly added Glossary of Terms. The new guide embodies much of what is now known about building homes that are affordable, durable, energy efficient, healthy, safe, comfortable and environmentally responsible.

©2006
466 pages

EEBA Builder’s Guide – Hot Humid Climate

 Builder's Guide to Hot-Humid ClimatesAuthor(s): Joe Lstiburek and Betsy Pettit (M. LaLiberte and J. Golden, technical editors)

Publisher: Energy Efficient Building Association

ISBN: 0975512730

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EEBA Builder’s Guide – Hot Humid Climate Published by EEBA after lengthy peer-review, initially for North American Heating Climates, the Builders Guide is a new effort to provide the building industry with the latest and best practical information on how to apply building science principles to structures as systems. A concise, graphically rich technical manual, it contains over 150 detailed illustrations showing the latest details and techniques to effectively implement energy and resource efficient residential construction. EEBA’s new guide embodies much of what is now known about building homes that are affordable, durable, energy efficient, healthy, safe, comfortable and environmentally responsible.

Housing Ourselves: Creating Affordable, Sustainable Shelter

Housing Ourselves: Creating Affordable, Sustainable Shelter

Author(s): Richard Burnham

ISBN: 0070092370

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This timely book offers a practical and workable approach to building an affordable, sustainable, environmentally-sensitive house by having owners build it themselves. Richard Burnham draws on the practices of native people, pioneers and third-world populations to create a concept called minimumexistenz, which is both affordable and sustainable. Minimumexistenz — while not for everyone — offers an important counterpoint to ever-growing suburban monuments. Burnham explains how to: Choose materials that are cost-effective, sustainable and originate locally. Design homes that are suitable to an area’s climate, topography and other shelter requirements. Launch the project on a shoestring and add on incrementally as finances permit. Create homes that bring individuality and variety back to today’s homogenized landscape… And much more! Although this book is clearly targeted for owner-builders, professionals committed to affordability will find useful ideas, too.

196 pages, 1998

The Timeless Way of Building

The Timeless Way of BuildingAuthor(s): Christopher Alexander

Publisher: Oxford Univ Press

ISBN: 0195024028

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The Timeless Way of Building

A breathtaking and profound book. It is amazing how a book that propounds revolutionary architectural theory has stirred up the computer software industry. This deeply philosophical book, which is very practical and rigorous, lays the foundation for developing pattern languages. The book is all about a common language that can be shared to build artifacts that are alive. It stresses that a design should always concentrate on the whole and not on assembling parts. It also shows the power of distributed processing, if you will, as against centralized processing. All the great principles have one thing in common. They are simple. And, after one realizes such a simple but profound principle, one can not stop wondering how one survived without its knowledge. This book gives that feeling. If you are involved in architecture of any sort- buildings, software, organization or even politics- this book is a must for you.