Reinventing Fire

Reinventing Fire

Author: Amory Lovins
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing (October 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603583718
ISBN-13: 978-1603583718

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How U.S. businesses can lead the nation from oil and coal to efficiency and renewables by 2050, and profit in the process

Oil and coal have built our civilization, created our wealth, and enriched the lives of billions. Yet their rising costs to our security, economy, health, and environment now outweigh their benefits. Moreover, that long-awaited energy tipping point—where alternatives work better than oil and coal and compete purely on cost—is no longer decades in the future. It is here and now. And it is the fulcrum of economic transformation.

A global clean energy race has emerged with astounding speed. The ability to operate without fossil fuels will define winners and losers in business—and among nations.

Now, in Reinventing Fire, Amory Lovins and Rocky Mountain Institute offer a new vision to revitalize business models, end-run Washington gridlock, and win the clean energy race—not forced by public policy but led by business for enduring profit. Grounded in 30 years’ practical experience, this ground-breaking, peer-reviewed analysis integrates market-based solutions across transportation, buildings, industry, and electricity. It maps pathways and competitive strategies for a 158%-bigger 2050 U.S. economy that needs no oil, no coal, no nuclear energy, one-third less natural gas, and no new inventions. This transition would cost $5 trillion less than business-as-usual—without counting fossil fuels’ huge hidden costs. It requires no new federal taxes, subsidies, mandates, or laws. The policy innovations needed to unlock and speed it need no Act of Congress.

Whether you care most about profits and jobs, national security, health, or environmental stewardship, Reinventing Fire charts a pragmatic course that makes sense and makes money. With clarity and mastery, Lovins and RMI reveal the astounding opportunities for enterprise to create the new energy era.

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

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.

The Architecture of Affordable Housing

The Architecture of Affordable Housing

Author(s): Sam Davis

Publisher: Univ California Press

ISBN: 0520208854

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The Architecture of Affordable Housing

Paperback, 220 pages
Publication date: June 1997

From Booklist , 04/15/95:
The architecture of affordable housing has assumed as many forms as the very nomenclature. Davis presents a history of poor, low-income, social, and subsidized housing using examples of Frank Lloyd Wright, the WPA, and contemporary case studies in the most expensive state in the union, California. These examples illustrate that while the beliefs surrounding affordable housing have changed, the need has been steady, if not growing. They also illustrate many myths, one being that affordable housing most often isn’t any cheaper to build than market-rate housing. The in-depth documentation of the community planning process shows just how passionate the contesting parties are and how complex the issues have become. While not offering Wright’s technical secrets on cost cutting, the California case studies lend the book a credibility from which both laypeople and architects can benefit. But, ultimately, the 10 award-winning projects the author presents as evidence of good architecture fulfilling a social need skirt the real issue: Why is it that award-winning projects can turn into unlivable places and that less attractive ones can be wonderful places to live? While the book is valuable, Davis does not address the issue of place-making and community, which many believe is the heart of the affordable housing crisis. Copyright© 1995, American Library Association. All rights reserved

Architect Sam Davis contends that a country of wealth that cannot provide sound housing for those in need is a national embarrassment. Here Davis explores the design possibilities of dignified affordable housing for those not served by the private sector and how that housing could fit comfortably into our communities. 108 illus.

Table of Contents
1. The Architect and Affordable Housing
2. The Process: The Long and Winding Road
3. Why Affordable Housing Isn’t
4. Design: Things Big and Small, Far and Near
5. Is Affordable Housing Significant Architecture?
Illustration Credits

Good Neighbors : Affordable Family Housing (Design for Living)

Good Neighbors : Affordable Family Housing (Design for Living)

Author(s): Tom Jones, William Pettus, Michael Pyatok

Publisher: McGraw-Hill

ISBN: 0070329133

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Good Neighbors : Affordable Family Housing (Design for Living)

Hardcover, 240 pages
Publication date: December 1996

Design family housing that only looks like it cost a fortune. Discover how America’s most creative, resourceful builders and communities are solving affordable housing problems by applying the design and construction techniques detailed in Good Neighbors: Affordable Family Housing by Tome Jones, William Pettus, and Michael Pyotok. Filled with real-life examples ranging from small towns to inner-city locations, this hands-on resource gives you a brief history of affordable housing in the USA and shows you how to develop these units with a mix of government and private financing, you get revealing profiles of people who live in affordable housing. . .essential data on the factors that influence affordable housing design. . .and dozens of illustrated case studies of developments from coast to coast. The book showcases the work of William Tawn Associates, Cooper Robertson Partners, Marquis Associates, Solomon, Inc. and other innovative firms.


Based on the lauded AIA Design for Housing initiative and supported by an NEA grant, here is the first truly authoritative guide to modern affordable housing design. This landmark book provides architects, landscape architects, planners, developers, advocates, government officials, and policy makers with workable answers for the design of affordable, anesthetically pleasing housing.

Designing With Nature : The Ecological Basis for Architectural Design

Cover, Designing With Nature : The Ecological Basis for  Architectural Design Author(s): Ken Yeang

Publisher: McGraw-Hill

ISBN: 0070723176

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Designing With Nature: The Ecological Basis for Architectural Design

Hardcover, 243 pages
Publication date: May 1995

A timely, incisive book providing a comprehensive framework for designing buildings that work with nature. Offering a compelling case for ecological design, it provides architects and designers with a full understanding of the impact that their work has on the natural environment, as well as what can be done to mitigate the damage man-made structures inflict on the natural environment.

Table of Contents
1. Ecology and Design
2. Architecture and Its Ecological Impact
3. Framework for Ecological Design
4. External Ecological Interdependencies of the Built Environment
5. Internal Ecological Interdependencies of the Built Environment
6. External-to-Internal Ecological Interdependencies of the Built Environment
7. Internal-to-External Ecological Interdependencies of the Built Environment
8. Ecological Design

Deep Design : Pathways to a Livable Future

Deep Design : Pathways to a Livable FutureAuthor(s): David Wann, Center for Resource Management, Paul Hawken (Introduction)

Publisher: Island Press

ISBN: 1559634200

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In “Deep Design,” David Wann explores a new way of thinking about design, one that asks “What is our ultimate goal?” before the first step has even been taken. Designs that begin with such a question — whether in products, buildings, technologies, or communities — are sensitive to living systems, and can potentially accomplish their mission without the seemingly unavoidable side effects of pollution, erosion, congestion, and stress. Such “deep designs” meet the key criteria of renewability, recyclability, and nontoxicity. Often based on natural systems, they are easy to understand and implement, and provide more elegant approaches to getting the services and functions we need. Wann presents information gleaned from interviews with more than fifty innovative designers in a wide variety of fields, and describes numerous case studies that explain the concept and practice of deep design.

Hardcover, 230 pages
Publication date: January 1996

Table of Contents
Foreword By Paul Hawken
Ch. 1. Deep Design: From the Visionary to the Pragmatic
Ch. 2. The Social-Environmental Connection: What Do We Want, and How Can Design Deliver It?
Ch. 3. Design at the Molecular Level: Pathways to Chemicals That Fit
Ch. 4. In Search of the Soft Path: Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Ch. 5. Re-envisioning Agriculture: Pathways to Regenerative Systems
Ch. 6. A Near-Perfect World, If You’re a Wheel: Designing Communities That Work
Ch. 7. Design Criteria That Work: How Should We Think about Design?
Ch. 8. Design for Environment: Making It Better
Ch. 9. The Evolution of Design Species: Toward a Best-Case Scenario of Diversity, Conservation, and Caretaking

Ancient Futures : Learning from Ladakh

Ancient Futures : Learning from LadakhAuthor(s): Helena Norberg-Hodge, Peter Matthiessen

Publisher: Sierra Club Books

ISBN: 0871566435

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The swiftly evolving socioeconomic life of Ladakh, whose people struggle to balance growth and technology with cultural values, offers crucial lessons in sustainable development. This gripping portrait of the western Himalayan land known as “Little Tibet” moves from the author’s first visit to idyllic, nonindustrial Ladakh in 1974 to the present, tracking profound changes as the region was opened to foreign tourists, Western goods and technologies, and pressures for economic growth. These changes in turn brought generational conflict, unemployment, inflation, environmental damage, and threats to the traditional way of life.
Appalled by these negative impacts, the author helped establish the Ladakh Project (later renamed the International Society for Ecology and Culture) to seek sustainable solutions that preserve cultural integrity and environmental health, while addressing the Ladakhis’ hunger for modernization. This model undertaking effectively combines educational programs for all social levels with the design, demonstration, and promotion of appropriate technologies such as solar heating and small-scale hydro power.

Examining how modernization changes the way people live and think, Norberg-Hodge challenges us to redefine our concepts of “development” and “progress.” Above all, Ancient Futures stresses the need to carry traditional wisdom into the future—our urgent task as a global community.


204 pages Publication date: September 1992

From Eco-Cities to Living Machines : Principles of Ecological Design

From Eco-Cities to Living Machines : Principles of Ecological DesignAuthor(s): Nancy Jack Todd, John Todd

Publisher: North Atlantic Books

ISBN: 1556431503

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From Eco-cities to Living Machines presents the ecologically-based working designs and prototypes of biologist John Todd and writer and environmental activist Nancy Todd. Since 1969 with the founding of New Alchemy Institute on Cape Cod, the Todds have become known world-wide for their leadership in the restoration of pure water, bioremediation of wild aquatic environments, food production, and urban design. In this new book, the Todds further develop the idea of Eco-cities, designs for integrating agriculture and flowing pure water into green urban settings and introduce Living Machines, a family of technologies for purifying wastewaters to tertiary quality effluent without chemicals. Provocative and grounded firmly in the principles of biodiversity, the Todds’ work encompasses site-specific technological interventions and systems-wide ecological planners and designers, environmental economists, and systems-based engineers working to change the way we utilize production, technology, water and energy.

2nd Edition
Paperback, 185 pages
Publication date: April 1994

Table of Contents
Preface: The Years Between
Ch. 1. New Alchemy: Where It All Began
Ch. 2. From Bioshelters to Solar Villages to Future Human Settlements
Ch. 3. Emerging Precepts of Biological Design
Ch. 4. Redesigning Communities
Ch. 5. The Surrounding Landscape
Ch. 6. The Transforming Energy
Epilogue: Living Machines and the Years Ahead
Notes and References

Design Outlaws on the Ecological Frontier

Cover, Design Outlaws on the Ecological Frontier Author(s): Chris Zelov, Phil Cousineau and Brian Dantz

Publisher: Chelsea Green Pub Co

ISBN: 096503061X

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Paperback Publication date: April 1997

300 pages, 225 photos

Buckminster Fuller was a design outlaw. He shattered preconceived notions of how buildings and machines should be put together. The result was the geodesic dome, the 60 mile-per-gallon Dymaxion Car, the self-sufficient Dymaxion House and host of other inventions that influenced a new wave of designers. In making their award-winning film, Ecological Design, Chris Zelov and Phil Cousineau interviewed 26 present-day design outlaws. To expand on the film, they published this book. Both the film and the book are brimming with the ideas and prototypes of the trailblazers who have defined ecological design over the past thirty years.

Here’s a partial list of the outlaws: Brendan O’Reagan, Ian McHarg, Douglas Adams, John Todd, Jay Baldwin, Stewart Brand, Mary Catherine Bateson, Paul McCready, William McDonough, Amory and Hunter Lovins, Hazel Henderson, Pliny Fisk, Paolo Soleri, Christopher Alexander, John Connell and many more. These forward-thinking designers have defied convention with new ideas on shelter, energy, transportation and industry. In addition to being thought-provoking, these colorful characters are very entertaining.

Table of Contents

Chapter One:
Into the Fuller Universe
Thomas Hughes: The Frontier Spirit of Invention
Harold Cohen: Design as a Way of Making the World Work
Brendan O’Reagan: Outlaw Creativity
Douglas Adams: The Mad Ones; The Original Ones
John Todd: The Innovator’s Sense of Urgency
J. Baldwin: Encounters with the Mentor
Ian McHarg: Fuller’s Contribution
Paul MacCready: The Inventive Process

Chapter Two:
From a Machine for Living to Living Machines
Ian McHarg: Why is Architecture Oblivious to the Environment
James Wines: Towards a New Architecture
Edmund Bacon: Nature as Design Paradigm Stewart Brand: Sitting at the Counterculture
J. Baldwin: Into the Design Revolution
Tony Gwilliam: Organic Building
Mary Catherine Bateson: Understadning Natural Systems
William McDonough: Not a Machine for Living in – A Living Machine!

Chapter Three:
The Intelligent Use of Energy
Amory Lovins: The Road Least Taken
Hunter Lovins: The Rocky Mountain Institute
Peter Calthorpe: Whole-Systems Design
Hazel Henderson: Redefining Wealth
J. Baldwin: On Tools
Harold Cohen: Money is Money
William McDonough: Designing for Interdependance

Chapter Four:
The Galactic Explorer Perspective
Paul MacCready: The Galactic Explorer Comes to Visit
Brendan O’Reagan: Thinking in Interplanetary Terms
Pliny Fisk: Systems in Continuous Evolution
John Allen: The Cosmic Drama
Harold Cohen: Making the World Work for All Humanity
Duane Elgin: The Univeral Liturgy
John Todd: The New Alchemists
William McDonough: Reviving the Ancient Art of Design
James Wines: Developing a New Iconography

Chapter Five:
The Emergence of an Ecological Design Science
Ian McHarg: On the Origins of Ecological Design
Brendan O’Reagan: Heading for an Aesthetic of the Invisible
William McDonough: The Multiplier Effect in Design
Carol Franklin & Lesley Sauer: Synergistic Solutions
Tony Gwilliam: Comprehensive Anticipatory Design
Christopher Alexander: Design for Living Structures
Gail Vittori & Pliny Fisk: Obstacles to Sustainable Design
Mary Catherine Bateson: Making the Earth Our Home

Chapter Six:
The New Collective Dream
Paolo Soleri: Tranforming the Urban Condition
Tony Gwilliam: Integrated Architecture
Amory Lovins: Retrofitting Our Cities
Leslie Sauer & Carol Franklin: The Greening of the City
Christopher Alexander: The Living Structure Approach to Design
Mike Corbett: Why Can’t We Build Better Communities?
Virginia Thigpen: Community – Conceived Designs
Jaime Lerner: The Collective Dream

Chapter Seven:
Writing the New Codes
Peter Calthorpe: The History of the Codes
Douglas Adams: The Infinite Virtual Address
Duane Elgin: Mutually Assured Development
Paul MacCready: Education as an Odyssey of the Mind
James Wines: Design Education
Ian McHarg: Teaching the Ecological World View
Mike Corbett: Reinventing Design Education
Hazel Henderson: The Importance of Self-Education
William McDonough: a Shift from Style to Substance
Tom Casey: The Transformation of Business
J. Baldwin: Future Housing
Mary Catherine Bateson: A Future that Looks Like Home

Afterword: Toward a Design Curriculum for the 21st Century

Biography: R. Buckminster Fuller J. Baldwin: Teaching Comprehensive Design Science David Sellers: Antiques of the Future John Connel: Towards A Design Curriculum Anthony Walmsley: Ecological Design: Myth or Method