Thoughtful and interesting books that can be found in the NSI Library
Planning, Building and Designing with Water
Dreiseitl, Herbert; Grau, Dieter (Eds.) 2005
Attractive international projects with, by and in water.
After decades of being banished from residential areas, water is now becoming an increasingly significant feature in urban design. Whether it is the integration of natural water courses into the built environment rainwater management, the incorporation of water elements in urban areas for climatic purposes or the creation of oases of tranquility or drama such as pools or fountains – all these aspects are not only encountering renewed interest among architects and urban planners, but they are also greeted with appreciation by the general public.
This book reveals the wide variety of possibilities for using water as a creative element in the city, in art, in the landscape and architecture. Amongst the works documented are a large new city park in Portland (Oregon), the botanical gardens in New York Queens, the conversion of a former airport in Oslo, the park for a new residential area in Oulu, near the Polar Circle in Finland, or a project for Hangzhon, China.
Innovative Materials and Technologies for Landscape Architecture
Margolis, Liat, Robinson, Alexander 2008
Living Systems surveys a wide array of innovative approaches to material technologies within the field of landscape architecture. The selected projects and materials exhibit a contemporary demand for technological landscapes and the collaboration between designers, engineers, scientists and ecologists. The book redefines the conventional boundaries of landscape materiality by focusing on growth, flow, metabolism, climate, and atmospheric phenomena.
Projects and materials are cross-referenced according to performance criteria, processes, and properties. Each of the 36 international projects and 23 material technologies is presented with drawing details, construction photographs and an analysis of the various complex systems featured, such as vertical growth structures, flood prevention, stormwater infiltration, erosion control, and the integration of digital media.
Projects featured include works by West8, GROSS.MAX, Weiss-Manfredi Architects, Field Operations, Kathryn Gustafson, and Vogt Landschaftarchitekten.
A SAFE AND SUSTAINABLE WORLD
The Promise Of Ecological Design
Todd, Nancy Jack, 2007
In the late sixties, as the world was waking to a need for Earth Day, a pioneering group founded a small non-profit research and education organization they called the New Alchemy Institute. Their aim was to explore the ways a safer and more sustainable world could be created. In the ensuing years, along with scientists, agriculturists, and a host of enthusiastic amateurs and friends, they set out to discover new ways that basic human needs–in the form of food, shelter, and energy–could be met. A Safe and Sustainable World is the story of that journey, as it was and as it continues to be.The dynamics and the resilience of the living world were the Institute’s model and the inspiration for their research. Central to their efforts then and now is, along with science, a spiritual quest for a more harmonious human role in our planet’s future. The results of this work have now entered mainstream science through the emerging discipline of ecological design.
Nancy Jack Todd not only relates a fascinating journey from lofty ideals through the hard realities encountered in learning how to actually grow food, harness the energy of the sun and wind, and design green architecture. She also introduces us to some of the heroes and mentors who played a vital role in those efforts as well, from Buckminster Fuller to Margaret Mead. The early work of the Institute culminated in the design and building of two bioshelters–large greenhouse-like independent structures called Arks, that provided the setting for much of the research to follow.
Successfully proving through the Institute’s designs and investigations that basic land sustainability is achievable, John Todd and the author founded a second non-profit research group, Ocean Arks International. Here they applied the New Alchemy’s natural systems thinking to restoring polluted waters with the invention and implementation of biologically based living technologies called Ecomachines and Pond and Lake Restorers. A Safe and Sustainable World demonstrates what has and can be done–it also looks to what must be done to integrate human ingenuity and the four billion or so years of evolutionary intelligence of the natural world into healthy, decentralized, locally dreams hard won–and hope.
(SOURCE Island Press)
The Green Building Revolution
Yudelson, Jerry, 2007
The “green building revolution’’ is happening right now. This book is its chronicle and its manifesto. Written by industry insider Jerry Yudelson, The Green Building Revolution introduces readers to the basics of green building and to the projects and people that are advancing this movement. With interviews and case studies, it does more than simply report on the revolution; it shows readers why and how to start thinking about designing, building, and operating high performance, environmentally aware (LEED-certified) buildings on conventional budgets.
Evolving quietly for more than a decade, the green building movement has found its voice. Its principles of human-centered, environmentally sensitive development have reached a critical mass of architects, engineers, builders, developers, professionals in government, and consumers. Green buildings are showing us how we can have healthier indoor environments that use far less energy and water than conventional buildings do. The federal government, eighteen states, and nearly fifty U.S. cities already require new public buildings to meet “green” standards. According to Yudelson, this is just the beginning.
The Green Building Revolution describes the many “revolutions” that are taking place today: in commercial buildings, schools, universities, public buildings, health care institutions, housing, property management, and neighborhood design. In a clear, highly readable style, Yudelson outlines the broader “journey to sustainability” influenced by the green building revolution and provides a solid business case for accelerating this trend.
(SOURCE Island Press)
BedZED: Construction Materials Report
Toolkit for Carbon Neutral Developments – Part 1
Nicole Lazarus 2003
The Beddington Zero (Fossil) Energy Development (BedZED) is a mixed-use scheme in South London initiated by Bioregional Development Group and Bill Dunster Architects.
BedZED has been developed by London’s largest housing association, the Peabody Trust. The scheme comprises 82 homes and 3,000m² of commercial or live/work space. The first units were complete in March 2002 with total completion and occupation in September 2002.
This report describes the choices of construction materials made on BedZED, it quantifies the environmental benefits of these choices and describes how the materials were sourced, specified and used. The report provides case studies for individual materials and cost comparisons with alternatives.
(SOURCE RIBA bookshops)
The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream
Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Jeff Speck 2001
North Point Press
A manifesto by America’s most controversial and celebrated town planners, proposing an alternative model for community design.
There is a growing movement in North America to put an end to suburban sprawl and to replace the automobile-based settlement patterns of the past fifty years with a return to more traditional planning principles. This movement stems not only from the realization that sprawl is ecologically and economically unsustainable but also from a growing awareness of sprawl’s many victims: children, utterly dependent on parental transportation if they wish to escape the cul-de-sac; the elderly, warehoused in institutions once they lose their driver’s licenses; the middle class, stuck in traffic for two or more hours each day.
Founders of the Congress for the New Urbanism, Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk are at the forefront of this movement, and in Suburban Nation they assess sprawl’s costs to society, be they ecological, economic, aesthetic, or social. It is a lively, thorough, critical lament, and an entertaining lesson on the distinctions between postwar suburbia-characterized by housing clusters, strip shopping centers, office parks, and parking lots-and the traditional neighborhoods that were built as a matter of course until mid-century. It is an indictment of the entire development community, including governments, for the fact that America no longer builds towns. Most important, though, it is that rare book that also offers solutions.
(SOURCE North Point Press)
The World Without Us
Alan Weisman 2007
Thomas Dunne Books
The World Without Us is a non-fiction book about what would happen to the natural and built environment if humans suddenly disappeared, written by American journalist Alan Weisman and published by St. Martin’s Thomas Dunne Books. It is a book-length expansion of Weisman’s own February 2005 Discover article “Earth Without People”. Written largely as a thought experiment, it outlines, for example, how cities and houses would deteriorate, how long man-made artifacts would last, and how remaining lifeforms would evolve. Weisman concludes that residential neighborhoods would become forests within 500 years, and that radioactive waste, bronze statues, plastics, and Mount Rushmore will be the among longest lasting evidence of human presence on Earth.
The author of four previous books and numerous articles for magazines, Weisman traveled around the world to interview academics, scientists and other authorities. He used quotes from these interviews to explain the effects of the natural environment and to substantiate predictions. The book has been translated and published in France, Germany, and Portugal. It was successful in the U.S., reaching #6 on the New York Times Best Seller list and #1 on the San Francisco Chronicle Best-Sellers list in September 2007. It ranked #1 on Time and Entertainment Weekly’s top 10 non-fiction books of 2007. The book has received largely positive reviews, specifically for Weisman’s journalistic and scientific writing style, but some have questioned the relevance of its subject matter.