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American institute of architects

David Gissen

Big & Green

Environmentalism is often perceived as promoting a 'back to nature' viewpoint. However, with current population levels there's no way that there can be any realistic return to the agrarian societies of a few centuries ago. On the contrary, true environmentalism has to accomodate peoples needs while having the minimum disrruption to the enviroment, and that implies buildings which get the maximum benefit from a small land area - that is high rise buildings. Hence the exhibition 'Big & Green: Towards Sustainable Architecture in the 21st century' was conceived, to show how large buildings can go together with environmental benefits. This book shows the buildings which were exhibited, together with essays explaining the new ways of thinking.

I have to say that I wasn't entirely convinced that the buildings were doing a great deal to solve environmental problems. For instance my impression is that energy guzzling buildings were only in fashion for a short period of time - I guess around the 1960's. Before that there wasn't energy available to waste, and afterwards there were regulations mandating better efficiency. Hence the energy efficient buildings shown don't seem to be such a great leap forward. Also, the essays are evangelical on the subject of environmentalism, but don't discuss the difficult choices which have to be made in its pursuit. Mostly its a book for architects to show off their new ideas. That said, the book does give a useful summary of current views on how architecture can contribute to environmental improvement, together with visions of what buildings may be like in the future.

Amazon.com info
Hardcover 192 pages  
ISBN: 1568983611
Salesrank: 1897218
Weight:1.65 lbs
Published: 2003 Princeton Architectural Press
Marketplace:New from $16.05:Used from $2.49
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 192 pages  
ISBN: 1568983611
Salesrank: 1600457
Weight:1.65 lbs
Published: 2003 Princeton Architectural Press
Marketplace:New from £30.01:Used from £2.13
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Amazon.ca info
Hardcover 192 pages  
ISBN: 1568983611
Salesrank: 982382
Weight:1.65 lbs
Published: 2003 Princeton Archit.Press
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 115.78:Used from CDN$ 5.23
Buy from Amazon.ca





Product Description
More than a century after its inception, the skyscraper has finally come of age. Though it has long been lampooned as a venal and inhospitable guzzler of resources, a revolutionary new school of skyscraper design has refashioned the idiom with buildings that are sensitive to their environments, benevolent to their occupants, and economically viable to build and maintain. Designed by some of the best-known architects in the world, these towers are as daring aesthetically as they are innovative environmentally.

Big and Green is the first book to examine the sustainable skyscraper, its history, the technologies that make it possible, and its role in the future of urban development.

The book examines more than 40 of the most important recent sustainable skyscrapers-including Fox & Fowle's Reuters Buildings in New York, Norman Foster's Commerzbank in Frankfurt, and MVRDV's spectacular Dutch Pavilion from Expo 2000 in Hanover-with project descriptions, photographs, and detailed drawings. Interviews with such leaders in the field as Sir Richard Rogers, William McDonough, and Kenneth Yeang are also included.


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