The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture

So much of the design porn on coffee tables these days is just collections of pictures of houses that were seen in the magazines a few months earlier. Cranking them out has become an industry.

However, when we looked at the info on The Green House-New Directions in Sustainable Architecture By Alanna Stang and Christopher Hawthorne we knew that this was different- it defines Green in perhaps a controversial way, and it recognizes that climate exists. The definition of Green

•At the very least, residential designs that aim for greenness should be as small as possible. A house that uses every sustainable technique under the sun will not be as kind to the Earth as practically any house half its size.

•The house must be positioned to take advantage of the winter sun and summer shade, and to minimize damage to the plants, animals, soil, etc. already there.

•The structure must be located as close to public transportation, workplaces, schools, and/or shopping as realistically possible.

This cuts out most of the monster solar homes or mcmansions on islands
that even treehugger has shown in the past. It recognizes that living with less is part of being green, and that a sustainable home is part of a community, not an isolated object that you have to drive hours to get to.

The recognition of climate

Six different climactic zones are presented in The Green House—waterfront, forest and mountain, tropical, desert, suburban, and urban; there is also a section on mobile dwellings.

So often, people look at houses designed for California and want to put it by a lake in Canada. Houses are shaped by the climate and each of the zones listed above demands a different response. The concept of actually grouping them by climate zone is significant.

Full review will follow shortly!

::The Green House