Thursday, July 15, 2010

Recommended Reading

Now available in the Permaculture Activist book catalog

NEW! The Barefoot Architect: A Handbook for Green Building
by Johan van Lengen
720 pp, 2008

The first English translation of the international bestseller dripping with easy-to-understand drawings.
A former UN worker and prominent architect, Johan van Lengen has seen firsthand the desperate need for a "greener" approach to housing in impoverished tropical climates. This comprehensive book clearly explains every aspect of this endeavor, including design (siting, orientation, climate consideration), materials (sisal, cactus, bamboo, earth), and implementation. The author emphasizes throughout the book what is inexpensive and sustainable. Included are sections discussing urban planning, small-scale energy production, cleaning and storing drinking water, and dealing with septic
waste, and all information is applied to three distinct tropical regions: humid areas, temporate areas, and desert climates. Hundreds of explanatory drawings by van Lengen allow even novice builders to get started.
Basic design, climate, and site planning for humid and dry climates. Includes info on Adobe, rammed earth, bamboo, plaster, wood, concrete and ferro-cement; Foundations, roofs, floors, walls, doors, windows, and eco-techniques; Solar heating, water-powered electricity, natural cooling and ventilation; Water purification, pumps, cisterns, septic tanks, composting toilets
This book is for people who dream of building a simple home. It is also for those in the building trades: carpenters, masons, plumbers, and artisans, as well as for urban planners, rural technicians, and small community designers.
It covers basic design, use of a great variety of natural materials, construction details, natural heating and cooling, and water and sanitation techniques. Although many of the methods shown are traditional, more modern techniques are shown as well.

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