Sustainable Architecture: Library Resources

October 10, 2018 | Karen

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 According to the International Union of Architects, sustainable design "integrates consideration of resource and energy efficiency, healthy buildings and materials, ecologically and socially sensitive land-use and an aesthetic sensitivity.."  Architects are increasingly challenged to create truly sustainable buildings, those which go beyond the mere addition of solar panels. Toronto Public Library has many excellent resources dealing with this subject. Here a just a few.


Index (2)

 New Eco Homes : new Ideas for Sustainable Living: "New eco homes showcases the latest innovations in sustainable architecture and design, profiling twenty-two homes from around the world that use contemporary ecological solutions for home construction that cause much less environmental impact than conventionally built structures." Also available as an ebook. 


Sustainable home design

 Essential Sustainable Home Design: "Essential Sustainable Home Design walks homebuilders through designing an environmentally friendly home, starting with key concepts, principles, and a project vision."


Sustainable architecture

Sustainable Architecture: "This book includes twenty-five projects contemporary architecture projects which pay attention to the relationship architecture and the environment, considering not only the health of our planet but also the social and economic impact of architecture. It includes projects from around the world--private, corporate, and public--described in detail, with photographs, drawings, plans and elevations."


the new carbon architecture

The New Carbon Architecture: Building to Cool the Climate:  "It's time to move past "green buildings," which alone aren't enough to halt climate change. The New Carbon Architecture explores how biomimicry-inspired innovations in architecture and construction--from cities made of wood to insulation grown from straw and mycelium--will pull carbon from the atmosphere, heal the climate, and produce safer, healthier, and more beautiful buildings." 


  Hyperlocalization of architecture

Hyperlocalization of Architecture : Contemporary Sustainable Archetypes:  "The promise of environmental architecture is here. An extensive pattern is emerging, where the most innovative of contemporary building design is a response to place. Instead of overcoming nature and supplanting cultural acumen, hyperlocal architecture embraces the complex intertwining of the site, people and environment."


  Designing rainwater harvesting systems

Designing Rainwater Harvesting Systems : integrating Rainwater into Building Systems: "Rainwater Harvesting is the first comprehensive book on designing rainwater harvesting systems. It provides practical guidelines for developing a rainwater harvesting strategy, taking into account climate, public policies, environmental impact, and end uses."


  Ecovillages around the world

Ecovillages around the World : 20 Regenerative Designs for Sustainable Communities: "A beautiful, full-color book showcasing 20 best practice designs from ecovillages around the world"--


  Nautre by design

Nature by Design : The Practice of Biophilic Design: "Given the pace and scale of construction today and the adversarial, dominative relationship with nature expressed by much building development, the integration of nature with our built environments is one of the greatest challenges of our time. In this sweeping examination, Stephen Kellert describes the basic principles, practices, and options for successfully implementing biophilic design."


  Computing the environment

Computing the Environment : Digital Design tools for Simulation and Visualisation of Sustainable Architecture: Computing the Environment presents practical workflows and guidance for designers to get feedback on their design using digital design tools on environmental performance.



In addition to books and ebooks, the library has excellent periodicals which cover this subject, such as:

Online Resources

There are also many videos on Architecture, including sustainable building, available through the library's Kanopy streaming service .

Many titles from our DVD collection are worth checking out, including:

The Passive House Revolution

E2. Intervention Architecture: the Economies of Being Environmentally Conscious.,  offers basic courses in Architecture, including "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design," (LEED) , a rating system which evaluates buildings for their environmental performance, as well as a course in Green Building Concepts Foundations, amongst others.

Safari Tech and Business Books Online is another excellent resource for ebooks and evideos on this subject. Items such as:


Also, check out these amazing upcoming free programs on Architecture at North York Central Library.

Architecture Ancient and Modern: the Vision of I.M. Pei. Thursday October 18, 2018 at 7 pm.

Toronto's's Architecture of Remembrance. Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 7 pm.

Architectural Steel: the Fun is in the Details. Thursday, January 24, 2019 at 7 pm.