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Greening Modernism

Preservation, Sustainability, and the Modern Movement

Carl Stein (Author, Elemental Architecture LLC)

Overview | Inside the Book

Greening Modernism addresses the interrelationships between sustainability, architectural preservation, and the Modern movement and places these issues into historical perspective.

For the past quarter-century, mainstream architecture has proceeded on the underlying belief that we have the resources to build whatever and as much as we want and that technology can overcome any problems we create for ourselves through our building activities. The serious shortages that now confront us demand a thorough reevaluation of this premise. Carl Stein, nationally recognized for his contributions to the field of sustainable design, connects the impact of individual building design decisions to the global energy and environmental crises. He sets out the argument for sustainability inherent in Modern design, identifying tenets that are intrinsic to contemporary ecological thinking, and he provides the nuts-and-bolts information to assist practitioners and students of architecture, engineering, planning, and environmentalism in specific building-upgrade projects. While not a how-to handbook, Greening Modernism provides quantitative data and describes the environmental benefits from the continued use of the vast inventory of modern buildings, including reduced demand for energy and other finite resources and reduced need for waste processing. Greening Modernism explains the relationships between design and technology in the pre-petroleum, early-petroleum, and late-petroleum eras and goes on to suggest opportunities for architecture in a post-petroleum world.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • November 2010
  • ISBN 978-0-393-73283-2
  • 8.9 × 10.3 in / 296 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“The book rings clear with the sentiment that through understanding the environmental importance of their decisions, architects can continue their practice while doing their part to save the planet.” — Form: Pioneering Design

“Carl Stein has produced an elegant piece of work...In this highly accessible book, replete with lucid conceptual explanations and practical case studies, Mr. Stein drives home the point that with a little more art and a good understanding of the science, his profession can do its part in saving the planet.” — Kevin J. Healy, partner and environmental lawyer with Bryan Cave, LLP

“In his examination of the nexus of modern architecture, sustainability, and preservation, Carl Stein has presented a timely, thoughtful, and compelling argument for the reintegration of these movements. He argues most persuasively in favor of adaptive reuse of buildings as a leading sustainability strategy. As he makes his case, we come to more fully understand the central role of energy–both operating and embodied–as the ultimate common currency for real estate decision-making.” — Hillary Brown, FAIA, professor, City College of the City University of New York

“[A] beautiful book.... reading Greening Modernism will be time well spent.... [P]resents a way forward where sustainable design becomes more than just about efficiency and quantitative analysis...” — Sensing Architecture

“This book, which is accessible to architects and nonprofessionals alike, makes clear that the values of sustainability are not limited to complete buildings, but include the responsible consumption of finite resources going into their construction.” — Hamilton Smith, FAIA, partner, Marcel Breuer and Associates

“[A]n excellent introductory text for undergraduate architecture students outlining the scale of our energy problems and a path to socially-responsible building methods.” — Alan Michelson, ARLIS/NA Reviews

“[W]ell illustrated and visually attractive...” — RIAS Quarterly

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