Alison G. Kwok's and Walter
T. Grondzik's 2011 updated edition, The Green Studio Handbook
is a concise, clear and relevant book which provides a substantial
amount of information and consideration regarding environmentally
sensitive design. The book boasts it is a 'handbook for schematic
design', and it would be hard to play that down. With over 400
pages, rich graphics including diagrams, sections, plans, schematics,
and well summarized case studies, there is a lot to get through.
The book is written in simple
chapters which are based on the themes of 'green design', and
early on, the poignant debate is sparked regarding 'sustainable'
vs 'green' when justifying the title. The Authors set out that
'green' is worthy of discussion, as it 'describes the limits
of what a resource can realistically address in time'. Sustainability
is discussed as broader in its reach to green, addressing longer
term wider goals in regard to economic, social and environmental
factors. As the reader will become aware, the thesis of the book
is not about eco add ons or 'sustainable' systems, but rather,
well thought through strategies that are embedded early in the
design process, aiming to create 'high performance green buildings',
which are a step towards sustainability.
With the objectives set, the
'Studio' is broken down, where the authors discuss how to get
the best out of the design process and achieve intentions through
research, testing and validation. Clear headings illustrate
a methodological and scientific approach to 'integrated design'.
The body of the volume is the
handbook, which covers envelope, lighting, heating, energy production,
water and waste management, and a section of fully illustrated
projects. Each chapter is covered with clear and methodical architectural
issues, implementation considerations, design procedure and illustrated
examples. The authors are not shy of getting into the numbers,
which is really useful, especially for topics such as energy
loads, heating and water management where the equations are explained
using step by step worked examples.
Each theme and containing strategies
are outlined, and a recurring message throughout the book, is
that with schematic design it is about choice, and there is no
real 'best' strategy, rather; site analysis, research, constraints
and thoughtful consideration will lead to a suitable solution.
The Green Studio Handbook achieves
its intentions, in providing a good understanding of the wide
ranging strategies within environmental design and the multiple
and often conflicting factors that designers have to consider.
It provides clear and stimulating read, and would be recommended
for an introduction for undergraduate students, as a refresher
for graduates and also would be a good reference for working
Click on any image to see
a list of books on the same topic.