Sustainable Design (A Planbook for Sonoran Desert Dwellings)Tucson Institute
The Tucson Institute for Sustainable Communities originated in 1991 to work with government, community and citizens groups to develop the Civano planned solar community in Tucson, Arizona. The Institute’s mission is to work “with communities to become resource efficient, ecological, affordable, and equitable,” and it accomplishes this through workshops, publications, presentations, and cooperative efforts. The book’s first section introduces sustainable design and its development through the Civano model community, and examines why so few dwellings conform to the six principles of sustainable design: * Mimic natural settings * Simplify * Reveal multiple functions * Evaluate true costs (life-cycle of materials; initial high building costs vs. later low operating costs) * Strengthen beneficial connections * Strive for balance Section two shows the incorporation of sustainable design in residences, and highlights how such design enhances energy efficiency for the homeowner. Each example includes a site tour with photographs; a summary table of the Performance Requirements, the site’s analysis results and how these are achieved; and how each site exemplifies the six principles of sustainable design. Houses are of many different floor plans and sizes, include those built to the principles’ specifications and those redesigned to meet them. The third section provides suggestions and resources for sustainable design of new homes and redesign of existing structures. Suggestions vary from watching the site and the path of the sun during the day, the flow of water and wind, evaluation of the site according to the six principles. Photographs, illustrations, site maps and house plans, charts, highlighted boxes, and poetry make new concepts and technology easily accessible to the layperson and to the experienced builder.