5 books to add to your reading list


Earlier this month, I had the honor of attending the Design Futures Sustainability Leadership Summit. A gathering of industry leaders with presentations and discussions on the future of the sustainability movement for architects and construction industry. The presentations ranged from very technical to very personal.

It’s always hard to come back from a conference and know what what to do with all of the information, so I thought I would start by sharing the books that I am adding to my reading list after hearing the speakers give a preview or delegates mention them at the Summit.

5 take away books:
1. Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System by Donella H. Meadows
Recommended for those looking to interrupt or change a current system, like the construction industry. Meadows was a well-respected systems analyst who wrote about climate change. It is dense, but a short read at 21 pages and available online as a pdf.

2. Worldchanging: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century by Alex Steffen, Al Gore
A resource guide to live a more sustainable life covering a variety of topics form workplace to travel. (website)

3. Design for One Earth by RNL Design
One firm’s framework for sustainability and how they are using it in their strategic planning and acting upon those intentions. The book includes case studies showing how the principle have been applied. The ebook is available on RNL’s website.

4. The Biography of a Building: How Robert Sainsbury and Norman Foster Built a Great Museumby Witold Rybcznski
Professor Rybcznski spent an hour discussing the Sainsbury Art Museum, one of Norman Foster’s first green buildings. His lecture gave the audience a history of how the building was born as a project, how it went from design to fruition, and a bit of the life of the building including its first addition. Prof Rybcznski was a great storyteller; if his book is like the lecture it tells a story of the people and events not just gives the facts of the project. (website)

5. Greening My Life: A Green Building Pioneer Takes on His Most Challenging Project by David Gottfried
Biography of how a green building leader “decided to apply the principles of conservation to a non-renewable resource–himself” to have his life goals become as grand as his business accomplishments. Gottfried presented the 10 principles of his Life Balance Sheet at the Summit. dgottfried.com

If you are interested in sustainability, consider adding these to your reading list. Let me know your thoughts on them.

Flickr photo by Honou