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The Philosophy of Sustainable Design Hardcover – June 1, 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 325 pages
  • Publisher: Ecotone Publishing Company LLC; F First Edition edition (June 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974903302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974903309
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Bold, insightful and inspiring, McLennan has given us a compelling vision of sustainable design in its historical and philosophical context." -- Nadav Malin, Editor, Environmental Building News

"McLennan’s graceful and accessible articulation of the underpinnings of sustainable design is jam packed with wisdom, tools and inspiration." -- Gail Vittori, Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems

"With passion and clarity Jason McLennan has traced the past, present and future of green design." -- William D. Browning, Founder of the Green Development Services at the Rocky Mountain Institute

About the Author

Jason F. McLennan is a designer who specializes in sustainable design. Born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, Jason is the founder and Director of Elements, the green consulting division of BNIM Architects in Kansas City, one of the nation's leading environmentally minded architecture firms. He is also the CEO of Ecotone, which provides educational tools for sustainability and innovative design solutions for the single-family home.

More About the Author

Considered one of the most influential individuals in the green building movement today and the recipient of the prestigious Buckminster Fuller Prize, Jason F. McLennan's work has made a pivotal impact on the shape and direction of green building in the United States and Canada and he is a much sought after presenter and consultant on a wide variety of green building and sustainability topics around the world.

McLennan serves as the CEO of the International Living Future Institute - a leading NGO that focuses on the transformation to a world that is socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative. Under the Living Future Umbrella, Jason operates the Cascadia Green Building Council, the Pacific Northwest's leading organization in the field of green building and sustainable development.

An Ashoka Fellow, Jason is the founder and creator of the Living Building Challenge, widely considered the world's most progressive and stringent green building program. His work in the sustainable design field has been published or reviewed in dozens of journals, magazines conference proceedings and books including Time Magazine, National Geographic, The New York Times, CNN World, Architecture, Architectural Record, Dwell, Plenty, Metropolis, The Globe and Mail, The World and I, Ecostructure, Greensource, Arcade and Environmental Design and Construction Magazine. He is the author of four books; The Philosophy of Sustainable Design, The Dumb Architect's Guide to Glazing Selection, The Ecological Engineer and Zugunruhe. The Philosophy of Sustainable Design has been used as a textbook in over seventy universities and colleges and is distributed widely throughout Europe, North America and Asia.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
This is an extremely satisfying book to read.
Robert David STEELE Vivas
This book should definitely be on the must-read list for anyone interesting in sustainability.
A. McKenna
The information is well organized, which makes reading this much information actually fun.
Anderson Toledo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By William der Green on March 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Simply put, this book serves up excellent insights into the only future of architecture and the hope for our injured environment... sustainable design. McLennan is more than an author or advocate... he is a deep green thinker who practices on a daily basis what he preaches. Of the many great books available on this subject I found this one the most comprehensive. The Philosophy of Sustainable Design encompassing not only the materials, technologies, and methods available to green designers but it highlights the leaders, champions and innovators who are driving the green building movement forward. This book offers information (and inspiration) for the seasoned and the novice. Read it, share it and read it again!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Tim Koehn on December 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Jason is the quintessential green warrior. Young, enthusiastic, exceedingly bright, and seemingly undaunted at the prospect of swimming against the current, Jason shares with us his passion for sustainable design. Having spent the formative years of his career working with the veritable giants of the sustainable design field, Jason shares his unique perspectives and experiences that today's up and coming green warriors can only dream of.

A must for any aspiring architect, Jason takes the reader through the entire series of timeless principles that form the very foundation of sustainable design with loads of practical examples and current references to help empower the reader to internalize and apply those principles in their own practice. At the end of our journey, we are convinced that it is the rest of the world that is, in fact, swimming against the current, and we are emboldened and encouraged to follow our instincts, and are reminded that good design not only can, but in fact must be sustainable. He also dedicates an entire chapter to predicting the future of architecture, complete with a timeline for the next 100 years!

Jason specifically reaches out to encourage the next generation of green warriors with a chapter dedicated to understanding the drivers of, and barriers to, sustainable design in today's corporate structures and design firms, giving the reader a helpful "big picture" overview to help recognize the progress of an organization's corporate culture on the path to sustainability, and to better understand how to make a difference.

To complete the package as an essential resource, the appendices include Jason's own "Green Warrior Reading List", & a "Who's Who in Green Design".

A must-read for anyone serious about facilities design in the 21st. century.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I came late to bioneering, after I was inspired by Herman Daly's Ecological Economics: Principles And Applications, Brian Czech's Shoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train: Errant Economists, Shameful Spenders, and a Plan to Stop them All; and everything by Paul Hawkin, but especially The Ecology of Commerce.

I have had an interest in the intersection of global science, sustainable political and social and economic orders, and the vulnerability of the nation-state in the face of growing complexity for some time, and many of my other reviews focus on these literatures, as well as the literatures of collective intelligence, global assemlages, wealth of networks, localized resilience, and so on.

I make mention of that broader literature to add emphasis to my view that this book is one of the most extraordinary I have ever encountered. I made a mistake when I first got it months ago and put it sight unseen into my "hard and dense, save for intercontinental trip." This book is not hard, not dense, and it is both easy to read and intellectually elegant. I can easily see this book as the single mandatory first year or summer pre-reading at any level--undergraduate or graduate--along with contextual books such as:
...Read more ›
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. A Schmidt on August 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is the new heavyweight contender of green building titles. If you liked Natural Capitalism by Hawkins and Lovins, you'll enjoy this book. It's more comprehensive and uses facts and figures more judiciously. I'm impressed with the author's courage to make predictions in a chapter on the future of sustainability. This book should be required reading for all architecture students.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Kriskovic on January 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A very easy to read book that will help anyone, with or without an architecture or design background, to understand the basics of Sustainable Design. Well written, with very precise, intelligent, and oftentimes humorous commentary. Mr. McLennan knows his stuff, and the only thing in my mind that he could be faulted for is not going deep enough on some of the topics. That is the nature of the book, however. It is mean to be a high level overview of all aspects of Sustainable Design. Mr. McLennan has been very thorough, though, in including tons of references for those of us looking for a deeper understanding of any of the topics mentioned in the book. A must have for any aspiring architect or designer and a fabulous addition to any arcophile's library!
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