101 Rules of Thumb for Low Energy Architecture
RIBA Publishing £17.99
Architects can sometimes obsess with the technicalities of environmental sustainability. That’s no bad thing in practice since carbon regulation is getting ever more stringent and buildings are increasingly expected to perform. So we look to high performance envelopes and eco-friendly materials, ground source heat pumps and PV; piecemeal approaches that together hopefully result in a BREEAM Excellent rating or a Code Level 5 home. But perhaps, by dwelling on ‘soft landings’ we might have lost grip on a few hard facts. That, in a nutshell, is the charm of Huw Heywood’s book. If you are looking for the latest eco-innovations, look elsewhere. Heywood’s book peels away the sophistry of eco architecture to 101 back-to-basics rules of thumb. You’ll probably know most of them, you might have forgotten you know some of them, and a few you might not know at all; but the next time you sit in front of a blank sheet of paper, Heywood’s simple advice and graphics might just spur you on to something great.