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Recovery of Natural Environments in Architecture : Air, Comfort and Climate (Hardcover) (C. Alan Short)
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Buildings urgently need to become more resilient to a changing climate whilst using very much less energy, but twentieth and early twenty-first century designers have persisted in making less and less resilient buildings more and more dependent on energy intensive artificial environments. For the last four or five decades the majority of buildings, however audacious their form, conform to a recurring constructional type, framed in steel or concrete, highly glazed with substantial service voids, lined in lightweight materials piping conditioned air. The implications of this formula proceeding unchallenged at the expense of the environment are unacceptable.
The type forms for our principle building types began in the mid twentieth century and need to be fundamentally re-invented. Prototypes for this reinvention were developing in very interesting ways until the introduction of ‘artificial weather’ in the late 1920s released design from the need to be responsive to climate. This book exhumes these lost ideas, reinforces them with contemporary scientific insight and proposes a recovery of the lost art and science of making naturally conditioned buildings. It will be illustrated with a series of innovative buildings designed by the author's research-based practice since the late 1980s, which have won recognition and awards internationally.