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Have we passed a tipping point beyond which we can no longer reverse a course of action that was charted several decades ago? Sustainable argues that we can indeed detach our dwellings from a dependence on many external systems and resources and adopt other building practices. What is known as living off the grid is possible, and Sustainable presents forty-five houses that demonstrate how architects use sustainable design concepts around the world. Among the examples presented here are buildings that minimize their physical footprint through placement above ground; houses where earth constitutes the chief building material and houses incorporating walls with plant material in the building's interior (also known as "living walls"); designs that increase natural light and avoid artificial means of illumination; dwellings that have been designed to let occupants grow their food ("indoor farming"); homes that allow their inhabitants to harvest and recycle water; and earth-sheltered homes. Together these projects illustrate what vernacular design principles can teach us and make Sustainable a unique and authoritative presentation of the ingenuity and variety of sustainable design.
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About the Author

Dr. Avi Friedman received his Bachelor's degree in Architecture and Town Planning from the Israel Institute of Technology, his Master's Degree from McGill University, and his Doctorate from the University of Montreal. In 1988, he co-founded the Affordable Homes Program at the McGill School of Architecture where he teaches. He is the author of twelve books and was a syndicated columnist for the CanWest Chain of daily newspapers. In 2000 he was selected by Wallpaper magazine as one of ten people "most likely to change the way we live."

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