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Sustainable Design Resources: Case Studies & Sources

Resources related to sustainable environmental design.

Case Studies & Projects


  1. 100 contemporary green buildings = 100 Zeitgenössische grüne bauten = 100 bâtiments verts contemporains / Philip Jodidio. 2013.
  2. 150 best sustainable home ideas / Francesc Zamora Mola. 2013.
  3. 21st century sustainable homes / edited by Mark Cleary. 2011.
  4. 150 best eco house ideas / editor and text, Marta Serrats. 2010.
  5. Architecture of change 2 : sustainability and humanity in the built environment / edited by Kristin Feireiss and Lukas Feireiss. 2009.
  6. Blue houses : sustainable homes / [editor], Cristina Paredes Benítez. 2011.
  7. Cradle to cradle home design : process and experience / Anna Marshall-Baker, Lisa M. Tucker. 2012.
  8. Culture-nature : green ethics, habitat, environment / a cura di = edited by Alessandra Coppa, Fortunato D'Amico. 2010. Catalog of an the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale.
  9. Design like you give a damn [2] : building change from the ground up / edited by Architecture for Humanity. 2012.
  10. Earthships in Europe / Mischa Hewitt and Kevin Telfer. 2012.
  11. Eco living / Chris van Uffelen. 2013. 124 international examples of residential architecture, from single-family homes to housing estates, that incorporate exemplary ecological living solutions, all of which take different approaches. Includes architects' index.
  12. Eco solutions : sustainable approaches for a bioclimatic home / editorial coordinator, Claudia Martinez Alonso; edition and texts, Marta Serrats. 2012.
  13. Eco-Urban design / John A. Flannery, Karen M. Smith. 2011.
  14. Ecological architecture / Chris van Uffelen ; translation, Alice Bayandin. 2009.
  15. The ecological house : sustainable architecture around the world / text, Marco Moro, Beatrice Spirandelli ; preface, Ecosistema Urbano. 2011.
  16. Ecological living / edited by Manuela Roth ; [texts: Elke Weiler ; translations: Yannick Van Belleghem...[et al.]]. 2009.
  17. Environmental tectonics : forming climatic change / edited by Steve Hardy. 2008. The projects presented here emphasize multiple aspects of the environment, often addressing issues of aesthetics and pleasure alongside ethics.
  18. Green architecture / [editing, Chen Liu]. 2010. 42 international award-winning projects detailing award-winning reasons and materials.
  19. Green design : creative, sustainable designs for the twenty-first century / Marcus Fairs ; foreword by Tom Dixon. 2009.
  20. Green is beautiful : the eco-friendly house / [Claudio Santini ; text by Dafna Zilafro]. 2009.
  21. Green life : building sustainable cities / edited by Maria Berrini and Aldo Colonetti. 2010.
  22. Green houses : new directions in sustainable architecture / [editor, Josep Maria Minguet ; co-author, Óscar Mira]. 2013. Profiles eleven international projects which illustrate close co-operation between everyone involved - architects, engineers, interior decorators, landscapers and client - in all the project phases.
  23. Green school primer : lessons in sustainability / edited by LPA, inc. 2009. Eight case studies examining why and how schools should be made "green."
  24. The hybrid house : designing with sun, wind, water, and earth / Catherine Wanek. 2010.
  25. Inspired homes : architecture for changing times / Avi Friedman with Emma Greer. 2013.
  26. Innovative houses : concepts for sustainable living / Avi Friedman. 2013. Discusses and illustrates recent and notable residential trends. Organized into four broad areas of interest: demographic and social trends; design and production methods; energy and resource efficiency; and innovative landscaping.
  27. New natural home / Dominic Bradbury ; photographs by Richard Powers. 2011.
  28. Prefabulous + almost off the grid : your path to building an energy-independent home / Sheri Koones ; foreword by Robert Redford. 2012. Profiling thirty-two homes in the United States, this book explains many of the materials, systems, and techniques available to create a more energy-efficient, comfortable, and healthy home.
  29. Prefabulous + sustainable : building and customizing an affordable, energy-efficient home / Sheri Koones ; foreword by Robert Redford. 2010.
  30. Prefabulous world : energy-efficient and sustainable homes around the globe / Sheri Koones ; foreword by Robert Redford. 2014.
  31. Rural Studio at twenty : designing and building in Hale County, Alabama / Andrew Freear and Elena Barthel, with Andrea Oppenheimer Dean ; photography by Timothy Hursley. 2014.
  32. Small eco houses : living green in style / Cristina Paredes Benítez, Àlex Sánchez Vidiella. 2010.
  33. Small scale, big change : new architectures of social engagement / Andres Lepik, curator. Museum of Modern Art, 2010.
  34. The sustainable Asian house / Paul McGillick ; photography by Masano Kawana. 2013.
  35. Sustainable buildings in practice : what the users think / George Baird. 2010.
  36. Sustainable design II : towards a new ethics for architecture and the city / Marie-Hélène Contal, Jana Revedin ; with the kind participation of Benno Albrecht and Elisa Brusegan. 2011. Presents the 2009 and 2010 winners of the "Global Award for Sustainable Architecture."
  37. Sustainable homes / [Pilar Chueca]. 2009. A sampling of highly innovative sustainable designs in the United States including upscale residences, posh cabins, and a geodesic dome.
  38. Geng xin Zhongguo : wei le yi ge ke chi xue de wei lai = Updating China : projects for a sustainable future = Nachhaltiges Planen und Bauen in China / curated by Li Xiangning ; edited by Li Xiangning, Christian Dubrau. 2010. Highlights 40 projects in China. Text in Chinese, German, and English.
  39. Urban style = Maison de ville = Städtische Häuser / 2008.
  40. XS : small structures, green architecture / Phyllis Richardson. 2007.

FILMS - In-library viewing at the Media Resources Center in Moffitt Library

  1. The 2030 challenge [videorecording] : environmental design in the face of climate change / presented by UNLV School of Architecture, the Natural Energies Advanced Technologies (NEAT) Laboratory, and the Architecture Studies Library. 2007.
  2. Design e² [videorecording] : the economies of being environmentally conscious / director, Tad Fettig ; series producer, Elizabeth Westrate ; narration writers, Mark Decena, John Kenney ; produced by kontentreal, LLC. [Alexandria, Va.] : PBS Home Video, c2006. Watch additional episodes online.
  3. The greening of Southie [videorecording] / Mercator Entertainment presents ; a Wicked Delicate production ; produced by Curt Ellis ; directed by Ian Cheney. 2008.
  4. Thom Mayne, Morphosis [videorecording] : U.S. Federal Office Building, San Francisco, CA / produced by Checkerboard Film Foundation ; produced by Edgar B. Howard ; directed by Tom Piper, Charles Gansa. 2008.


  1. Berkeley EcoHouse - a demonstration home and resource center that showcases traditional and modern methods of environmentally healthy living.
  2. CalRecycle : Sustainable (Green) Building Case Studies Includes case studies on green building by building type, location, and name as well as links to other websites listing green buildings/case studies.
  3. Energy Design Resources : a valuable palette of decision-making tools and resources that help
    make it easier to design, build and operate more energy-efficient
    buildings in California - Includes case studies.
  4. Green Building Information Gateway : this website is designed by the U.S. Green Building Council to provide a searchable database of certified buildings. certifications, disclosures, awards, and case studies. Also provides "customized data, maps, analytics and insights" into LEED.
  5. Thoreau Center for Sustainability. Privately funded "green" nonprofit centers in SF and New York.
  6. William McDonough and Partners - Notable projects include the Ford Rogue Center and the Ford Truck Plant. See also -- The Hannover Principles: Design for Sustainability (pdf). William McDonough & Partners. 1992.

History: Groundbreaking Books and Historic Sources


  1. Architecture and the urban environment : a vision for the new age / Derek Thomas. 2002.
  2. Big & green : toward sustainable architecture in the 21st / edited by David Gissen. 2002.
  3. Building cities: towards a civil society and sustainable environment / edited by Norman Crowe, Richard Economakis and Michael Lykoudis; with Mark Gage, et al. 1999.
  4. Cradle to cradle: remaking the way we make things / William McDonough & Michael Braungart. 1st ed. 2002. Focuses on the nature of sustainability and the transformation of human industry through ecologically intelligent design.
  5. Culture, architecture and nature : an ecological design retrospective / Sim Van der Ryn ; edited by Richard Olsen. 2014.
  6. Design outlaws on the ecological frontier / Chris Zelov, executive editor; Phil Cousineau, co-editor. Philadelphia, Penn.: Knossus Publishing, 2000 ed. Companion book to Ecological design [videorecording] : inventing the future. (director, Brian Danitz ; produced by Brian Danitz and Tzelovanikov ; writer, Phil Cousineau. 1994.)
  7. Design with nature / Ian L. McHarg. 1st ed. 1969. (Classic) Helped to define the fields of landscape architecture, urban and regional planning, and ecological design. Discussion of mankind's place in nature and nature's place in mankind within the physical sciences and humanities. Offers a blueprint for a new, healthier relationship between the built environment and nature.
    see also -- To heal the earth: selected writings of Ian L. McHarg / edited by Ian L. McHarg and Frederick R. Steiner; foreword by Robert D. Yaro. 1998. A retrospective collection of essays by Ian McHarg, written while he was at the University of Pennsylvania.
  8. Designing with nature: the ecological basis for architectural design / Ken Yeang. 1995.
  9. Environmental literature: an encyclopedia of works, authors, and themes/ compiled by Patricia D. Netzley. 1999. Very good for historical references, includes important people, authors, events that have "advanced knowledge and changed the perception of the environment."
  10. The environmental tradition: studies in the architecture of environment / Dean Hawkes. 1996.
  11. From Bauhaus to ecohouse [electronic resource] : a history of ecological design / Peder Anker. 2010. Also available in print.
  12. From eco-cities to living machines: principles of ecological design / Nancy Jack Todd and John Todd. 1994.
  13. Gray world, green heart: technology, nature, and the sustainable landscape / Robert L. Thayer, Jr. 1994.
  14. Green shift: changing attitudes in architecture to the natural world / John Farmer; edited by Kenneth Richardson ; with supplementary text by Judith Farren Bradley, et al. . 2nd ed.1999.
  15. The greening of architecture : a critical history and survey of contemporary sustainable architecture and urban design / Phillip James Tabb and A. Senem Deviren. 2013.
  16. The nature of order: an essay on the art of building and the nature of the universe / Christopher Alexander. 2002. (classic) Center for Environmental Structure series; v. 9. Alexander develops a comprehensive theory of how matter comes together to form coherent structures.
  17. Planning for sustainability : creating livable, equitable, and ecological communities / Stephen M. Wheeler. 2004.
  18. A primer on sustainable building / Rocky Mountain Institute, Green Development Services; Dianna Lopez Barnett with William D. Browning. 2004. Topics include site and habitat restoration, transportation integration, edible landscapes, energy-efficient design, indoor air quality.
  19. Something new under the sun: an environmental history of the twentieth-century world / J.R. McNeill. 2000.
  20. The sustainable urban development reader / edited by Stephen M. Wheeler and Timothy Beatley. 2nd ed. 2009.
  21. Sustainable architecture and urbanism : concepts, technologies, examples / Dominique Gauzin-Müller ; with contributions by Nicolas Favet. 2002.
  22. Sustainable architecture white papers / edited by David E. Brown, Mindy Fox, Mary Rickel Pelletier.1st ed. 2000. selected essays by architects, designers on the current state of sustainable architecture and its many facets.
  23. Sustainable architectures : cultures and natures in Europe and North America / edited by Simon Guy and Steven Moore. 2005.
  24. Taking shape: a new contract between architecture and nature / Susannah Hagan. 2001.
  25. The timeless way of building / Christopher Alexander. 1979. (Classic). The Timeless Way of Building is the first volume of a three-volume set; Alexander presents a different perceptual framework for conceiving of, and creating architecture. In the second volume of the series, A pattern language, he discusses his own exploration of architecture within this perceptual framework and the two hundred fifty-three patterns that he has intuited. In the third volume, The oregon experiment, he explains how this "language" of two hundred fifty-three patterns was used in practice to design a building complex at the University of Oregon.
  26. Understanding sustainable architecture / Terry Williamson, Anthony Radford, and Helen Bennetts. 2003.
  27. Urban design: green dimensions / Cliff Moughtin with Peter Shirley. 2nd ed. 2005. Shows how sustainable urban design can be implemented on every scale. Second edition includes the Urban Park and Bio-diversity.

Sustainable Design should be beautiful

(Source: Fincube © 2010 )

A Case for Why Sustainable Design Must be Beautiful : Architect Lance Hosey argues that the way toward green design is through aesthetics rooted in nature.

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

  1. DIDI : Design Idea Dictionary / compilation, DAMDI Publishing Co. ; editor in chief, Pyo Mi Young. 2013. 10 volumes : color illustrations and color plans - not strictly a dictionary, more akin to a design sourcebook.
  2. Dictionary of architectural and building technology / Henry J. Cowan and Peter R. Smith ; with contributions by W.K. Chow et al.. 4th ed. 2004. Includes illustrations, definitions, modern terms, environmental definitions such as wind scoops, natural ventilation.
  3. A dictionary of environment and conservation [electronic resource] / Chris Park. 2007. Also available in print.
  4. A dictionary of architecture / James Stevens Curl. 2nd ed. 2006.
  5. Dictionary of architecture & construction / edited by Cyril M. Harris. 4th ed. 2006. Also available in print.
  6. Dictionary of ecodesign : an illustrated reference / Ken Yeang and Lillian Woo. 2010.
  7. Dictionary of environment and sustainable development / Alan Gilpin. 1996.
  8. The elements of architecture : principles of environmental performance in buildings / Scott Drake ; illustrations by Adam Brown and Tristan Wong. 2009.
  9. Elsevier's dictionary of environment in English, French, Spanish and Arabic / compiled by M. Bakr. 1998.
  10. The environment dictionary / David D. Kemp. 1998. Entry includes definition, illustrations and further reading list.
  11. The environmental regulatory dictionary / compiled by James J. King. 2005.
  12. Environmental encyclopedia / William P. Cunningham, et al., editors. 2nd ed. 1998. Includes definitions, cultural movements, biographies, regional events, community actions and a short bibliography for each entry.
  13. The Facts On File guide to research / Jeff Lenburg. 2005. Facts on File library of language and literature. Includes a chapter on "Ecology and the Environment".
  14. Green Building A to Z: understanding the language of green building / Jerry Yudelson. 2007. Offers the basics of green building and shows how it relates to key issues such as, water conservation, healthy buildings, use of recycled materials, reduction of carbon dioxide, and environmental site planning.
  15. Green cities: an A-to-Z guide / Nevin Cohen, general editor. 2010. UCB Only.
  16. Illustrated dictionary of architecture / Ernest Burden. 2012.
  17. Sustainable built environments / Vivian Loftness and Dagmar Haase (eds.). 2013. Selected entries from the Encyclopedia of sustainability science and technology.

Handbooks, Guides, and Other Selected Reference

  1. Adapting buildings and cities for climate change : a 21st century survival guide / Sue Roaf, David Crichton and Fergus Nicol. 2009.
  2. Aesthetics of sustainable architecture / edited by Sang Lee ; foreword by Kees Doevendans ; with contributions by Nezar AlSayyad ... [et al.]. 2011. Essays by leading architectural designers, theorists, and scholars.
  3. The Ahwahnee principles for smart economic development: an implementation guidebook / Rick Cole, et al. ; editing by Paul Zykofsky, Brad Norton and Dave Davis. 1998. Written for local policymakers, communities, regional development ideas.
  4. Architecture 3.0 : the disruptive design practice handbook / Cliff Moser. 2014. Focusing on the concept of disruption, the book provides a set of ideas and tools in order to create a new sustainable practice.
  5. Architecture in a climate of change : a guide to sustainable design / Peter F. Smith. 2005.
  6. The barefoot architect : a handbook for green building / Johan van Lengen. 2008.
  7. Be a successful green builder / R. Dodge Woodson. 2009.
  8. Building to suit the climate : a handbook / Gerhard Hausladen, Petra Liedl, Mike de Saldanha. 2012. A manual for integrated planning in the international context -- offers a comprehensive analysis of the interplay between climate, the building structure and the building envelope.
  9. Cities going green : a handbook of best practices / edited by Roger L. Kemp and Carl J. Stephani. 2011.
  10. Closing the loop : benchmarks for sustainable buildings / Susan Roaf, with Andrew Horsley and Rajat Gupta. 2004.
  11. Cohousing cultures : handbuch für selbstorganisiertes, gemeinschaftliches und nachhaltiges Wohnen = Cohousing cultures : handbook for self-organized, community-oriented and sustainable housing / ID22, Institute for Creative Sustainability, Experimentcity. 2012.
  12. Ecological design handbook: sustainable strategies for architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, and planning / Fred A. Stitt, editor. 1999.
  13. The economy of sustainable construction / edited by Ilka & Andreas Ruby and Nathalie Janson. 2014. Contained within its 400 pages are essays, reports, and case studies that examine the relationship between commercial and sustainable values, and explore the paths that construction will take in the 21st century. Packed with info-graphics.
  14. Environmental planning for site development: a manual for sustainable local planning and design / Anne R. Beer and Catherine Higgins. 2nd ed. 2000.
  15. The environmental resource handbook. / 2013/14. Directory of associations, awards, research, green city rankings. Includes statistics for brownfields, air quality, children's health, drinking water, noise pollution.
  16. A green vitruvius : principles and practice of sustainable architectural design / Vivienne Brophy and J. Owen Lewis. 2011.
  17. Going green : a handbook of sustainable housing practices in developing countries / [principal author, Emma-Liisa Hannula]. 2012.
  18. Green building : a professional's guide to concepts, codes and innovation : includes IgCC provisions / Anthony C. Floyd and Allan Bilka. 2012.
  19. Green building : project planning & cost estimating : a practical guide for constructing sustainable buildings : cost data for green materials, components & systems; special project requirements; financial analysis & incentives. / 2002.
  20. Green building and LEED core concepts guide / U.S. Green Building Council, 2011.
  21. Green neighborhood development : LEED reference guide for neighborhood development / U.S. Green Building Council, 2009.
  22. The green studio handbook : environmental strategies for schematic design / Alison G. Kwok and Walter T. Grondzik. 2011.
  23. Green town USA : the handbook for America's sustainable future / Thomas J. Fox ; introduction by Daniel Wallach. 2013.
  24. A green Vitruvius: principles and practice of sustainable architectural design / Vivienne Brophy and J. Owen Lewis. 2011.
  25. Handbook of sustainable refurbishment : housing / Simon Burton. 2011.
  26. The HOK guidebook to sustainable design / Sandra Mendler, William Odell, Mary Ann Lazarus. 2nd ed. 2006. Shows how to integrate sustainable design strategies into projects. Includes case studies, glossary, top 10 internet resources, bibliography.
  27. Homes reference guide / U.S. Green Building Council. 2008.
  28. Home work : handbuilt shelter / Lloyd Kahn. 2004.
  29. How to design and build a green office building : a complete guide to making your new or existing building environmentally healthy / Jackie Bondanza. 2011.
  30. Modern sustainable residential design : a guide for design professionals / William J. Carpenter. 2009.
  31. The natural building companion : a comprehensive guide to integrative design and construction / Jacob Deva Racusin and Ace McArleton. 2012.
  32. Rough guide to sustainability : a design primer / Brian Edwards. 2010.
  33. Sustainable and resilient communities : a comprehensive action plan for towns, cities, and regions / edited by Stephen Coyle ; foreword by Andrés Duany. 2011.
  34. The sustainable building bible : an insider's guide to eco-renovation & newbuilding / Tim Pullen. 2011. Rev. ed. of: Simply sustainable homes. 2008.
  35. Sustainable building sourcebook : supplement to the Green Building Program / Austin Energy. 2000. The general sections of the Sourcebook are Water, Energy, Building Materials, and Solid Waste. Each resource section and the appendix are hyperlinked for quick location.
  36. The sustainable design handbook : China : high environmental quality cities and buildings / Serge Salat, editor in chief. 2006.
  37. Sustainable healthcare architecture, 2nd edition / Robin Guenther, Gail Vittori. 2013. Also available as an electronic resource.
  38. Sustainable school architecture : design for primary and secondary schools / Lisa Gelfand, with Eric Corey Freed. 2010.
  39. The whole building handbook : how to design healthy, efficient and sustainable buildings / Varis Bokalders and Maria Block. 2010. Originally published in Swedish in 2004.


  1. Sustainability Hub – Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)