Climate change is the biggest challenge facing our planet. There has never been a more important time to understand how to make the best use of local natural resources and to produce buildings that do not rely on stripping the environment or transporting materials across the globe.
The culmination of years of specialist research, this once-in-a-generation publication gathers together an international team of over one hundred leading experts across a diverse range of disciplines to examine what the traditions of vernacular architecture and its regional craftspeople around the world can teach us about creating a more sustainable future. Organized by the five major climate zones, covering polar, temperate, tropical, desert and continental, and more than 80 countries worldwide, it reveals how people and cultures have adapted to their environment to make the best use of indigenous materials and construction techniques, and stresses the importance of preserving disappearing craftsmanship and local knowledge before it is too late.
Including contextual essays on issues ranging from climatology, to anthropology and economics; detailed reference section; specially commissioned maps and infographics; and a wealth of illustrations, this landmark publication is a celebration of humankind's resilience and ingenuity in a rapidly changing world, and an invaluable resource document for the future generation who will shape our built environment.
'Hefty, handsome … works best as evidence and inspiration, as the laying out the amazingly multifarious forms that human dwellings can take'
'A landmark publication … a timely and urgent story of humanity’s capacity to create architecture without jeopardizing the equilibrium of the ecosystems upon which human life depends'
'Amazing … fabulous photographs, authoritative essays and elaborate diagrams and maps'
'An inspiring study of design, use of natural materials and sense of place'
Self Build magazine