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Summer Beam Books

The Barefoot Architect: A Handbook for Green Building

The Barefoot Architect: A Handbook for Green Building

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Author: John Van Lengen

While working in Mexico in 1982, Johan van Lengen wrote and illustrated Manual Del Arquitecto Descalzo, a comprehensive guide to building simple homes highlighting modern and traditional techniques. The Mexican government was so impressed that it bought 40,000 copies and placed one in every library in the country. Now available in English for the first time, The Barefoot Architect describes in simple language the process of building housing and providing a healthful environment.


“The most important outcome of a design is that the occupants enjoy being in their spaces.”

The Barefoot Architect

Clear and comprehensive, The Barefoot Architect explains every aspect of green architecture, including design (siting, orientation, climate consideration), materials (sisal, cactus, bamboo, earth), and implementation (foundations, walls, partitions, floors, doors, and windows). Special attention is paid to ecotechniques, with an emphasis on inexpensive and sustainable solutions for three distinct regions: humid, temperate, and desert climates.

The book discusses small-scale energy production through the use of water and windmills, solar heating, and wood stoves and ovens. A final section shows how to obtain and store clean drinking water, and how to deal with septic waste safely. Hundreds of explanatory drawings by author Johan van Lengen allow even novice builders to get started.
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Shelter Publications, Inc.; Illustrated edition (October 28, 2007)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 720 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0936070420
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0936070421
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