Foreword Reviews

Rebuilding Earth

Designing Ecoconscious Habitats for Humans

Canadian architect Teresa Coady is renowned worldwide for her firm’s high-performance, energy-efficient buildings. In Rebuilding Earth, she discusses myriad ways to reform the Industrial Age construction industry, which now crashes ahead with too many resource-depleting, environmentally and socially stressing practices. Her Twelve Principles of Conscious Construction plumb the ways that architects, planners, developers, and the rest of us can improve how we construct and inhabit our human-made spaces.

The accelerating global construction boom unsustainably consumes land, fresh water, and other resources. But national economies are dependent upon this growth; 25% of the global workforce works in construction. Each of Coady’s Twelve Principles examines the harmful hidden costs of our current construction mode to our physical, mental, and environmental health. There are in-depth discussions of how to slash waste and energy use and attune ventilation, climate control, siting, and lighting with human behavior and the natural environment. Other thoughtful chapters stress the design importance of less expected aspects, like electromagnetic fields, wind patterns, and the importance of designing for natural sounds, music, dance, and sacred spaces.

Coady is optimistic about implementing her vision of a better Digital Age construction paradigm. Her focus on redevelopment of urban and coastal areas aligns with expected population trends, and she is a pragmatic and persuasive communicator about the huge economic and social benefits of enacting these reforms. Impressive insights regarding the interconnected issues across the arts and sciences arise, with adept explanations of how social and personal wellness are impacted by the built and natural environment.

This book extends current ideas about green building to incorporate a much richer and deeper connection to earth systems, wild habitats, and human behavior. Rebuilding Earth is an ambitious book that carries a reminder that our remarkable human resilience and intelligence “are strengths to be leveraged” in reimagining and remaking a better world.

Reviewed by Rachel Jagareski

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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