For the past quarter-century, mainstream architecture has proceeded on the underlying belief that we have the resources to build whatever and as much as we want and that technology can overcome any problems we create for ourselves through our building activities. The serious shortages that now confront us demand a thorough reevaluation of this premise.
Carl Stein, nationally recognized for his contributions to the field of sustainable design, connects the impact of individual building design decisions to the global energy and environmental crises. He sets out the argument for sustainability inherent in Modern design, identifying tenets that are intrinsic to contemporary ecological thinking, and he provides nuts-and-bolts information to assist practitioners and students of architecture, engineering, planning, and environmentalism in specific building-upgrade projects. While not a how-to handbook, Greening Modernism provides quantitative data and describes the environmental benefits from the continued use of the vast inventory of modern buildings, including reduced demand for energy and other finite resources and reduced need for waste processing.
Greening Modernism explains the relationships between design and technology in the pre-petroleum, early-petroleum, and late-petroleum eras and goes on to suggest opportunities for architecture in a post-petroleum world.