Pablo La Roche's New Book Introduces a Carbon-Neutral Architectural Design Process to Reduce Carbon Footprint of Buildings

Due to increasing concerns regarding Global Warming and financial pressures, many architects are now developing low-carbon buildings. The United States government, which rejected the Kyoto Protocol that requires industrialized nations to meet targets on emission reduction, has also begun imposing tougher regulations related to greenhouse gas emission in January 2011. Serving as a design reference, Dr. Pablo La Roche’s new book, Carbon-Neutral Architectural Design, examines the importance of designing low-carbon buildings and how to achieve them. With his expertise in low-energy architecture and passive cooling systems, Dr. La Roche is able to provide various strategies on how to design and build structures suited to accommodate any location. Since there is no single tool available that can calculate emissions from a building, a carbon-neutral architectural design process is introduced in the book to help the designer while also providing a roadmap that adjusts to any type of project.  

With his position as a faculty member, Dr. La Roche teaches his methods to undergraduate students in the Department of Architecture. Introduced to sustainability during their second year as part of the required design studio and lecture courses, Dr. La Roche believes that the concepts “can become an integral part of their design… and will be implemented in other projects” (25). At the introductory level, students are exposed to sustainability concepts with emphasis on the control of natural forces like the sun and the wind. The book then details the design process the students go through, from analyzing a location to the design of the building envelope and its interior. As they progress to the advanced studios, students then use computer tools that will aid them with the construction of their ideas; part of these tools include a rating system based on Malcolm Well’s wilderness-based checklist used for design and construction that helps students evaluate different variables.   

Filled with more than 200 illustrations, diagrams, and equations, Carbon Neutral Architectural Design can aid architects in designing buildings with a smaller carbon footprint.  






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