Design With Microclimate: The Secret to Comfortable Outdoor Space

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Overview

Robert Brown helps us see that a "thermally comfortable microclimate" is the very foundation of well-designed and well-used outdoor places. Brown argues that as we try to minimize human-induced changes to the climate and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels-as some areas become warmer, some cooler, some wetter, and some drier, and all become more expensive to regulate-good microclimate design will become increasingly important. In the future, according to Brown, all designers will need to understand climatic issues and be able to respond to their challenges.
 
Brown describes the effects that climate has on outdoor spaces-using vivid illustrations and examples-while providing practical tools that can be used in everyday design practice. The heart of the book is Brown's own design process, as he provides useful guidelines that lead designers clearly through the complexity of climate data, precedents, site assessment, microclimate modification, communication, design, and evaluation. Brown strikes an ideal balance of technical information, anecdotes, examples, and illustrations to keep the book engaging and accessible. His emphasis throughout is on creating microclimates that attend to the comfort, health, and well-being of people, animals, and plants.
 
Design with Microclimate is a vital resource for students and practitioners in landscape architecture, architecture, planning, and urban design.

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Editorial Reviews

Landscapes - Lu Par Alan Tate

"... it is an accessible and informative book suitable for beginning students in landscape architecture."
CHOICE - S. Hammer

"... This thought-provoking, interdisciplinary book is well illustrated, readable, and at many junctures, surprising. More design treatises like this are needed -- works that contrast the intuitive with the counterintuitive and provide a sense that real change at the human level is within the professional's scope. ... Highly recommended. All levels/libraries."
Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review - Traci Rose Rider

"In Design with Microclimate, Robert Brown masterfully outlines the various complexities and considerations embedded in creating comfortable, usable and even popular outdoor spaces. His goal is to encourage designers to think holistically as they strive to design meaningful places."
Landscape Architecture Magazine - Diane Hellekson

"...This slim, friendly, and occasionally overwhelming primer urges landscape architects to understand the deeper implications of the big trio - topography, vegetation, and structure - and employ these elements more effectively by adding solar and terrestrial radiation, wind, and other climatic elements to the mix. Brown, a professor of landscape architecture at the University of Guelph, employs both expertise and enthusiasm to argue that thermal comfort contributes more than any amenity to susccessful site design.

...A trustworthy, sometimes goofy guide (who intersperses "yikes!" and "duh" into the milieu of pyranometers and conduction channels), Brown offers terrific anecdotes to illustrate microclimate concepts..."

OC FASLA FCSLA, Founder, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander Landscape Architects, Vancouve - Cornelia Hahn Oberlande

"Design with Microclimate is brilliant. It is the most important, easily readable text discussing microclimate. Climate change and densification of cities demands knowledge of microclimate so that spaces can be created for human comfort, as well as for flora and fauna. The book gives excellent examples of collaboration between design professionals to achieve 'the secret to comfortable outdoor space.'"
Vice-Rector of United Nations University and Professor, University of Tokyo - Dr. Kazuhiko Takeuchi

"Urban greens are indispensable not only for mitigating global warming through CO2 absorption but also for adapting to the hotter urban environments of today. This book describes numerous ways in which cities around the world can improve thermal comfort and livability by designing and planning urban greens in a 'thermally sound' manner."
Landscape Research

"In summary, Design with Microclimate is a useful introduction for students of landscape architecture aiming to develop an understanding of microclimate and designing for thermal comfort."
Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review

"In Design with Microclimate, Robert Brown masterfully outlines the various complexities and considerations embedded in creating comfortable, usable and even popular outdoor spaces. His goal is to encourage designers to think holistically as they strive to design meaningful places."
ASLA FCELA, Professor and Associate Dean, College of Landscape Architecture - Ronald R. Stoltz

"Robert Brown has once again demonstrated an uncanny knack for taking principles of atmospheric physics and blending them with practical approaches suitable for professional and non-professional designers. This is masterful work by an extraordinary teacher, scientist, and designer. Well done!"
SABMag

"The book strikes a nice balance of technical information, anecdotes, examples and illustrations, and Brown's emphasis throughout is on creating microclimates that attend to the well being of people, animals and plants."
Landscapes

"... it is an accessible and informative book suitable for beginning students in landscape architecture."
CHOICE

"... This thought-provoking, interdisciplinary book is well illustrated, readable, and at many junctures, surprising. More design treatises like this are needed—works that contrast the intuitive with the counterintuitive and provide a sense that real change at the human level is within the professional's scope."
Landscape Architecture Magazine

"...This slim, friendly, and occasionally overwhelming primer urges landscape architects to understand the deeper implications of the big trio—topography, vegetation, and structure—and employ these elements more effectively by adding solar and terrestrial radiation, wind, and other climatic elements to the mix. Brown, a professor of landscape architecture at the University of Guelph, employs both expertise and enthusiasm to argue that thermal comfort contributes more than any amenity to susccessful site design....A trustworthy, sometimes goofy guide (who intersperses 'yikes!' and 'duh' into the milieu of pyranometers and conduction channels), Brown offers terrific anecdotes to illustrate microclimate concepts..."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597267403
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 9/2/2010
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 1,032,819
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert D. Brown is Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Guelph, Canada. He is the senior author of Microclimatic Landscape Design and author of Landscape Assessment for Planning and Design.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

1 Experiential 1

2 Vernacular 25

3 Components 43

4 Modification 99

5 Principles and Guidelines 143

Appendix 163

Notes 165

Recommended Reading 169

Index 171

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