Building Inside Nature's Envelope: How New Construction and Land Preservation Can Work Together

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Oxford University Press, 2000 - Architecture - 152 pages
Every year, many thousands of acres of woodlands, deserts, meadowlands, and coastal scrub are turned into home or commercial sites. Ironically, by the time these structures are complete, bulldozers have scraped the land clean of its natural vegetation and character, much of which attracted buyers in the first place. In Building Inside Nature's Envelope, Andy Wasowski introduces a new and exciting technique for salvaging the natural land upon which we build new homes, new offices, or even new shopping centers.
Wasowski argues that the unnatural landscapes so common in America literally exist on artificial life support. A natural landscape, on the other hand, is filled with native flora and can exist on rainfall alone. It is, as one builder said, akin to stepping lightly on the earth. To help builders and prospective home owners achieve this "light step," the author introduces the idea of the Envelope, an approach to construction that is cost effective, simple, and environmentally responsible. A structure built within nature's envelope looks as if it has been gently set down into a mature and established landscape--which is the easiest kind of landscape to maintain. He illustrates this new concept in construction through profiles of sites in California, Arizona, South Carolina, Minnesota, and other locales in North America. He also highlights useful techniques for revegetation, discusses the importance of soils, and argues for the preservation and maintenance of natural habitats.
Attractively illustrated with 88 pictures--including 41 full-color images--Building Inside Nature's Envelope offers a practical blueprint for creating a community where both wildlife and human life thrive in a harmonious relationship.

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Building inside nature's envelope: how new construction and land preservation can work together

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Self-styled "botanical missionaries," the Wasowskis explain how to build a house without disturbing the indigenous landscape. Nationally recognized for their books, articles, and slide presentations ... Read full review


Keep Nature at Arms Length
Early Integration with Nature
Building Inside Natures Envelope

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About the author (2000)

Andy Wasowski was born in Poland in 1939 and came with his family to America in 1940. After pursuing a successful career in advertising for 35 years, he made a career change and has since written eight books on native landscaping with his wife, Sally. Sally Wasowski is a native Texan who is a nationally recognized expert on native landscaping.

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