That is, the books and magazines we reach for first, for advice and inspiration on the subjects of sustainable design and culture.

Support your local independent bookstore! In Seattle, many of these titles are available at Elliot Bay Books.

If you are unable to locate a book at the bookstore the underlined titles below provide links to individual publications for sale through the Oikos.com online catalog. Ten per cent of any purchase over $10 will be credited to the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild when you mention you found Oikos.com through this page.


Practical Guides for Homeowners

  • A Pattern Language, Christopher Alexander et al.
  • The Not So Big House, (the whole series) Sarah Susanka et al.
  • Northwest Green Home Primer, Kathleen O’Brien & Kathleen Smith
  • Tiny Houses, Lester Walker
  • Recreating the American Home: The Passive House Approach, Mary James
  • Active for More Comfort: The Passive House, International Passive House Association

Technical Manuals

  • Builder’s Field Guide for Mixed Humid Climates, Energy Efficient Building Association
  • Design with Nature, Ian McHarg
  • Moisture Control Handbook, Joseph Lstiburek
  • Planting Green Roofs and Living Walls, Nigel Dunnet and Noel Kingsbury
  • Environmental By Design, David Rousseau and Kim Leclair
  • Healthy By Design, David Rousseau
  • The Adaptable House, Avi Friedman
  • Accessibility Design for All – An Illustrated Handbook, Barbara Allen and Frank C. Moffet
  • Cost Effective Home Building, National Association of Home Builders Research Group
  • Passivhaus-Bauteilkatalog (Details for Passive Houses), Austrian Institute for Healthy and Ecological Building.

Design Philosophy & Deep Background

  • The Spell of the Sensuous, David Abram
  • Built Upon Love, Alberto Perez-Gomez
  • The Eyes of the Skin, Juhani Pallasmaa
  • A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman
  • The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard
  • Biomimicry, Janine Benyus
  • The Unsettling of America, Wendell Berry
  • What Are PEOPLE For?, Wendell Berry
  • On Weathering (The Life of Buildings in Time), Moshen Mostafavi and David Leatherbarrow
  • The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life, Thomas Moore
  • The American Replacement of Nature, William Irwin Thompson
  • Collapse, Jared Diamond

Periodicals