The Herald Bulletin

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July 31, 2013

Neolithic to net zero

Anderson author looks at our journey to 21st century architecture

ANDERSON, Ind. — The pyramids of Egypt. Italy’s Villa Rotunda. Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Anderson’s own Victorian style Gruenewald House.

Anderson author Shirley Montgomery takes a colorful and interesting look at architecture through history, then delivers her readers to the doorstep of an entirely new and unprecedented era in architecture in her newly published book, “Architecture of the Early Twenty-First Century: A Global Need for Sustainability.”

Montgomery offers readers a visual tour of the historical references that have impacted United States architecture and beyond. She documents the journey with ample color photographs, including some of regional interest.

Segue into the second part of Montgomery’s book, however, and you’re stepping into the 21st century where architecture is a whole new ballgame. The current imperative for development that is sustainable is defining a new style in architecture.

“Our buildings look different today,” says Montgomery in the preface. As climate change looms ever more undeniably, buildings that strive for eco-efficiency are dominating the landscape of new architecture.

“A lot of people interested in the history of architecture are not interested in sustainable,” said Montgomery. “I think a lot more people would be interested if they realized that was the direction architecture is heading now.”

“Buildings today look the way they do because of alternative energy,” said Montgomery. Today’s architecture employs solar, geo-thermal and wind energy. While net zero energy consumption may be a goal, at the same time, the new architecture speaks to quality of life for those within its walls.

“There’s a lot of daylighting going on, open air,” said Montgomery. “You’re part of the outdoors.”

“They’re trying to enhance the living environment for people working in their buildings. It just really has an impact on you,” said Montgomery. The author acknowledges that sustainable development in architecture is a process.

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