2nd Edition

Sustainable Design for the Built Environment

    292 Pages 25 Color & 45 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    292 Pages 25 Color & 45 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Sustainable Design for the Built Environment marks the transition of sustainable design from a specialty service to the mainstream approach for creating a healthy and resilient built environment. This groundbreaking and transformative textbook introduces sustainable design in a clear, concise, easy-to-read format.

    This new edition includes fully updated exercises and online resources, an increased focus on diversity, equity and inclusion in design, more international examples, perspectives and approaches, enhanced full colour visuals, and additional resources for further study. The book takes the reader deep into the foundations of sustainable design, and creates a holistic and integrative approach addressing the social, cultural, ecological, and aesthetic aspects in addition to the typical performance-driven goals. The first section of the book is thematically structured around the origins, principles, and frameworks of sustainable design, aimed at inspiring a deeper, broader, and more inclusive view of sustainability. The second section examines strategies such as biophilia and biomimicry, adaptation and resilience, health and well-being, including recent developments following the Covid-19 pandemic. The third section examines the application of sustainability principles from the global, urban, district and site, building, and human scale, illustrating how a systems thinking approach allows sustainable design to span varied contexts and multiple scales.

    This textbook is intended to inspire a new vision for the future that unites human activity with natural processes to form a regenerative, coevolutionary model for sustainable design. Supported by additional resources including additional reading for each chapter and classroom assignments, this book will be essential reading for students of sustainability and sustainable design.


    1. Space, time, and sustainable design   

    2. Environmental literacy for the sustainable designer   

    3. Motivations + Values for sustainable design   

    4. Integral sustainable design   

    5. The integrated design process   

    6. Bio-inspired design  

    7. Health + well-being 

    8. Resilience + adaption

    9. Global scale sustainable design   

    10. Urban scale sustainable design   

    11. District and site scale sustainable design 

    12. Building scale sustainable design   

    13. Human scale sustainable design   

    14. Moving Forward 


    Rob Fleming is an award-winning educator, author, LEED® accredited professional, and architect. He is the Director of the Center for Professional Learning at the Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania, and the Director of Sustainability at FCA, an architecture and design firm in Philadelphia. Rob served as the 2023 AIA Philadelphia President, and sits on the NCARB Education Committee, the AIA Higher Education Advisory Team, and is a jury member for the AIA COTE Student Design Competition. In Rob’s former life, he was the Founding Director of the MS in Sustainable Design Program at Thomas Jefferson University, one of the first programs of its kind in the world. 

    Saglinda H Roberts is currently an Assistant Professor in the Masters of Sustainable Design program in the College of Architecture and the Buit Environment at Jefferson University, Philadelphia, USA, and has over 30 years extensive design experience with a large variety of projects. 

    Chitsanzo Isaac is a Researcher in Urbanism and Sustainability, Software Developer, and former Assistant Professor in Sustainable Design at Thomas Jefferson University, USA.

    “The design of built environments is at the very core of addressing our climate emergency…  we need to design buildings, landscapes, and cities in a more sustainable manner… Rob Fleming, Saglinda Roberts, and Chitsanzo Isaac provide an excellent, thorough guide to do just that in their new edition of Sustainable Design for the Built Environment. Their text is especially valuable for students just beginning their design journeys… [Their approach] balances equity, ecological, and economic concerns to ensure a healthy planet for future generations… Sustainable Design for the Built Environment presents a comprehensive foundation and an invaluable guide.”

    Frederick Steiner (FASLA, FAAR, RAAR, SITES AP), Dean, Paley Professor, Co-Executive Director The McHarg Center, Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania, USA

    "This book is a great primer for thoughtful designers to gain the prerequisites for entering the integral-level design conversation beyond the current fragmented green pluralism. The authors use integral theory throughout to integrate perspectives across scales, worldviews and developmental evolutions in the discipline. The avant-garde for this century is big picture thought driving life-enhancing design. If you heard that sustainability and resilience have lost their meaning and significance—think deeper, and read on." 

    Mark DeKay, architect, author of Integral Sustainable Design:Transformative Perspectives and co-author of Experiential Design Schemas