David's EcoOptimism blog

View a short video introduction to the Ecooptimism blog

Sustainable Design: A Critical Guide,
Princeton Architectural Press, 2012

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble,
and Princeton Architectural Press

View a short video introduction to Sustainable Design: A Critical Guide

Praise for Sustainable Design: A Critical Guide

Recent articlesUSGBC Green Home GuideTalks & Appearances Other articles & writing

recent articles and op-eds

"Redefining Growth," Resilience.org, Mar 1, 2013, first posted in EcoOptimism

"It’s not the economy vs the environment," Resilence.org, Feb 13, 2013, first posted in EcoOptimism

"The Limited Vision of the Pro-Nuclear Energy Argument," National Geographic's "Great Energy Challenge Blog," Feb 6, 2013, version of "Answering the Wrong Question" first posted in EcoOptimism.

"Less is more, more or less," Resilence.org, Feb 8, 2013, first posted in EcoOptimism

"David Bergman, Author Of 'Sustainable Design: A Critical Guide,' Shares Photos And Wisdom" and "New Book Is a Tour of Sustainable Design," interview, posted in Huffington Post and National Geographic's "Great Energy Challenge Blog," Jan 2013

"SPURA and Urban Design: Why Settle for a Near-miss?" critique of Lower East Side development plans, Inhabitat.com, Oct 5, 2012

"Spurning SPURA," a critique of Lower East Side development plans, The Architect's Newspaper, Sept 27, 2012

"Beyond energy savings: How green buildings can cut labor costs," Greenbiz.com, Sept 12, 2012

"A View on Encouraging the Use of New Light Sources and Performance," Home Lighting & Accessories, May 2012

"Say Watt," on Traditional Home Editors' Blog, April 16, 2012

Op-Ed article opposing Big Box development in the Lower East Side, Mar 16, 2012

U.S. Green Building Council's Green Home Guide, blogger and "Ask A Pro" contributor, 2007 - present:

Jan 2013: What LED light bulbs can I use for my ceiling fans?
Dec 2012:
Do I need special discarding measures with CFLs?
Oct 2012: What are some green solutions for lighting under kitchen cabinets?
July 2012: Which medium base LEDs can be used in enclosed ceiling fixtures?
July 2012: Does using a ceiling fan save money?
Apr 2012: Would hallway lighting that uses motion sensors reduce costs in a 288 unit coop?
Mar 2012: Linoleum vs Vinyl, and where do I get it?
Feb 2012: Are there any high efficacy luminaires that are 100% American made?
Jan 2012: How do I make sure a residential condominium has good and proper lighting?
Nov 2011: I want to buy my granddaughter a wooden doll chest. I am considering one handmade from a veneer called luan. Should I be concerned?
Oct 2011: I would like to cover recessed lighting with fiberglass insulation but am concerned with fire hazards and building code requirements.
Oct 2011: I broke one of those twisty lightbulbs. I read that this means my home is mercury contaminated. True?
Sept 2011: I want to install a chandelier in a bathroom. Do I need to take extra steps to ensure it won't be damaged by moisture?
Aug 2011: Is bamboo really better than FSC wood flooring? I've heard bamboo uses a lot of glue to keep it together and even eco glue sounds scary!
Aug 2011: Are there efficient alternatives to halogen track lighting?
July 2011: I would like to build a "green" home on property I own outside the United States. Any suggestions on where to start?
June 2011: How can I find out how much energy my refrigerator uses?
May 2011: What is the most eco-friendly countertop and flooring for a house?
May 2011: What type of light bulbs should I use? I'm looking for ways to reduce the energy I use for lighting (without resorting to candles!)
Apr 2011: What's the difference between Energy Star and an Energy Star Home?
Feb 2011: Our tiny bathroom is in dire need of an eco renovation. What are some things to keep in mind for this upcoming venture?
Jan 2011: I'd really like to find an LED light that fits in a GU24 base that I can use in a sconce or an overhead.
Jan 2011: What is the greenest dimming light bulb?
Oct 2010: Do Energy Star product ratings take into account product lifespan and the environmental impact of planned obsolescence?
Sept 2010 (blog post): Did I kill the party?
Sept 2010: How energy efficient are "Xenon" halogen bulbs in light fixtures?
Aug 2010: We are considering buying vinyl flooring with Scotchgard by 3M. Is it safe?
July 2010: When does MDF offgas? When the heat is on in the winter or throughout all seasons?
June 2010: I am wondering about reconstituted wood. Am redoing a kitchen and want greener options for cabinets/flooring. Is recon green?
May 2010: I have heard that if you turn a light on and off frequently you shouldn't use a fluorescent bulb. Is this true of compact fluorescents?
Apr 2010: Are there CFLs or other energy-saving light bulbs that work on a dimmer-regulated light fixture?
Mar 2010: Is cork flooring really a green product? It seems fairly accepted that it's a renewable raw material, but is the final product really green?
Feb 2010: Will a water tank before my hot water heater help keep my hot water hotter longer?
Jan 2010: I am just starting to design a home and want to incorporate green elements. Do I start now or wait until I start working with a builder?
Oct 2007: Are old appliances green because we are reusing, or not green because they are not Energy Star?
Oct 2007: I want energy efficient lighting, but hate the cold light of fluorescents. Can you help?
Oct 2007: Tankless water heaters: electric or gas?

columnist, Going Green Blog, DIY Network:

Oct 2007: My (Green) House is Your (Green) House
Oct 2007: Let There Be Light But Let It Be Green
Nov 2007: Size Matters
Nov 2007: Crying for joy... or how some insulation nearly made me miss a wedding
Dec 2007: Should your wood shop become a “grass shop?”
Dec 2007: Honey, I shrunk the hot water heater

other articles and writing

"Transparent Green," Greenopia, NY Edition, 2007
ansparent Green," Lipman World Jan 30, 2007, www.lipmanworld.com
"Notes on Sustainability," from Echo:, proceedings of HearSAY, 10 Conversations on Design, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA, Nov 7-9, 2002
"Transparent Green," 2005. Also published at Sallan.org Snapshot, Jan. 2006.
"Assignment: Green," co-curator, exhibit at Municipal Art Society, Spring 2003
Architectural Lighting, March 2002. Article by Bergman: "What's in a Name?"
"By Design," Edifice Rex/At Home, monthly columnist, www.edificerex.com, 2001
Architectural Lighting, July 1999. Article by Bergman: "CFLs: New Technology Needs New Solutions."
Visual Seltzer, co-editor and co-founder

talks and appearances

Burning Down the House, guest, Sept 23, 2012 (Heritage Radio Network)
Burning Down the House, guest, Sept 16, 2012 (Heritage Radio Network)
Go Green Radio, guest, Aug 17, 2012 (VoiceAmerica)
"Green Design as (Un)usual," Van Alen Institute, June 7, 2012
"Green Criteria for Materials Selection," webinar, Design Arts Seminars 2010
"Transparent Green: The Mainstreaming of Ecodesign," Keynote address, IIDA/Carolinas Chapter, May 15, 2010

"Transparent Green, or the end of green design," D&D Building, May 22, 2008, NYC
"Green Design: To Sustainability and Beyond," seminars, Design Arts Seminars, 2008 - 09
"Let There Be Light, But Let It Be Green," SFMart, Sept. 19, 2007
The Lazy Environmentalist, frequent guest
"Green Interiors: Fun with Furniture," GreenHomeNYC, July 19, 2006
"Let There Be Light, But Let It Be Green," NYC Green Building Salon, June 8, 2006
"Sustainable Lighting for Living Spaces," D&D Building, NYC, April 11, 2006
"Sustainable/ECO Design for the Future for Residential Lighting," DLF/New England, Boston, Jan. 18, 2006
"Maintreaming Sustainable Design," IDSA NE Conference, April 8, 2005
"Eco-aware Urban Architecture and Design," moderator, Eco-Metropolis, Nov. 2004
"The Educator's Crash Course on Eco-design," First offered at Parsons School of Design, Sept. 2003
"Sustainable Lighting: Beyond Energy," presentation at IES/NY, April 2003
"Turning Green," presentation at Municipal Art Society, April, 2001.


Contact us Press info

All designs and material contained herein (unless otherwise noted) © David Bergman or Lori Greenberg.
The Fire & Water logo is a trademark of David Bergman.
The Visual Seltzer logo is a trademark of David Bergman and Lori Greenberg