Self sustaining redesign and redevelopment of the existing built form
Russell, Peter L.
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Energy consumption, carbon emissions, and pollution are already at a level that the Earth cannot sustain. Some groups put the total percentage of energy used by buildings as high as 71%. Efforts to design and build carbon neutral buildings are important and notable, yet a primary focus on new construction overlooks the need for redesign as part of the solution. The problem must be resolved through the renovation and retro-fitting of the existing built form. A substantially renovated building stock will be self-sustaining and carbon neutral. Over seventy percent of the US population lives in urban areas. The built environment of established cities must be reshaped in a sustainable model. Technology and architecture have progressed from the time these buildings were constructed and now, the rate of energy consumption for most existing urban buildings is no longer necessary or acceptable. A literature review will direct the research on design, building systems, landscape methods, materials and technologies that will reduce pollution, consumption, and emissions. A policy review will examine the typical public or private policies, laws, and codes that encourage or discourage a sustainable renovation. Several case studies will be documented, visited, and catalogued. The thesis will use two very different small-scale urban properties to explore the design and policy possibilities of zero energy--y design and construction for existing building fabric. Design studies revealed, not only that a sustainable retrofit was possible in an urban setting, but that there is a universal process of decision making that can be applied to the retrofit process for any building. Communication of this process to the property owning public becomes a central issue in the movement to reduce the built environment's contribution to global climate change.