Place-Based Green Building: Integrating Local Environmental and Planning Analysis into Green Building Guidelines

EPA Grant Number: SU833566
Title: Place-Based Green Building: Integrating Local Environmental and Planning Analysis into Green Building Guidelines
Investigators: Retzlaff, Rebecca
Current Investigators: Retzlaff, Rebecca , Patel, Falguni , Sawant, Rajesh
Institution: Auburn University Main Campus
EPA Project Officer: Page, Angela
Phase: I
Project Period: August 1, 2007 through March 31, 2008
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2007) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Sustainable and Healthy Communities , P3 Awards , Sustainable and Healthy Communities


This project will develop a model for place-based green building guidelines based on an analysis of local environmental, social, and land use conditions. The ultimate goal of this project is to develop a methodology and model for placing green buildings within their local context that can be transferred to other communities throughout the world. It will provide the basis for making objective decisions about where financial investments in green buildings will have the most environmental impact.


Essentially, this project addresses two questions: First, how can environmental analysis be used to make the design of buildings more sensitive to local environmental concerns? Second, given finite financial resources, is it more environmentally and cost effective to channel resources for green buildings to one or several key areas instead of spreading resources over many different features of green buildings?

The specific objectives of Phase I of this P3 project are to: (1) research national and local green building programs; (2) analyze environmental, land use, and social conditions in Auburn, Alabama; (3) determine how features of green buildings can adapt to local environmental, land use, and social conditions; (4) develop place-based green building guidelines for Auburn; and (5) develop a program for adapting local regulations to and providing incentives for buildings under the place-based green building guidelines.


This project is innovative because we link planning and environmental analysis not only to land use (as currently practiced), but also to building design. We also experiment with the use of landscape matrices, GAP analysis, and GIS maps in the environmental analysis and apply those tools to physical planning.

Supplemental Keywords:

ecosystem protection, environmental analysis, green architecture, sustainable landscape architecture, integrated environmental assessment,

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report