Adaptive Reuse: The Best Way To Go Green

A review of the best green techniques for the urban environment.
December 28, 2003, 11am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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Green building ideas are especially appropriate in urban environments. "Limiting paved areas in suburban locations decreases rainwater runoff and creates less solar heat gain. Undeveloped urban space, however, already contributes to runoff and the heat island effect; developing these sites can actually help mitigate these conditions. The use and reuse of existing structures is a significant way to conserve resources...Reinvigorating an existing building is perhaps the most sustainable design decision. The rehabilitation and reuse of urban buildings can incorporate green technologies...Roof gardens and vegetated, or 'green,' roofs provide cool surfaces that help minimize urban heat islands. Flat roofs provide ample space for the unobtrusive installation of solar-energy collectors. Efficient water use and appropriate storm water control are significant in urban areas in watershed regions that greatly affect water used by communities located downstream. The impact that buildings have on our environment is greatly affected by the many small choices that can be made by individuals."

Thanks to David Gest

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Published on Thursday, December 18, 2003 in Philadelphia City Paper
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