Tyler Blazer, AIA/AIAS 2010 COTE Scholar
While “green” or “sustainable” design has been gaining momentum in the architectural and environmental communities, the global focus has broadened, as have the players. Today, the focus of sustainable design encompasses entire cities, stakeholders include developers, lawyers, political leaders, business owners and citizens, and topping the list of concerns is the need to reduce carbon emissions. To explore this priority, this paper focuses on the current state of design (or retroﬁ t) for “low carbon” communities. By investigating a sampling of communities that have focused on reducing their carbon emissions, this research examines some of the most important aspects of designing, building and commissioning a low carbon community. Architects and planners should consider these key aspects in all planning phases of a low carbon community—from designing communities to reduce energy demand to providing the best options for renewable energy supply. The aim of this research paper is to identify the current standing of low carbon communities, the key objectives these communities are successfully meeting, and the sorts of setbacks the communities have encountered.