EPA Study: Residential Building Favors Smart-Growth Development in Urban Areas

by | Mar 2, 2009

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epalogoThe Environmental Protection Energy (EPA) has released a report on building trends in the 50 largest metropolitan areas from 1990 to 2007. The report indicates that many communities are trending toward smart-growth development that reuses developed property and infrastructures to help protect the environment.

The report, “Residential Construction Trends in America’s Metropolitan Regions,” shows that a large share of new residential construction still takes place on previously undeveloped land at the urban fringe; however, more than half of the county’s larger metro regions have experienced an increase in residential building in urban areas.

The EPA offers programs and information on green building issues. In addition, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental action group, believes the United States can apply smart growth values to accommodate development while saving the environment.

Case-in-point: Many companies in Colorado are looking at green building retrofits because these projects are typically smaller and offer shorter payback periods, according to Colorado Construction. Colorado, ranked as one of the top 10 fastest-growing states, expects to see an increase in CO2 emissions from new buildings to meet a growing population, as many as 1.3 million people by 2030 in the Denver area alone, as reported by the publication.

In order to accommodate a new metro area, the Alliance Center, as told to Colorado Construction, believes smart growth will be a key component of that development with reuse of existing buildings.

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