Smart Siting

Image: Dover, Kohl, and Partners. License: CC BY-SA 2.5.


No building is an island.

Siting of buildings, and the land-use patterns that they are a part of, have a ripple effect on:

  • community health and well-being

  • economic development

  • effective use of infrastructure

  • local and global environmental quality

  • occupant satisfaction

Starting with smart site selection gives an enormous boost to the success of the building program as well as the triple bottom line: social, economic, and environmental objectives.

  • Work Globally, Design Locally
    February 7, 2017

    Feature Article

    In today’s global economy, American architects work on six continents—but that doesn’t mean they should all have identical glass towers.

  • Resilient Design: 7 Lessons from Early Adopters
    November 1, 2013

    Feature Article

    As storms reveal weaknesses in our built environment, some project teams have adopted more robust, durable principles.

  • The Problem with Net-Zero Buildings (and the Case for Net-Zero Neighborhoods)
    July 30, 2010

    Feature Article

    It can be tough to make an individual building into a zero energy building, while working at the community scale can offer up opportunities for energy efficiency and cost-effective renewable energy generation.

  • Thinking Beyond Buildings: LEED for Neighborhood Development
    February 26, 2009

    Feature Article

    LEED for Neighborhood Development is not yet final, but it's already clear that it's a different type of rating system. Lessons from the pilot projects show that cooperation among team members and with the local government is essential to a successful project.

  • Driving to Green Buildings: The Transportation Energy Intensity of Buildings
    August 30, 2007

    Feature Article

    The energy used traveling to and from an average office building-its transportation energy intensity-can be more than twice the energy used to run it. This article addresses the significance of this issue and examines strategies for lowering transportation energy intensity through increased density and improved transit options.

  • Wal-Mart: Every Day Low... Impact?
    January 1, 2006

    Feature Article

    The world's largest company claims to have embraced environmental responsibility in everything from its supply chains to its waste stream, with goals of creating a prototype store with 30% lower greenhouse gas emissions within four years and doubling trucking efficiency within ten years. But how big a difference can the shift make, and is it enough?

  • How Boston Reduced Its Carbon Footprint
    April 4, 2016

    Feature Short

    Building operations represent 75% of Boston’s greenhouse gas emissions. Here’s what we can learn from the city’s work on ambitious climate goals.

  • Local Energy Profiles Now Easier with DOE SLED Tool
    August 14, 2014

    News Brief

    Punch in a zip code and get instant data on the local electrical grid, potential for renewables, utility costs, and more.

  • Streets Designed for Speed Faulted in Pedestrian Deaths
    June 19, 2014

    News Brief

    Ranking cities by danger to pedestrians, a new report says bad design causes 5,000 pedestrian fatalities each year.

  • Parking Garages Get Their Own Sustainability Certification
    June 18, 2014

    News Brief

    A new standard for greener parking incentivizes site, energy, and resilience measures.