The Role Of The Blueprint

The goal of this book is to provide in one location the information needed by a developer, designer, public agency staff, housing advocate, lender, or other housing stakeholder seeking to incorporate green strategies into an affordable housing development. To that end, Chapter 1 describes the specific benefits green building brings to housing developments, and delineates the points of compatibility and overlay between green and afford-ability approaches. To demystify green building, Chapter 2 offers a detailed outline of the integrated design process, and Chapters 3 and 4 provide specific recommendations for best practices in green design, construction, and operation. Chapter 5 explains how to





Affordable Housing Often Provides:

Green Building Closes the Gap by:

A safe and decent living environment

Social services and programs

Providing healthier indoor environments—especially important for seniors and children

Encouraging physical activity through walking and bicycling

Protecting the health of construction and manufacturing workers

Stable housing costs to increase the economic stability of families and neighborhoods.

Opportunity for people of all incomes to live in a community

Reducing residents' utility costs, thus allowing spending to shift to higher-priority items such as health care, education, and building equity

Providing operation and maintenance savings to developers, thus allowing development of more units or provision of additional services

Transit- and service-proximate locations that reduce air pollution

Using land efficiently through urban infill and brownfield redevelopment

Using passive energy and integrated infrastructure to reduce need for natural resources

Specifying efficient systems and appliances that save water and energy and help mitigate climate change pay for the green features, through both existing and new sources of financing and by using a life-cycle approach to design and budgeting. Case studies that span the many types of affordable housing projects show how to put all the pieces together.

By providing practical information drawn from actual projects and the experiences of Global Green staff over the past decade, we hope this book will be a catalyst enabling individuals, organizations, and agencies to make the commitment to go green.


1. United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Article 25.1, (accessed January 4, 2007).

2. Danilo Pelletiere, Keith Wardrip, and Sheila Crowley, Out of Reach, 2005 (Washington, DC: National Low Income Housing Coalition, 2005),

3. Low-income individuals are defined as those earning 60 percent or less of the area's median income, adjusted for family size, per Internal Revenue Code 42.

4. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, (accessed October 2006).

5. U.S. Department of Energy Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development, Smart Communities Network, Green Building Introduction, (accessed January 12, 2007).

6. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation, Report to Congress on

Indoor Air Quality, vol. 2, Assessment and Control of Indoor Air Pollution, EPA 400-1-89-001C (Washington, DC: EPA, 1989), 1, 4-14.

7. K. Rumchev, J. Spickett, M. Bulsara, et al., "Domestic Exposure to Formaldehyde

Significantly Increases the Risk of Asthma in Young Children," European Respiratory Journal 20 (2002): 403-8; K. Rumchev, J. Spickett, M. Bulsara, et al., "Exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds Found to Be Important in the Cause of Childhood Asthma," Occupational and Environmental Medicine 61 (2004): 92.

8. Leonardo Trasande et al., "Public Health and Economic Consequences of Methyl Mercury Toxicity to the Developing Brain," Environmental Health Perspectives 113 (2005): 590-96.

9. Enterprise Community Partners, Green Communities Initiative Training, 2006, Los Angeles, CA, September 12, 2006.

10. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditures in 2004 (Washington, DC: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2004)

11. Based on 32.2 cents per mile for a subcompact car (Cost of Owning and Operating Automobiles, Vans, and Light Trucks—2001 [Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration, 2001]) and assuming 10,000 miles annually.

12. James Krieger, et al., "The Seattle-King County Healthy Homes Project: Implementation of a Comprehensive Approach to Improving Indoor Environmental Quality for Low-Income Children with Asthma," Environmental Health Perspectives 110, suppl. 2 (2002): 311-22.

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