Greening the Town Centers of America: An Investigation Into the Sustainability of Building Reuse In Relation to the Economy and Environment




Young, Sarah E.

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Our society promotes the 3 R’s of conservation (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) as a solution to our personal waste, however it is not a strategy commonly applied to our building stock. Sustainable design is regarded as the solution to environmental troubles that we face today nationally as well as worldwide. High performance buildings featuring energy efficient technology are deemed the most economically and environmentally sustainable option. This paper is an investigation into the economic and environmental viability of building reuse and retrofit (in downtown American cities) in comparison to demolition and new construction of a ‘green’ building. This thesis is a meta-analysis of existing research and case studies to investigate the benefits of green building in relation to the definition of sustainability and explores the obstacles to further progress.



sustainability, green design, building reuse, environment, economy, American downtowns, Honors College


Young, S. E. (2012). Greening the town centers of America: An investigation into the sustainability of building reuse in relation to the economy and environment (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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