ConSol provides the expertise to assess and evaluate environmental benefits and barriers related to the research, design, development, and evaluation of sustainable communities.
ConSol provides three phases of work towards sustainable development:
Assessment of the opportunities for sustainable practices in:
- Non-residential, including retail, office, and others
- Energy efficiency and renewable energy at the community scale
- Demand-response technologies in conjunction with energy efficiency, renewable energy, and a smart grids
- Transportation, including neighborhood electric vehicle (NEVs) and deployment of vehicle-to-grid (V2G)
- Community scale waste reduction, water conservation, and energy storage
- Community layout and construction materials employed
- State-of-the-art of sustainable community modeling and analyses
Assessments would include costs, impacts (energy, water, waste, greenhouse gases, etc.), potential barriers and solutions, and changed/improved business models for developers, builders, utilities. Successful sustainable practices could be documented in case studies for each impacted market segment.
Monitoring and evaluating a project during construction will allow analyses and practical implementation of the sustainable practices, identification of unforeseen barriers, and possible resolution of such barriers. This phase will allow clear evaluation of builder and developer costs of implementing the sustainable practices, lessons learned, the consumer acceptance at sales, and next generation opportunities. All of this information is key to substantiation and/or revision of the new business models developed in Phase 1, as well as updated case studies based on the actual results.
Once the homes and other buildings are built, sold, and occupied, the buildings and the communities with their incorporated sustainable features will be available for thorough evaluations of the impacts, lessons learned, and improved business practices that can be a model for future sustainable developments. Post occupancy evaluations of energy and other resource savings can be ascertained, along with consumer satisfaction of their sustainable homes and neighborhoods.
These phases provide distinct opportunities to understand and influence the business cases for each sustainable practice; to follow the progress; and to evaluate the barriers during design and construction. The phases also provide the opportunity to evaluate the final successes and failures that will lead to improved understanding of what is possible in terms of sustainable development; how to make the successes available and enticing to other developers; and how sustainable development can be enhanced and improved in future projects.
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