Residential Research Quarterly: July 2021

In this second quarterly review of residential green building research for 2021, we highlight several reports on the topics of USGBC’s four pillars, a cost analysis of a LEED-certified building, a study on the cost of housing across the country, an examination of homebuyer preferences and a study on fundamentals of urban design.

USGBC Case Studies: The Four Pillars | USGBC

USGBC has released four distinct case study reports for each of our pillars: resilience, sustainability, equity, and health and wellness. In each report, USGBC examines several case studies that each demonstrate the power of LEED in reaching these overall goals. One such project, the Town Hall Apartments in Chicago, was a former police station transformed into a LGBTQ-friendly senior apartment complex.

Review each case study report and check out how USGBC supports equity throughout our work with initiatives like All In and Advance.

Structural Design and Cost Analysis of a LEED-certified Building | California State University

For this study, a diverse group of civil engineering undergraduates designed a LEED multifamily residential building and computed its cost analysis, and then compared it with the cost of a conventional building. The cost analysis compares traditional materials and building methods with sustainable designs and strategies. The authors concluded that “green building design is an excellent choice for future projects because the design not only saves vital resources and helps in saving the environment, but also gets paid off in the long run.”

Read the full report and check out the benefits of green buildings.

Out of Reach | National Low Income Housing Coalition

This annual report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition tracks how much money a person would have to earn to afford an apartment or other rental at fair market rent in their community. The report reveals that a full-time worker needs to earn an hourly wage of $24.90 on average to afford a modest, two-bedroom rental home in the U.S. In 10 states and in Washington, D.C., the two-bedroom housing wage is more than $25 per hour.

Read the full findings and check out how USGBC advocates for quality affordable housing.

Fundamentals of Sustainable Urban Design | Avi Friedman

This publication dives into the current societal transformations that merit new urban designs, including depletion of nonrenewable natural resources, elevated levels of greenhouse gas emissions, large numbers of aging “Baby Boomers” and climate change. Among the topics explored in the report is the importance of open space in urban areas—a valuable amenity that contributes to enhanced human health and happiness.

Read the full report and check out how LEED rewards the incorporation of open space into projects.

What Homebuyers Really Want, 2021 Edition | National Association of Home Builders

This study by the National Association of Home Builders examines the housing preferences of the typical home buyer, how those preferences change over time, and how they may vary based on demographic factors such as age, income and geography. The study found that 67% of home buyers said that the COVID-19 pandemic has not affected their housing preferences in any way.

Read the full report and the report summary.

If you would like to suggest studies or reports for us to highlight in the future, please contact Alysson Blackwelder.

Want to learn more about how you can advance green building and affordable housing goals? Attend Greenbuild 2021 virtually or in San Diego, California.

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