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green building

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A favela of Rio de Janeiro. In the foreground is a small white building with a corrugated tin roof. Beyond it, in the distance, is a hilly landscape covered with similar dwellings. Tall power lines are visible in the distance.

How Organizers in Rio’s Favelas Are Harnessing Solar Energy

Neighborhoods on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro face a multitude of challenges, including social and racial inequity, and a lack of public services. This organization is hoping to prove that solar energy can benefit neighborhoods, lower electric bills, and provide jobs.

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Construction

Making Housing More Accessible for People With Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

Accessibility for this challenging disability can look different from other measures—but addressing it could help improve everyone’s health. 

An artist's rendering of a bungalow-style two-family home in white and blue with yellow doors. At left, a winding ramp leads to one door; at right, conventional steps lead to the entrance of the other residence.
Disability

The [Un]Affordability of Accessibility: The Challenge of Retrofitting American Homes

Home modifications vary greatly in form and cost, a challenge for disabled residents whose homes aren’t accessible to them.

COVID

Resilience in the Face of a Pandemic: Green Affordable Housing Matters More Than Ever

COVID-19 is quickly changing how we think about the places we live, and about how we will design the new normal. Green building must be part of that vision.

People work to build a home using an approach to create a passive house.
Housing

To Build Affordable and Green, Consider Passive Houses

By building energy-efficient properties, Habitat reduces heating costs and frees up more than $100 each month for homeowners.

Health

Renovating Senior Complexes to Be Green, Healthy, and Connected

Orness Plaza is one of the only public housing developments geared toward seniors and the disabled in Mankato, Minn., the state’s fourth largest city. Although the city boasts significant economic […]

Lighting a Spark Between Energy Advocates and Community Development

Partnerships between utility companies and affordable rental housing owners are ripe for development, when the right switch is flipped.

Greening the Affordable Housing Business Model

Enterprise Community Partners has formed the National Multifamily Energy Services Collaborative intended to “design and implement a full suite of green services to help older multifamily properties realize the significant […]

Community Development Field

Interview with Shelley Poticha, Director of Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities

Shelterforce speaks with Shelley Poticha, director of HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, about implementing sustainable policy at the federal level while encouraging local innovation, keeping down the cost of green housing, and effecting change while dealing with federal government bureaucracy.

Housing

Leading the Way to Green

In Virginia, a statewide incentive program has put new affordable housing projects out in front of most market-rate developers when it comes to green design.

Several workers stand on a partially finished home with white insulation around the foundation.
Housing

Green Is Affordable

The affordable housing movement has not only accepted green building, but is making it integral to its work.

Housing

Is Rehab Greener?

New, efficient buildings can offer all sorts of energy, water, and other environmental savings — in addition to offering modern amenities desired by tenants. But there’s an emerging school of […]