EPA Smart Growth

Jonathan Rose Companies conducted a peer-reviewed study that analyzes the relationship between the location of homes and housing type as a key determinant in energy consumption. The project was commissioned by the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Sustainable Communities. 

Using national averages compiled by the federal Energy Information Administration as indicators for energy consumption, the study confirms the importance of location efficiency — housing location, housing type, and access to transit options — in increasing household energy efficiency. The study compares multifamily housing with single-family homes; and conventional cars and homes with their energy-efficient counterparts (e.g., Energy Star homes and hybrid cars). Through graphical representation the study illustrates the relative impact of different development approaches. 

The report's results provide planning officials, policy makers, and community stakeholders, as well as the private-sector with data analysis that can facilitate informed decision making on how to reduce energy costs, while highlighting the economic and environmental benefits of compact, mixed-used, transit-oriented development. The findings suggests strategies that encourage appropriate public investments in transit; zoning that encourages transit-oriented development; and codes and incentives that promote more energy-efficient construction and building uses to maximize economic and environmental benefits. 

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Project Profile

Smart Growth planning, green building guidelines, transit-oriented development, neighborhood design

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Project Team
Project Status

Completion: 2010

Total Project Size / Budget