Sustainability websites


This list of websites deals with Sustainability Issues!  Click on the link to download the PDF. Some have a homeowner’s focus, while others talk about real estate values and real estate law with respect to green technologies in a building.  Still others may approach the topic from a City point of view.

The University of Maryland's WaterShed, the Solar Decathlon winner, promotes a sustainable lifestyle, including a garden.

Websites of Interest – Sustainability

From time to time, I will post about websites that deal with Sustainability in its many permutations: architecture, real estate, city planning, historic preservation, and energy. The following list will start us off with connections to a broad selection of technologies, building design, and event tax credits.

Website covers topics on emerging technologies, green building, energy efficient interior design, emerging sources of renewable energy and sustainable product design

Links to public services initiatives, science and innovation, news, blogs, maps and data concerning the following topics: tax credits, heating and cooling, solar energy, home weatherization, appliances and electronics.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Examples of energy efficient homes, buildings, cars and diagrams of solar energy, wind energy, water conservation and various fuels.

Creative Commons – Watch your license

The Creative Commons portion of the image website Flickr is a terrific place to find images, and also participate in the sharing of these images. This first page shows you the various types of licenses and attributions under which photographers allow their images to be used.

If you are looking for images to illustrate a paper or blog, go to and click on the word ‘search’ in the upper right hand corner of the webpage. This takes you to a new search page.  You will see a drop-down list on the left side of the search field. Click on that and, from the menu, choose The Commons, then type in a key word for flickr to search on.

This picture came from the commons portion of Flickr.

You can download the picture to your desktop, but please pay attention to the licensing and copyright tags on the picture page.

Great Image and Research website

ArchNet is a member-driven website that contains a digital library of images that deal with architecture and urban planning in a very easily searchable database. There are often plans, sections and elevations to accompany the general views of the buildings. It also allows participation and collaboration amongst members, and is free to join.

I have found that there is strong documentation of projects and the search feature is quite easy to use.

Access to the Digital Library is found through a link on the left hand side, and that is also where the search feature is located. Clicking on the search feature and typing in housing gets me to projects in Africa and Iran, places that are less well documented in this School’s collection.

The Images link within the Digital Library gets me to a list of architecture by Collection, or by Country, Building Type or Building Style. They also include Gardens and Urban Design and Development. And you can download the images.

My favorite website for the week:

New Deal Utopias

Images of New Deal Utopias, including Greenbelt MD, just down the road from College Park, are featured on this New York Times Blog.

A brief History of Greenbelt as told by guest blogger, Lucinda Philumalee.

As a historic preservation student at the University of Maryland, the nearby city of Greenbelt, Maryland is a local treasure.  Located just outside the Capital Beltway, Greenbelt is home to professors and students alike.  It serves as an example of early-to-mid 1900s cutting edge urban design.

The history of Greenbelt predates its actual establishment.  In response to the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted the Emergency Relief Appropriations Act of 1935.  This provided five billion dollars in funding for public works projects, which supported the Resettlement Administration of 1935.  The Resettlement Administration was headed by Roosevelt’s advisor Rexford Guy Tugwell who developed the concept for Greenbelt, Maryland as well as its sister towns, Greendale, Wisconsin and Greenhills, Ohio.

The three planned cities were inspired by the Garden City Movement, which influenced American urban design in the early twentieth century. It was an approach to urban planning developed by Ebeneezer Howard in 1898.  Howard’s notion was to move the poor out to the countryside in order to reconnect with nature, while incorporating the use of green belts, agriculture, industry, housing, commercial and cultural places to spur the economy.

The Garden City Movement was applied to Greenbelt in several ways.  Topography was a factor in the site selection and design of Greenbelt in that the original city was formed by a crescent shaped piece of land with major roads on either side. Apartments and houses were constructed between the major roads.  Entrances to residences were comprised of one to a courtyard and one for vehicular access.  These concepts of walk-ability and courtyard living were popular because it provided a feeling of safety during a tumultuous period.