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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



As climate change worsens, it is imperative that we make drastic changes to how our

buildings are designed. We need to create building systems that work with and enhance the surrounding ecosystem. Many of these types of systems were developed and tested during the back to land and environmentalist movements of the 1970’s. What is needed now is to synthesize these systems into packages that can be more easily adopted by the mainstream culture. By paying special attention to what people are willing to invest into their home’s system maintenance and adapting the sustainable systems to meet those needs, we can craft truly sustainable and environmentally regenerative buildings and building systems to meet the needs of all people. Design strategies will be developed to engage the inhabitants with the building and its systems, prompting them to maintain those building systems with care instead of as drudgery. A 10-unit co-housing project will be designed with real clients to demonstrate the applicability of researched systems and design strategies. This thesis restricts its focus to systems applicable to residential building types, single family through multifamily, and to the New England climate.


First Advisor

Ray Mann

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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