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CURA Housing Forum - The Minnesota Sustainable Housing Initiative

Date and time: 
December 7, 2012 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Carlson School of Management
Room L-110 (Honeywell Auditorium)
U of MN - West Banik Campus
321 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN  55455
(directions and parking)


  • William Weber, Senior Research Fellow and MN Sustainable Housing Initiative Project Manager, Center for Sustainable Building Research, U of M.
  • Dan Handeen, Research Fellow, Center for Sustainable Building Research, U of M.

Description: It is estimated that early design decisions affect up to 80% of a project’s impacts to the environment and operational costs. Weber and Handeen will talk about the development of the Minnesota Sustainable Housing Initiative’s Upstream curriculum, a set of tools and training that build the capacity of housing developers to assess and optimize potential building sites. The Upstream tools and training enable quick and informed critique of potential sites to minimize long-term environmental impacts and expenses.

The Upstream tools and training address the following issues:

  • What are the potential impacts to water quality and quantity? How can water flow issues be addressed?
  • What are the opportunities for alternative energy generation on site? What is the optimal placement and shape of the building in order to optimize passive solar gain?
  • How does the potential building tie into existing transportation and utility infrastructure?
  • How is resident health and happiness affected by site conditions and surroundings?

Weber and Handeen will also highlight a number of other available resources for site assessment and analysis.

CURA Research Areas:

CURA Programs: