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M.L.A. thesis, Dennis Morgan

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Title:
M.L.A. thesis, Dennis Morgan
Creator:
Morgan, Dennis
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( Master of landscape architecture)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
College of Architecture and Planning, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Landscape architecture

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Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
Copyright Dennis Morgan. Permission granted to University of Colorado Denver to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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THIS THESIS IS SUBMITTED AS PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A MASTER OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE DEGREE
AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT DENVER COLLEGE OF DESIGN AND PLANNING GRADUATE PROGRAM OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
ACCEPTED BY:
COMMITTEE ADVISOR


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INTRODUCTION
What are urban ecosystems? How did they come Into existence? How have they evolved over time? What Is man’s role 1n their transformation? No single answer or definition can describe how our ecosystems have been Ignored, respected and/or exploited throughout history. An asset 1f respected, a hazard 1f Ignored, and a threat to mankind If exploited. Why then has our species chosen to Ignore and exploit our natural environment?
Humankind, as we have discovered through history, Is not a physically adaptable creature. Thus, we have learned to modify and mold the environment to meet our survival needs and desires. The needs of the human race are basic: shelter, food and clothing, with survival desires being a recent social phenomenon, 1.e.» "a higher quality of life” based on the newest of technology. Man’s Initial environmental adaptations were minor and Indigenous by design. These adaptations provided basic survival needs while respecting the environmental ecosystems of h1s surroundings. Early man also realized the luxury of higher standards and human comfort which was achieved by a bonding which occurred between h1s architecture and landscape.
As man evolved, his city evolved and thus h1s environment has evolved. American society from Inception, has been based on Individualism and freedom which has been reflected 1n our settlement patterns, energy consumption and attitudes concerning the air, water, and land of our cities. During the late 1980’s a pervasive attitude existed that the best way to solve the problems associated with urban living, 1.e.» congestion, pollution, crime and high prices was to move to the country. This, coupled with new technology and abundant fuel, has led to sprawling conurbation and a magnification of the original ecological problems deemed as strictly urban. We have been so busy designing and enjoying our new standard of living that we have not looked at the consequences of our actions. For a long time, these natural disasters have been Ignored or made more tolerable by technology based upon cheap and abundant fossil fuel. No longer 1s this the case, and now the dilemma arises. People living 1n urban situations are beginning to notice that the quality of their air 1s poisonous, their water unsafe for consumption due to erosion, flooding and waste management, and their land contaminated with chemicals


and general mismanagement. A growing concern 1n society for positive health and welfare has led to a resurgence 1n environmental respect.
The belief that the urban fabric was an entity distinctly unto Itself and that the Idea of nature or ecology was "someplace else" has dominated the perception of urban form and its actual construction. These perceptions have intensified and 1n some regards produced many of our cities' environmental concerns.
A vast knowledge of statistical Information exists about our ecosystems* their opportunities and constraints* but little has been compiled 1n the form of solutions. Acceptable solutions to our environmental degradation can only occur 1f we examine and understand the whole ecological process and adapt our social* economic and technological concerns to these systems. The environmental degradation of our city has been an Issue of concern for many years. Hydraulic engineers have been associated at the macroscale level, with erosion problems and urban flooding for quite some time and have alleviated some of those concerns. Since the oil embargo of the 1970's, architects have adapted their profession to energy efficient construction based on new technologies and have been quite successful In decreasing our dependency on dwindling natural resources. Planners have devised regional techniques for reducing conurbation and wasteful development* and have been social catalyst 1n environmental rejuvenation. Landscape architects have always been concerned with producing results that are Indigenous to environmental opportunities and constraints but like all other "environmental designers," have only contributed with microscaled solutions and results to macroscaled problems. Environmental designers of such philosophical position normally worked 1n "multidisciplinary" teams to solve design problems under the coordination of one master designer who usually defined the problems. Consultation with other professions would exist only after a preliminary design had taken place, but rarely did they consult ecologists* sociologists, psychologists, or businessmen 1n the analysis or design of the site.
For too long, designers have believed that solutions arrived by themselves were the best solutions. They declared that the users were Incompetent of their needs or desires and did not have the taste to appreciate good design. They believed that the client needed to be educated as to good design and that 1t was their


responsibility to do so. Good ends were believed to justify poor means. Designs often became "beautiful" but socially Irrelevant* unresponsive to the ecosystems* and offensive to the client or users.
The landscape architect* by profession* has always been a defender of environmental rights but now must be a leader In the design profession as well. Many design professions have worked 1n their own niches* each contributing to massive problems from a standpoint of exclusion and elitism and 1t 1s now the case that landscape architects must encourage interdisciplinary team work and take the principal role 1n formulating design concepts that utilize all disciplinary and social strengths. The end result will be a stronger and healthier city fabric.
Land planning design problems facing our society will be tremendous and complex, and will require Innovative solutions 1n solving them. These solutions should minimize the Input of natural resources and thus minimize the output or waste of present day development. This will be the means of preserving our natural environment. A vast percentage of society's health, safety and welfare 1s based on the proper management of nature which, at present* 1s very energy-inefficient. Thus, 1t is extremely Important that we learn to develop and transform our surroundings using the least amount of energy or a context for development which 1s energy-ef f 1 c1ent. Before this can be done, landscape architects need to develop a framework for energy-eff 1c1ent analysis and design which reduces the exploitation of natural resources and Increases the quality of our air, water and land. By energy-efficient design, I mean design which not only 1s environmental In concept, from the McHary Approach to planning, but also a design which Incorporates the actual users, 1.e., society.
In order to formalize a total system approach to solving our environmental problems, It Is Imperative that we understand the history of Denver's form and to recognize the mistakes in past growth patterns and attitudes. By recognizing the Inappropriate social and environmental solution, the appropriate relationship between human needs and environmental development may be understood and met.


THESIS OBJECTIVES
The focus or hypothesis of this thesis 1s that comprehensive and energy efficient land planning can Improve the quality of Denver's ecosystem, 1.e.» our air, water and land. All design problems, regardless of their size should have a solution which avoid any negative Influences to the ecosystem and, 1f at all possible, should try to regenerate them. The Issues of this hypothesis will be subdivided Into the Interdisciplinary design
professions which the landscape architect will have to work 1n conjunction with. These principles will be
utilized on a Front Range site and will address Issues such as:
o Look at the relationship of the site to regional and local climatic and ecosystem problems as
well as Its surrounding context.
o Arrange landscape and architectural components 1n such a way as to produce desirable microclimates.
o Utilize passive energy systems as a design concept to minimize resource use and waste.
o Maximize the energy conservation and energy production potential of the natural environment.
o Suggest alternatives to our social dependency of the automobile by making those alternatives accessible and a pleasant experience which would curtail air pollution.






ATMOSPHERE PROBLEMS
Development patterns, urbanization and Industrialization of the Denver metropolitan region has led to today’s Immense air quality problem. The air pollution of the Front Range area affects not only the health and welfare of Its human Inhabitants, but also contributes to the negative welfare of the ecosystems within and around the urban center. New and Insightful site planning techniques are now required 1n order to minimize and eventually eliminate our pollution problem.
The quality of Denver’s air 1s both qualitative and quantitative 1n nature. Not only can one smell, taste and see the quality of our air, but one can also examine quantitative evidence of the problem, compiled by the Colorado A1r Pollution Control Division. The C.A.P.C.D. has been monitoring the concentrations of various pollutants (undesirable gases and particles) 1n the air for several years. The monitoring 1s due to Federal and State requirements, to determine pollutant concentrations related both to National Ambient A1r Quality Standards (NAAQS) and pollutants for which standards may be anticipated. Primary standards are Intended to protect public health and secondary standards are Intended to protect public welfare. The major ’criteria' pollutant, determined by the E.P.A. are: carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and lead.
An Inspection of the historical comparison graphs compiled by the A1r Quality Division show sporadic variations 1n the air quality from year to year, making future trends difficult 1f not Impossible. The Division has made general historic observations. A slight Improvement 1n the ozone air quality has occurred since the m1d-l970's. The number of violation days has decreased since the m1d-l970’s for carbon monoxide. Nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide have remained fairly constant. Atmospheric lead has decreased considerably and total suspended particulates have shown no definite trends.


Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide 1s an odorless* tasteless and colorless gas which occurs naturally 1n the air by forest fires* oxidation of methane and other natural processes. Concentrations of this pollutant show that 1t 1s the most abundant urban pollutant. Urban atmospheres contain roughly 100 times as much CO as any other pollutant which 1s caused 1n urban settings primarily by motor vehicles. In Denver* 1t 1s estimated that 1n 1982* 90% of the CO emissions were from vehicular sources* the rest being produced by other combustion sources such as heating, Incineration, power generation, etc. The newest source of carbon monoxide 1n the urbanized areas of Colorado 1s wood burning stoves. The large scale use of wood for heating and aesthetics 1n the home has been estimated to contribute approximately 10% of the total concentration levels for the Denver metropolitan statistics. Carbon monoxide affects the central nervous system by depriving the body of oxygen and can Impair a person's judgment and response time.
Ozone
Ozone at high concentrations 1s a blue unstable gas with a very distinctive odor. At normal ambient concentrations, ozone 1s colorless and odorless. While ozone 1s a major component of photochemical 'smog', the haziness and odors of smog are caused primarily by other substances. Ozone 1s not produced directly from a source as are other pollutants, but rather forms as a secondary pollutant. The reactive hydrocarbons are emitted 1n automobile exhaust, from gasoline and o11 storage and from Industrial use of paint solvents, degreasing agents and cleaning fluids. Not only 1s ozone harmful to the respiratory systems of man and wildlife, but ozone has been found to affect certain plants sensitive to the pollutant, such as white pines, soybeans and alfalfa.
Sulfur Dioxide
Sulfur dioxide 1s a colorless gas with a pungent odor. This chemical, being high soluble 1n water, results 1n the formation of sulfurous acid. This pollutant has received worldwide recognition as a devastator of our


lakes, streams* fish habitats* forests and other resources. This "acid rain" 1s known to affect our drinking water and to produce carcinogenic (cancer-causing) agents. SC>2 1s produced by* primarily* stationary sources that burn fossil fuels such as coal and oil* 1.e., power plants and refineries.
Particulate Matter
The microscopic particles or solids found 1n the atmosphere are known as particulate matter. The Denver "Brown Cloud" or "Haze" 1s» 1n large part, particulate matter. These particles 1n the atmosphere are a major contribution to the visibility related problems 1n both rural and urban areas. Common sources of the problem are wind blown dust and sand from construction sites, etc., coal dust and carbon black from various sources such as diesel automobiles and wood stoves. The affects of particulates range from visibility degradation to climate changes to vegetation damage. Soiling, for a long time thought to be just a nuisance, can have long-term effects on building paints and other materials.
Lead
The major source of lead 1n the atmosphere Is from motor vehicles that burn 'leaded gas' and from the extraction and processing of metallic ores. Lead is a highly poisonous substance which, when breathed Into the blood stream, has devastating results. It has been shown that the U.S. population's blood lead levels has declined 36.7% from 1976 to 1980, due to such factors as requiring automobiles to burn 'unleaded gasoline'.
Controls or actions should be Implemented so that urban atmospheric pollution can be halted, allowing the ecosystem to clean Itself and thus produce a healthier environment.


HYDROSPHERE PROBLEMS
The basic premise of water quality and planning 1s that the goal of environmentally clean water Is not attainable unless both point source and nonpoint source pollution are considered 1n future planning. Nonpoint sources of pollution* during periods of high runoff can contribute larger pollutant loading to area streams than point sources. Nonpoint sources are defined as sources which enter waterways from diffuse areas rather than pollution which enters waterways through a pipe or similar ’point' source. The Denver Regional Council of Governments' (DRCOG) 1977 clean water plan categorizes eight sources of nonpoint pollution: urban runoff, septic tanks, landfills, agriculture, foresting, mining, stream channel modification, and new construction. Although all of the sources contributes to the degradation of our water, some affect the environment more so than others. The DRCOG report's conclusion about urban runoff are:
• For some pollutants, urban runoff 1s a major contributor;
• Non-storm urban drainage 1s another major source of pollutants;
• Land use does have an Influence on the types and quantities of pollutants; and
• There are a number of practices which can reduce urban runoff and the resultant pollution of our hydrosphere.
Storm-water runoff generated within the Denver metropolitan region can negatively affect the quality of water of the South Platte River and Its tributaries. This storm-water runoff flushes Into the river loads of sediment, nutrients, bacteria and trace elements which are deposited on the land surface due to development, automobile use and a wide range of other activities. A large amount of sediment, fecal collform bacteria, nutrients, organic matter, and heavy metals enter the river during periods directly after a storm as compared to discharges from wastewater treatment plants over the same period of time.
The DRCOG study Indicated that a large portion of the aquatic biota of the South Platte River was contaminated due to suspended solids and total lead caused by storm-water runoff. The fish collected 1n this study were smaller than normal 1n size. Also, ambient lead concentrations were found to be within a range capable of Inducing long-term, chronic effects 1n the fish.


HYPOTHETICAL CITY OF 1,000,000
The shape of land 1s a result of the natural forces acting upon 1t» that is, hydrological cycles, geological reactions and the forces of the plant and animal kingdom. The form of metropolitan Denver 1s a by-product of all these forces and will continue to change 1n this never-ending ecological cycle. Colorado settlers of the past as well as the present have been catalyst 1n the evolution of the Front Range landscape, sometimes for the better but more often for the worse, with many people actually unconscious of their effects on the original landscape. Our Front Range corridor exhibits many unhealthy examples of destructive change but at the same time has many that have been beneficial. Man-made landscapes may be created that are not Identical to the original but at the same time, result 1n healthy and varied environments. Design and planning professionals must understand and plan for the effects of their projects on the city as a whole rather than just specifically at the micro-scale of their site boundary. For a city to be a healthy, vibrant organism, a 11 des 1 gners/bu 11 ders must take Into account the consequences of their actions on the quality of the air, water, and land as well as energy consumption and depletion. The depletlon/waste of our natural resources 1n the urban setting 1s the major cause of our degraded ecological quality. A typical city requires the Input of motor fuel, natural gas, oil, coal, nuclear power, food and water for Its
existence and discharges nitrogen, particulates, sulfur dioxide, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, refuse and sewage water, to list a few, 1n the process. These by-products permeate our water, air and land and act as a time bomb for future explosion. The deslgn/plannlng solution to these regional problems 1s one that 1s energy-eff 1clent, that 1s, requires little 1f any energy Input and thus expels little or no hazardous by-products and 1n turn allows the natural processes/ecosystems to return to a healthy normal state. The Granite Garden (Splrn),


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describes these des1 gn/plann 1 ng philosophies as either a closed or open system. A site which 1s considered a closed system requires little If any Input of energy for Its survival and thus has fewer outputs of chemicals, noxious air and contaminated water which Is a significant positive contribution to the urban ecosystem. Ecosystems which are self-sustaining are possible even on the smallest or urban sites. Emory Lonlns, In Soft Energy Paths, describes this same system as a soft path with three major characteristics: 1) they rely on renewable energy flows that are always there whether we use them or not (such as sun, wind and vegetation) on energy Income, not on depleted energy capital; (2) they are diverse, running on many small contributions each designed for maximum effectiveness 1n particular circumstances; (3) they are flexible and relatively low technology, which does not mean unsophisticated but rather easy to understand and use without extensive skills.
Open systems, which are predominant 1n our environment, require a tremendous amount of energy to sustain with an end result of waste, contamination and a lower quality of living. They require a great deal of maintenance 1n the form of clipping, mowing and spraying with pesticides and fertilizers and 1n return give the city storm water runoff (1.e.» flooding and erosion), soil contaminated with nutrients and toxicants and air which 1s polluted by the fossil fuels required 1n the process of maintenance. An aggregate sum of land planners using closed systems could make a remarkable difference 1n the quality of our urban ecosystems.
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METROPOLITAN DENVER GROWTH PATTERN
The early explorers of the Rocky Mountain territory looked for a site to settle which would be secure from hostile Invasion while accommodating their need for fresh water. They found such a side formed by the confluence of the Platte River and Cherry Creek. The town was called Aurarla, but did not last long due to the annual flooding of both water sources. The move north, across Cherry Creek to higher elevations was quick and justified, with the new location known as Denver. Denver’s relatively mild weather and connection to the rail lines gave 1t Importance as a major trading center and social mecca to the thriving mining colonies sprouting up 1n the Rocky Mountains. The rail lines not only connected the mountain communities to Denver and Denver to the eastern populations, but also defined the basic form of early Denver. The lifeline of the city was the rail system with development sprouting up around this lineal path 1n a rather rapid, unplanned economorphlc way. This haphazard development pattern produced a city fabric which was Implosive by nature; vertical, dense and centralized city core with mixed uses which were quite often Incompatible and hazardous to the occupants of Denver. Separation and segregation occurred as those with financial means moved further and further from the a1r/no1se pollution and congestion.
With the advent of new technology and a plentiful supply of oil, a new form of transportation and city form soon appeared. It was not possible for not only the affluent, but also the middle class to move away from the city center which by now was a threat to anyone’s health, safety and welfare. Suburban development exploded from the city center 1n all directions since land was abundant and Inexpensive.
On a regional level, this new o1l/rubber network was an overlay of the original coal/ra1l network; a grid pattern which existed regardless of the environment


1t was Invading. This exploding development pattern changed the city fabric from vertical to horizontal movement. Separation and segregation within the city became much more apparent both socially and economically. The masses fled the environmental problems of the city rather than constructively changing them and as a result» left urban cores for the poor. This leapfrog or noncontiguous development swallowed agricultural land, eliminated many open space and created ecological problems much worse than the original problems of the coal/ra1l network. Noncontiguous development 1s characteristic of the least energy-eff1c1ent development pattern — sprawl, a pattern highly dependent on the automobile. This development pattern 1s not only difficult to service by public transit, but also requires residents to travel longer distances to work, shopping and recreation which lead to massive consumption of dwindling natural resources and air which 1s deemed dangerous by federal standards. Regional characteristics of architecture and landscape architecture abandoned passive techniques traditionally used for the Improvement or maintenance of favorable environmental conditions. As a result, the regional characteristics were replaced by design concepts reflecting fads as opposed to local tradition. New


technology allowed development to satisfy arbitrary energy Inefficient standards based on what often turned out to be whimsical fashions. The use of native vegetation for shade and wind protection became economically unnecessary with new devices available that used fossil fuels. From coat to coast> new growth patterns have everywhere become a boring sameness. The opportunities for the Front Range natural environment to effect and form the urban fabric 1n a distinctive and memorable way has been Ignored. Man had adapted the environment to h1s needs and desires which has adversely affected the air, water and land which 1s so Important to h1s basic survival. As we look to a future of energy scarcity* environmental degradation and human discomfort* decisions made today with respect to land use, economic development, and transportation will determine our ecosystem quality and thus the quality of life 1n the Denver metropolitan region. To realize the benefits of energy efficient land planning tomorrow, new design must become an Integral part of the landscape architecture profession.


CLIMATE/WIND
For the Denver metropolitan area, the main factor in our climate is the distinct geography which is known as highland or mountain geology. The geography of Denver 1s best known for the ridge of the Front Range mountains which tower over a city already at an altitude of one mile above sea level. This great feature acts as a funnel by directing major fronts and climatic conditions to our city from different directions, depending on the season. Our climate, being semi-arid, 1s mild, sunny and low 1n humidity. Denver's placement next to the Rocky Mountains results in mild winter temperatures and pleasant summer conditions. With the annual average rain fall of 12 inches, the Front Range 1s considered a sem1-ar1d location. Desert land is classified as an area which receives 10 inches or less a year, which gives a clearer Image of the Front Range, Its possible vegetation and problems associated with predominantly eastern development attitudes. According to Stapleton Airport records, May shows the peak rainfall of 2.7 Inches. This peak rain season, combined with the spring mountain snow melt can result 1n serious flooding and erosion 1f not planned for along and near any waterways. The heavy month for snow fall 1s March, but 1s generally not a problem for most designs 1n Denver since 1t Is usually not a large amount. Occasionally, a locally severe winter storm will drop a large amount of snow but 1t quickly melts 1n the mild winter weather.
A major climatic element for all development 1s the winds which aid and prohibit user comfort depending on the season. Strong winds are never a comfort and are especially energy Inefficient during the winter months. Although a great quantity of technical data exists about the Denver wind conditions, they must always be viewed as seasonal and not specific to any time of year or day. Many regional and local geographic and man-made conditions will affect wind patterns. Wind, the movement of air molecules, 1s


caused by a combination of the earth’s rotation* and the heating and cooling of the earth’s natural and man-made
surfaces. No two sites will ever have the same wind conditions due to varying topography* vegetation, and
surrounding structures.
A common feature to the Front Range climate 1s the Chinook wind effect which 1s caused by air movement up or down the mountain slopes. As the air moves from Denver (at a high pressure) to the mountain tops (at a low
pressure) It expands* which in turn causes a cooling effect. The opposite 1s true for air movement from the
mountains to the plains which causes compression and heating of the air. The chlnook effect can produce on the
average a temperature change of 5.4° for every 1,000 feet of elevation change, causing sudden movements of air
as warm and cool air race up and down the Front Range. The rapid heating of the air can yield a 25° to 35°
temperature change 1n a relatively short period of time. More will be said about winds and wind roses at the
Edgewater Square site analysis.
Another climatic occurrence which affects Denver and our regional designs are air Inversions. Normally, air 1s
stratified with cool air at higher elevations and warmer air temperatures at lower elevations near the ground.
When, at lower elevations, the ground cools, 1t 1n turn causes the air around 1t to cool also, which Inverts the
normal air gradient. Because cool air 1s heavier
than warm air, air currents will not occur which
result 1n a stable "Inversion." As has been
explained 1n earlier sections, this can result 1n
very hazardous air quality during the colder winter
months, especially during the month of January.
Under normal conditions, the sun’s warming of the ground and structures, causes air convection currents which dissipates the stagnant air. With typical Front Range climatic conditions of clear nights and still dry air, this Inversion can last for days.




WIND BLOCKS
A vast quantity of research exists pertaining to the use of shelter belts of windbreaks to change microclimatic conditions* showing that a widespread need exists for wind protection. Unfortunately* the majority of this Information pertains to the protection of agricultural assets and does not deal with the need for such protection 1n urban context. Regardless, the physical principles concerned are similar, and the research available gives designers many useful tools 1n their quest for energy-eff 1c1ent concepts. Vegetation near or around a building that reduces wind speeds to or below 16 km/h would result 1n a substantial reduction 1n energy loss (nearly 20%)» with a consequent reduction 1n heating energy consumption (Dewalle, 1978). According to Caborn (see reference) and Read* the best windbreaks for reducing energy consumption are those which have vertical sides and are moderately dense with a height equal to or greater than the building to be protected. The shelterbelts should be placed upwind of the building, obviously, and at a distance of 45 to 150 feet from the building (Dewalle and Farrand, 1978). Very dense or solid barriers to the wind are to be avoided because their reductions In wind speed are accompanied by Increased levels of turbulence (Caborn, 1965). Most Information concerning the use of vegetation for energy conservation deals with buffering effects of cold winter winds, but the use of vegetation should also be looked at for Its channeling capabilities on desired summer cooling breezes.
Another use of vegetation suggested by several papers involves the planting of densely crowned shrubs or small trees Immediately adjacent to buildings to create a still air layer, which, 1n effect, will Increase the Insulating value of the wall. Nlsbet (1977) reports that fuel savings from 10% to 25% are possible through these techniques.
Some form of planting almost always accompanies new


construction with the cost of such treatment being justified by aesthetics rather than economics. If land planners had easy access to windbreak Information for urban s1tuat1ons» the selling point for this vegetation could then be on the basis of long-term economics as well as aesthetics with a net result of energy conservation and a healthier urban ecosystem.
The following factors should be considered when using plant materials or earthforms to control airflow:
o Boundary layers of air are compressed as they pass over a ridge, with the result that wind speed 1s usually 20% greater on the top of a ridge than on the slopes.
o The degree of effectiveness obtained by using plants as wind controllers 1s dependent upon both the characteristics of the plant material and the placement of the plants.
o Wind velocity 1s cut from 15 to 25 percent of the open field velocity directly leeward of a dense screen planting, while a loose barrier reduces leeward wind velocity to 60 percent of Its original velocity.
o The speed of the air movement directly beneath a tree 1s measurably Increased over speeds measured at the same height on Its lee and windward sides.
o Wind velocity may be reduced by 50 percent for a distance of from 10 to 20 times the tree helqht downwind of a shelterbelt.
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o The more Impenetrable the windbreak 1s, the longer the distance behind the windbreak protection extends.
o Increased wind velocity, higher than that found 1n the open field, occurs at both ends of windbreaks.
o When a gap 1s Introduced 1n a windbreak, a zone of Increased wind velocity develops with the gap.


o The percentage of velocity reduction and the zone of quieter air Increase as the wind becomes stronger and the center of the quieter air tends to move farther away from the windbreak on the leeward side.
o The measurement of wind velocity differs, depending on the height at which 1t 1s recorded.
Source: James W. Scallce (E.I.A.)


THERMAL BREEZES
Development near major water bodies may be beneficial for cooling 1n the summer and heating 1n the winter due to variations 1n mass temperatures and air convections. Land masses warm faster than water during the day and cools more rapidly at night. During the morning hours the winds will blow from the land to the water and during the evening hours, 1t will blow from the water to the land. Proximity to water bodies has been found to moderate temperature extremes of adjacent land forms by raising winter temperatures and lowering summer temperatures. Water temperature variations have been reported 1n the range of 20° - 30° difference for summer and winter. It must be stressed that large bodies of water are being referred to here since smaller ones would freeze 1n the winter and be of no significance for thermal breezes. By situating development around or near large bodies of water, energy needed for heating and cooling can be reduced, thus having a substantial impact on the ecosystems. Not only will water proximity benefit the natural surroundings but will also benefit the site users psychologically.
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SOLAR ACCESS
The rapid expansion of solar energy for hot water and space heating 1s likely to reduce this nation’s dependency upon natural resources which are finite. The rising cost of oil and gas have made solar energy a wise Investment and has triggered much greater utilization of this plentiful resource. However, many problems still exist concerning the legal aspect of this energy source. At present, there are not right-of-way laws pertaining to the access of sunlight which could be detrimental to the system’s future development. "Out of 153 solar domestic hot water systems Inspected 1n Connecticut, 27% of the units were shaded or were likely to be shaded 1n the near future. In effect, the free market provides no guarantee that adequate solar access standards will be applied to future Installations of solar energy systems." Landscape architects can play an Important role, especially 1n the early stages of the development of solar energy, by guiding the location and orientation of development/solar systems and by Implementing a degree of solar access protection necessary for efficient operation of and continued growth of this resource. Depending on Individual site conditions, the location of such systems 1s limitless and 1s dependent on the landscape archltect/planner for their "correct" placement on the site.


WOODY BIOMASS
Numerous books and articles exist which describe, mostly 1n qualitative terms, procedures for energy-eff1c1ent landscapes. Simple 1n concept, they generally recommend designs which allow winter solar access, provide summer shade from Intense heat gain, channel cooling summer breezes and prevent harsh winter winds. All valid, they generally have some regional variations 1n the solutions and a few address macroc 1 1 mat 1 c conditions. Misconceptions exist concerning a few of these energy-eff 1c1ent solutions, the most popular being the use of landscape on southern exposures for summer shade. Species described for this condition are Inevitably deciduous ones with a rationale which has widespread belief and practice. Plants that lose their leaves 1n the winter will allow the solar gain to penetrate Into living spaces. During summer months, these trees create a canopy which shades the users and thus reduces the temperature of the structure. Because of this, many authors recommend that these deciduous trees be planted on south exposures for their benefit during both winter and summer seasons. Recent research by G.M. Helsler and other shows that the woody biomass of deciduous trees (branches and twigs) blocks an alarming amount of solar radiation during the winter months. Helsler found solar reductions of up to 40 percent under leafless elm trees, a species predominant 1n the Denver metropolitan area, and solar reductions of up to 60% for beech and black locust trees. H1s study points out that a 50% to 60% solar reduction during winter periods would Increase
energy usage for space heating more than the energy consumption would be reduced by summer shade, causing a net annual Increase 1n energy usage. H1s conclusions wee that for the majority of the U.S.A., shade 1s recommended only for east and west sides of buildings. To replace the positive effects of the shade provided by these trees, architectural modifications are recommended, such as wide roof overhangs, increased celling Insulation and vegetative treatments which provide summer shade and unimpeded solar access during the winter months.
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DRAINAGE SYSTEMS
The hydrological cycle, 1n simple terms, 1s a process by which precipitation by means of rain or snow falls to the ground, 1s absorbed by the ground, returning to streams, rivers and the oceans and eventually evaporating Into the air and returning continuing the ecological process. Recent urban development has jeopardized much of the natural hydrological processes and created very serious problems. The hard surfaces associated with urbanization, 1.e., asphalt, concrete, etc., are Impervious to moisture which act as a stopper for the natural flow of water Into the ground. These large areas of Impervious materials, as has been stated earlier, cause large amounts of water to concentrate at a specific point, quickly which caused flooding, erosion but more Importantly an upset to the natural ecosystem. Design solutions with a concept of natural drainage saves money and resou rces/ene r gy needed 1n construction of conventional systems. Designing natural drainage systems also allows water to recharge our natural water supplies and reduces rapid runoff, flooding and erosion. The most common use of this concept 1s the detentlon/retentlon pond which allows for
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natural recharging of supplies and are currently required by many municipalities. Other solutions would be to retain the water at parking lot, plaza and/or rooftop retention areas for later release Into the system, thereby reducing floods and the cost and energy of storm drainage systems. The first solution of ponding and allowing for natural Infiltration Into the soil 1s obviously the most desired solution but not always practical 1n certain urban settings due to a lack of effective space required. In situations such as this the other solutions should be used for slow release 1n conjunction with smaller ponding areas, the net effect being the prevention of off-s1te drainage by allowing rooftop, plaza and parking stormwater to be released Into the pond and eventually Into the earth.
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DROUGHT TOLERANT PLANTS
As was mentioned earlier, the Denver metropolitan region 1s located 1n the foothills region of the Rocky Mountain Mountains and 1s characterized by a sem1-ar1d climate. On the average, Denver receives 12" of rainfall a year while cities of the midwest average 30" per year. A shortage of water exists because of rapid growth and development 1n the Colorado Front Range area. This water shortage 1s further exacerbated by ubiquitous non1nd 1 genous plant materials with demand for water far exceeding mother nature's supply and downstream states now demanding more water rights from the Rocky Mountain Area. Because of the extensive use of foreign plant species which are not adapted to our special regional climatic condition, the Denver metropolitan region consumes twice the national average. By using native species, a 25% reduction 1n overall water consumption can
occur. The following 11st requirements.
Indicates suitable trees to the Denver metropolitan area which have low water
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URBAN HEAT ISLAND
Urban areas, as 1s generally known, are warmer on any given day compared to rural areas. This man-made occurrence has been termed the ’urban heat Island' effect. These urban areas not only are warmer, but generally are less windy, have higher levels of air pollution and consume more energy then their suburban counterparts. In the City, the predominant material 1s concrete, asphalt, steel, brick, etc. which have replaced the natural vegetation found elsewhere. These urban materials are excellent absorbers of solar radiation and transmits 1t back Into the environment slowly, thus maintaining Increased air temperatures for long periods. The Increased temperatures 1n the urban ecosystems are generally 9° F and have reached 20° F 1n certain conditions which generally causes net Increase. This altered ecosystem, with its higher temperature, 1s not only an unpleasant condition but also a health hazard to many of the urban Inhabitants. The goal of an energy efficient land plan would be to decrease these urban ecosystem temperatures by designing areas with low solar absorption levels, e.g., vegetation. According to L.O. Myrup, 1t 1s possible to negate the affects of the urban heat island through the use of vegetation. Many studies exist which have recommended percentages of vegetation cover 1n order to offset the heat Island with 20% being the lowest and 50% being the largest amount of vegetation cover. It 1s quite clear that, collectively, sites utilizing larger than average areas of plant material can have an effect on the urban ecosystem at a macroscale/reg1onal level with decreased energy consumption for air conditioning 1n buildings.
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ARCHITECTURE (EARTH INTEGRATED)
Dwindling energy resources and the degradation of our environmental quality (1.e.» ecosystems) shape the basis for design objectives that must be met in today's land development; that 1s, to protect and preserve the natural systems (hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere), to use land in a more efficient way and to reduce energy consumptlon/waste. It should be emphasized that many other objectives are to be involved in a design such as the Importance of aesthetics, social and economic goals. Designs which respond to the natural conditions not only result in lower costs over the long term, but also produce overall designs which are more exciting and varied. Earth Integrated archltecture/land planning 1s a solution which takes many of these goals/objectlves and transforms them into design solutions which are stimulating and sensitive. Vast quantities of natural resources can be saved by using this archltectural/plannlng technique. Studies have shown that a savings of 35% to 75% can be realized by using some form of earth integration. Bermlng around buildings alone can reduce heat loss by 13% to 31% which in turn reduces the amount of energy required to heat or cool the space. The Insulating qualities of the earth for winter heating Is significant second only to the cooling effects 1n the summer months. Front range soil has a steady temperature of 50° F below frost line which acts as a constant
temperature stabilizer regardless of the climatic conditions at the time. Developments which utilize earth integration also have a lower albedo level as opposed to conventional construction which in turn means a lower heat island effect and a more pleasant environment 1n which to live. Other opportunities associated with earth integrated architecture/ planning are protection from fires, natural disasters and noise, as well as sturdier, simpler construction.
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TRANSPORTATION/R.T.D.
The automobile, even though made more fuel efficient by recent technology, still consumes more energy than any other mode of transportation 1n our society. Our culture 1s very much dependent on the automobile which will most likely not be replaced by non-petroleum-powered cars for decades. Thus, substitutes such as public transit, car pooling, biking and walking should all be explored as alternative transportation sources. The automobile, while consuming more energy than any other mode of transportation, also produces the largest amount of pollution of any mode of transportation. As 1s shown 1n the chart, buses and mass transit use half the energy that a car does per passenger mile.
Energy used for transportation represents one-fourth of our total energy consumption and some studies have shown that 97% of Los Angeles air pollution (1.e.» carbon monoxide) 1s caused by vehicle exhaust, a problem very similar to the Denver metropolitan area air problem. In order to save our urban ecosystems, we must make other modes of travel more convenient, more enjoyable and safer.
In order to eliminate our air pollution problem, one land planning solution 1s to make mass transit stops/wa1t1ng areas as convenient, safe and comfortable as possible. By Increasing user comfort, mass transit (R.T.D) may Increase Its rldershlp, a statistic which has been declining despite worsening air conditions.
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REDUCED STREET WIDTHS
Typical land plannlng/development projects throughout the U.S.A. are based on outdated and Inefficient standards with design data pertaining to street layout and design being the most obvious and wasteful. The majority of road/street construction 1s based on standards from years past, consume massive amounts of raw materials 1n their construction and simply magnify the problems associated with the urban heat Island effect (see urban heat Island section). In 1978, 1.5% of the annual total energy consumption (Including sectors other than transportation) was for road construction — 1n asphalt and road oil. The average surface temperature of asphalt on a 90° day can reach 140° which can Increase air temperatures 1n the Immediate surrounding area by as much as 10°, thus Increasing energy consumption by as much as 55%. Present standards are based on arbitrary widths which have no Indication on the actual potential usage or number of units served. According to a study conducted by the City of Davis, California, the reduction of street widths and the elimination of street parking actually facilitated the movement of fire and emergency vehicles on and around the project site. This study also concluded that also concluded that because of the reduced street widths, automobiles reduced their average speed, thus Increasing pedestrian safety. One study recommends the following sizing rules-of-thumb:
• Collector and sub-collector streets, now built typically @ 36', reduced to 26*
• Cul-de-sac streets reduced to 18' width.
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A.M./P.M. PARKING USE
Typical land piann1ng/development projects throughout the U.S.A. are based on outdated and Inefficient standards* with design data/zon1ng regulations pertaining to parking requirements per square footage being an obvious and wasteful practice. The majority of parking design has been based on square footage requirements for single use developments which correlates with past land use design. As has been shown, single use land planning 1s very energy consumptive and leads to sprawl and a general degradation of the ecosystems. Land planners who utilize mixed use development patterns can arrange uses or activities which share parking areas and thus reduces the amount of energy required 1n construction. This will also reduce the area of asphalt required which in turn will decrease the albedo level as well as the average surrounding air temperature (heat Island effect) and 1n return decrease the energy consumed 1n cooling. A decrease in the overall amount of hardsurface (parking asphalt) will leave more area for a closed system, energy efficient landscape which in turn will benefit the surrounding ecosystems. Land planners/landscape architects must analyze the program’s peak parking use for each activity and base such designs on uses which will share the same parking space (1.e.» a.m. versus p.m. peak times arranged accordingly). A general rule of thumb 1s that such activities as retail/office/medical uses will
have parking peak use times during the day (a.m.) and resldentlal/recreat1onal activities will have parking peak times during the evening (p.m.).
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ZONE OF SIGNIFICANT CONTAMINATION
The major transportation network of a city consists of expressways, arterlals collectors and local streets with traffic volume decreasing with each level. Non-1 ndustr 1 a 1 development should avoid contact with expressways because of negative effects caused by the noise and air pollution. Local collector streets are required 1n close proximity to residential development due to our social dependence on the automobile, which leaves the arterial streets as a major conflict to the health, safety and welfare of those living and working next to the source as well as the ecosystem. According to The Granite Garden by Ann Splrn, an arterial street can generate an average of 24,000 vehicles per day with a zone of air pollution 16 times acceptable levels at the source and eight times the acceptable level fifty meters from the source. Since the level of pollution falls off dramatically after ten meters and progressively more so with further distance, Splrn suggests that a minimum of ten meters by used between the arterial streets and site users for health reasons. She also suggests heavy use of vegetation 1n this buffer zone which should act as a filter to pull contaminants out of the air as well as reducing the decibel levels of the street noise. One should remember, though, that this land planning technique 1s not a solution to the major problem of air pollution caused by automobile use, but rather a design solution which Improves the general health of those people near the source until a more permanent answer can be found.
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LAND USE
Land use policies represent one of the most effective means a community has for Influencing Its energy situation and, 1n return, Its ecosystem quality. Many studies have shown that land use patterns affect energy consumption levels. Different development patterns result 1n various levels of energy consumption, and thus affect the environment differently. Changing the development patterns of a community 1s a long-term goal and Its success 1s closely tied to the community's growth rate. Making energy-eff1c1ent land planning a goal by land planners, landscape architects and local/state government agencies can guarantee an Infrastructure which has positive results on the environment for future decades and will yield substantial economic savings over that time period.
Conservative estimates from the Urban Institute predict at least a 15% savings in transportation energy demands from moderate changes 1n land use policies, and 30% savings 1n space heating and cooling energy 1n multifamily housing as opposed to single-family detached units. The Costs of Sprawl, by the Real Estate Research Corporation, reports that high-density developments with energy efficient land use techniques will use 74% less energy requirements than an unplanned lower density development, 1.e.» conurbation.
High density development 1s the key to effective energy-eff1c1ent land use by virtue of this effect on public transit feasibility and utilization. In order for h1gh-dens1ty developments to work effectively, the land planning and transportation elements must be analyzed and designed 1n an Integrated fashion. By Integrating uses of various natures together on one site (mixed use development), automobile trip lengths can be reduced, thus benefiting the atmospheric ecosystem. A study entitled Portland Energy Conservation Choices
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Indicates the household 1n a dense urban center uses 65% less transportation energy than a comparable household living 1n the sprawling suburbs.
A planned unit development (P.U.D.) has many of the same energy-eff1c1ent benefits as h1gh-dens1ty developments (mixed use) and Is readily accepted and used by planning officials and developers. A telephone survey of 18 city planning departments 1n the Denver metropolitan area shows that 7 of these agencies have Residential/ Commercial Mixed Use zoning, while 12 of these departments have P.U.D.s and 2 had neither zone.
M-X Zoning P.U.D
Arvada X X
Aurora X X
Boulder X
Brighton X
Broomfield X
Cherry Hills Village Commerce City X
Denver X X
Edgewater X
Englewood Golden X
Lafayette X
Lakewood X
Littleton X
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Thornton X
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INTRODUCTION TO PART II
In addition to these "closed system" design concepts, a number of energy related factors should be used for each site analysis. A site should be thoroughly analyzed and understood for Its energy-eff 1c1ent capabilities so that the closed system design concepts can work to their full potential. In addition to basic and prevalent concept of "solar orientation" a designer must look at other environmental factors that affect a site's energy efficiency. These Include hydrology, wind analysis (roses), albedo levels on and around the site, landform and vegetation shadows and slope exposure. By analyzing the site and using the traditional overlay system, a composite can be created which indicates the best areas for development from an energy-eff1c1ent point of view. To quote from Landscape Planning for Energy Conservation, "...the essence of all landscape development for energy conservation has been to modify the aspects of our temperature, humidity, radiation and air movement in such a way as to bring existing or unpleasant conditions as closely as possible Into the climatic conditions which are comfortable to specific persons on a precise site at a particular time."


EDGEWATER ANALYSIS
This community profile presents, 1n a brief outline, the essence of the city of Edgewater — who Its people are and where 1t 1s located 1n relation to the Denver metropolitan region. Its land uses and transportation sources will be studied at a later point 1n this thesis. It 1s an attempt to address opportunities and constraints within the city.
Edgewater Is located on the eastern boundary of Jefferson County and abutting the City and County of Denver. The city parallels Sheridan Boulevard and 1s located 1n the Sloans Lake drainage basin, across from Sloans Lake Park. The city 1s relatively flat with major drainage towards Sloans Lake to the east.
Surface geology 1s primarily alluvial soils, transported Into the basin over time by erosion. Beneath the alluvial soils are Interbedded shales and sandstone. The soils of Edgewater tend to pose many problems since they are made up primarily of clay. A major problem for Edgewater, with Its clay soils, 1s a low permeability which tends to periodically cause flooding and erosion problems. A second problem with these claylsh soils 1s their expansive qualities and the results to buildings, their foundations and underground utilities.
The site used for this study causes further complications, geologically, since 1t was at one time used as a landfill. This site was used as a landfill for twenty years and closed 1n 1945, with no problems being reported. Major development on the site has not occurred with Its present use being that of a dr1ve-1n theatre, so complications may occur with compaction of the fill and the possible migration of leachated onto the surface or Into the water supply.


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Edgewater 1s often visualized as a blue collars middle class community. However, data from the 1980 U.S. Census does not agree with this statement and classified Edgewater as below the median household Income for the U.S. The city’s minority population of 13.3% 1s lower than the proportion of minorities 1n the Denver region, yet higher than Jefferson County’s 9.2%.
Edgewater showed a modest yet consistent growth for many years but reversed this trend 1n the 1980 census, with a decrease from the 1970 population of 4,910 to a 1980 population of 4,766. This Is due to the city's decreasing household size, limited land availability for new development, and a higher than average proportion of elderly people.
The community has a small town sense of place to It, which is unusual for a major urban center and a feature which should be preserved. Mature trees are one significant element which give Edgewater this sense of place or rural atmosphere, consequently a major redevelopment goal or concept should be to preserve as many of these trees as possible. Redevelopment of the project site must also be 1n scale with the adjacent neighborhood. In order to ensure this, areas between differing uses or scales should be Identified and designed accordingly. Inconsistent or out-of-scale design will defeat the goal of a small town character of sense of place.




WIND
As has been stated earlier, extensive technical data exists about the Denver metropolitan area wind conditions, but this Information must be viewed as general and not specific since any geographic and man-made conditions affect their patterns. Wind patterns tend to be consistently seasonally qualitative from the standpoint of direction but quantitatively inconsistent with respect to intensity. The Interrelationship of the environmental factors of heat loss 1n shaded areas and of heat gain through solar radiation 1s extremely complicated by the prevailing winds on a site. The following effects created by winds will ultimately affect land planning of a site for energy efficiency.
o The direction and the intensity of the prevailing winds for the different months of o The effect created on the site due to seasonal winds Influenced by local geographic o The thermal effects of winds.
Wind direction and speed are usually studied and recorded by state climatologist wind roses, which show this data 1n graphic form; the frequencies of winds 1n a month-to-month basis with direction and Intensities. The following page graphically shows the wind roses for the average year 1n Denver. These graphs show the percentage of occurrence of four wind speed ranges for sixteen directions. Each month 1s represented with north straight up and at a scale of approximately 1/4" = 1%. As is represented by the legend, the Inner area 1s for the 0-7 mph, and the outside for winds 1n excess of 24 mph. The width of each area represents the percentage of
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occurrence for the month from that particular direction. For design purposes, the wind roses Indicate general aberrations 1n speed and direction for the different months. South to southwest winds, especially during the months of December and January, seem to dominate the roses, yet actually Indicate that the winds from that direction average 9 to 11 mph, which 1s not excessive. The strongest winds 1n the Denver area (over 24 mph) appear to originate from the west to northeast during the months of February, March, November, and December. April and May Indicate winds over 24 mph being equalized from all directions.
An abundant amount of research exists regarding the use of windbreaks and shelterbelts to Improve a site’s microclimatic conditions. Unfortunately, most of this literature deals with rural farm land requirements. Regardless, the physical principles may be transferred to urban situations and should be used 1n land planning to create energy-effIclent communities. For conventional buildings, heat loss due to air Infiltration (Increased by northeast and west winter winds) can represent 24% to 65% of the total heating requirements. Vast amounts of our region’s natural resources could be saved 1f buildings were situated 1n areas not exposed to these west and northeast winds as well as areas which receive southerly breezes which act as a cooling agent 1n the summer. These are blanket suggestions based on the Denver wind rose charts and will more than likely be modified by local site conditions. The fact that Denver's undesirable as well as desirable winds come from different directions makes the site designer's job that much easier.



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WINDSHED ANALYSIS
As has been stated earlier, wind roses Indicate that the Denver metropolitan area has a cool wind and a warm
wind season. The roses Indicate that the undesirable winter winds occur during the months of December and
January and originate mainly from the northeast and northwest. The roses also show that the desirable summer
breezes tend to be from due south. Winds are very difficult to predict since so many variables affect their
Intensity and direction, but wind tunnels have helped us to understand their characteristics and the effects of
land forms on them. After the earth's surface heats the air, causing uplifts, and other surface winds mix with
the predominant winds, these Intense winds of 12 knots or more travel across the earth's surface for a distance
of twenty times the height of the landform. Immediately over the crest of the landform 1s an area of turbulence
which extends for five times the height of the hill. This zone 1s caused by a mixing of winds (the downward
flow of cold winds and the updrafts associated with warm winds) and Is referred to as a bubble effect. This
turbulence area 1s situated directly 1n front of an area known as the calm zone or more commonly known as the
wlndshed area. As can be seen on the summer wlndshed analysis map, the southern breezes are affected by the
major hill directly to the south of the site. A turbulence area exists on the site due to this landform, but
more Importantly, the majority of the site is 1n the
calm zone or the wlndshed. This undesirable
condition will require site cooling design
principles which do not utilize the summer breezes
since they are not available. No major landform or
man-made structure exists to divert the undesirable
winter winds from the northwest and northeast. Wind
breaks will be required on site to create a calm or
wlndshed area.


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M L. A. Thesis
College of Design A Planning University of Colorado/ Denver Dennis L. Morgan


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SLOPE EXPOSURE ANALYSIS
Given a south-facing steep slope and a gentle slope with the same orientation# the steeper slope will always have higher values of radiation. Based on quantitative Information from The Climate Near the Ground# a site can be analyzed according to Its exposure to the sun and Its relative grade to determine Its suitability for energy efficient design. During the winter and spring months# the slopes facing each and west are Important areas to consider for optimizing solar gain. Obviously# those slopes facing south with a steep grade will have optimal solar gain all year long. The Denver metropolitan area's topography and# most Important# that of the site# 1s generally most similar to the 10% slope borrowed from The Climate Near the Ground. The Edgewater site has a grade of approximately 1.5% to 2.5% and an exposure to the east and northeast. These two conditions Indicate that the site has no "optimal'1 areas for slope exposure. The area located off the site and directly to the south has a steep grade to the north which Indicated that 1t has no appreciable gain, but most Importantly, does not cast shadows onto the project site and thus hindering Its potential for solar gain. An analysis of the site Indicates that desired solar exposure will have to be solved from the design of the site and from architectural solutions since the site exposure and slope are not the most favorable for solar gain.


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Edgewater Square
M L. A. Thesis
College of Design A Planning University of Colorado/ Denver Dennis L. Morgan


HYDROLOGY ANALYSIS
As a consequence of Its location on an alluvial plain adjacent to Sloan Lake, the thesis site 1s Inundated with periodic flooding. This water, which originates 1n neighboring Wheat Ridge and Lakewood, flows directly through the Edgewater site on Its way to Sloan Lake. Wheat Ridge and Lakewood, both highly developed and urbanized, add to this problem of urban flooding. Upstream development Increases the area of Impervious surfaces (roads, parking lots, sidewalks, etc.) which causes massive quantities of water to run through the cities, rather than be absorbed back Into the ground, as the natural process would have 1t.
Swamp-like conditions are evident 1n many low elevation areas of the city after large rain storms or snowmelt, with these "watering holes” remaining for several days and sometimes several weeks. At times the city's storm drainage system cannot handle the large sudden Influx of water from these natural occurrences.
In anticipation of further urban flooding, the city of Edgewater has responded by participating 1n the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District and adopting land use controls and building specifications aimed at alleviating problems with the city's flooding. The 1977 Urban Drainage Master Plan Indicates numerous flood control projects which solved some of the major flooding problems, but has yet to be completed. Upon fulfillment of the Master Plan projects, the thesis site flooding problem should be significantly reduced. Until these projects are accomplished, any development should consider the possibility of major flooding through the site. The following hydrology analysis map shows the 100-year flood plain before and after the completion of the Urban Drainage Master Plan.


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College of Design & Planning University of Colorado/Denver Dennis L. Morgan
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ZONING ANALYSIS
One of the main concerns regarding this site analysis and design is the spot zoning which occurs around the thesis site as well as throughout the city of Edgewater. The predominant land use category 1n Edgewater 1s single family residential, comprising 58.93% of the total land use. To contrast this with other urbanized areas of Jefferson County, only 25% of those areas are used as residential. Residential uses 1n small middle classed communities produce much smaller amounts of revenue than other land uses, say commercial. Edgewater relies on two grocery stores for approximately one-half of its sales tax revenues. Publ 1cly-held land Is the second largest use 1n Edgewater, with 11.7% of the total land use. This would Include such uses as churches, schools, municipal facilities, and community meeting places. Commercial uses comprise 3.34% of the city's land; offices use .5% and parks account for 2% of the total land use. 10.5% of the city's land 1s vacant with the majority of that being the thesis site between 17th and 20th Avenues and Sheridan Boulevard and Depew Street. Because Edgewater 1s a landlocked city, this site 1s the city's only opportunity for new growth and development which makes the project all the more critical and important.
As has been expressed before, mixed use zoning 1s the most energy-eff1c1ent land use available, yet many municipalities avoid the unusual or unconventional and opt for "safe” single land use zoning. A telephone survey of 15 metropolitan cities Indicates that only four of those have any provisions for actual mixed use zoning, those being Edgewater, Denver, Boulder, and Littleton. The majority offer Planned Unit Development (P.U.D.) areas which leave the developer to mix uses, but this rarely happens to the degree that 1t should for social and environmental concerns. An area specifically zoned Mixed Use should have predetermined ratios of residential, commercial and other uses. As has been shown earlier, development rarely 1s environmentally conscious, thus putting the burden of environmental policing on the city planning departments and their agencies. The understanding of mixed use opportunities — socially and environmentally, as well as economically — Is a fresh start to a health city.


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's—ptEII. ttrloou ' ITT W-
Constraints
f&p- f-mr errtmT/
irmnivcp
Zoning / Land Use
Legend
ftTIMEFftAu
i« JEC zaiirfc,
n xJECT yrt.
Edgewater Square
M.L.A. Thesis
College of Design & Planning University of Colorado/Denver Dennis L. Morgan
FCAtpem h- zfttiimi


SITE CHARACTER ANALYSIS
The site character or visual quality analysis 1s concerned with beauty, people's perception of the environment and especially with how this perception creates a sense of place 1n the Denver metropolitan area. The Intent of this study/anal ys1s 1s to Identify areas of high visual quality which are major parts of the urban character. Water appears to be the major element on and around the site with the small brook dividing the site and Sloan Lake directly across Sheridan Boulevard. Although the stream divides the site physically, 1t does offer many design and environmental opportunities. Sloan Lake offers very positive views from the site and acts as a foreground to views of the downtown Denver skyline. Views of the site amenity are best from the eastern portion of the property due to Its higher elevation.
The major offensive element around the site 1s noise and air pollution caused by automobiles on Sheridan Boulevard and 20th Avenue with minor offensive elements being eyesores such as the King Soopers shopping complex to the north and the trailer court located off the southwest corner of the site. Buffers will be required at these points so as to not only provide pleasant experiences for the users but to also separate them from the negative health Influences associated with the automobile, l.e., carbon monoxide and decibels which can only be stressful. These Issues must be addressed since users may not return to a site 1f visual elements are offensive. By developing the landscape 1n such a way as to enhance the positive visual elements and draw attention away from the poor elements, an environment can be created that not only serves the actual users of the site but also those passing by 1t and thus attracting them Into 1t. Visual opportunities are as valuable as any other resource on or around the site since, like the others, this resource 1s limited and once depleted cannot be resurrected for our enjoyment. The way 1n which development fits visually Into the landscape, both off site and one site, will be a factor 1n maintaining the quality of life for residences 1n and around the Denver metropolitan area.


Union st.
eaton st.
depew st.
Sheridan blvd.
zenobia st.
yates st.
a
DOD1
chase st.
â–¡ â–¡ 0%^\ 1
benton st. <^5=”=W 'i
B â–¡ â–¡
ames st. . /
%
â–¡ â–¡l
QDtbn
Opportunities
• rKbP /\T left '■ tHW tNi lie™ c perrw pf r?whzvim p&hvcK iTTuJrit.
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• FFKwnrrr £f towfF i^pp
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Constraints
•6T(Wi PCD PM^ -[UP- -yrr^.
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> Nht| w rAWhfc, |jt i TftNu* vpmur f&>p.
Site Character
Legend
I rocAi ram r?f I WIaWCP
I VlttUH. edftep-F6SUPCP
DOC
m—if
t>HE EEfEWlMI CSTPCAd &H?)
m^o rrmxri'
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urn^E p ci^cmtP
fW.
Edgewater Square
a
M. L.A. Thesis
College of Design & Planning University of Colorado/ Denver Dennis L. Morgan
200 400


TRANSPORTATION ANALYSIS
The four main transportation alternatives around and on the site are the pedestrian ways/s1dewalks> mass transit routes (RTD), bicycle routes and automobile routes.
Sidewalks/pedestrian ways are available throughout Edgewater on one, if not both sides of the street. Sidewalk conditions range from new 1n some areas of the city to old and badly deteriorating in others. The older sidewalks are not only a safety hazard but also a visual blight, especially for older persons (which constitute a large portion of the Edgewater population) who rely on foot travel for much of their transportation. A new ten (10) foot sidewalk currently abuts the stream running north/south which visually and physically separates the site Into two halves.
Public transportation 1s provided by the Regional Transportation District (RTD) with three routes serving the site. These three routes are accessed on Sheridan Boulevard, 20th Avenue and 26th Avenue with destinations to downtown Denver and other regional metropolitan points, but unfortunately, there are no connecting or destination points within the city of Edgewater. RTD has a strong Interest 1n high density projects and would be Interested 1n working with a side developer 1f 1t were in the interest of the city and RTD rldershlp.
The park Master Plan suggests bicycle routes 1n the city along 26th Avenue, 22nd Avenue and Pierce Street which correspond to the other cities’ bike route plans. Alternative or additional bike routes should be proposed along the site 1n order to encourage alternative transportation means.
The major constraint to this site 1s the presence of Sheridan Boulevard along the southern property line. This congested auto way presents safety, health and bureaucratic problems to development. High traffic counts with high speeds makes Sheridan a very unsafe area. Sheridan 1s also the boundary between Edgewater and the City and County of Denver and 1s also designated as a state highway (State Route 95) which makes any proposed changes to Sheridan boulevard because of development concepts nearly impossible. As has been mentioned earlier, 33 feet


should separate a major arterial street from pedestrian areas 1n order to limit the site users' exposure to contaminated air due to automobile exhaust. This area is known as the area of significant contamination.
A shortage of off-street parking presents a transportation problem for the city* as well as a disincentive to commercial revitalization. A large portion of the site 1s asphalt parking and could be utilized 1n the proposed design which would alleviate the cost and energy required to build a new parking area elsewhere of the site. Any mixed use development should utilize off-street parking and possibly be connected with a much needed municipal parking facility.


„ fsnton st.
>-------------
>
* eaton st.
9
9
9'----------
»dapew st.
I 9 9 9 9
-sh«rldan blvd
.zenobia st.
yates st.
&
n£> M
09 to
3e i
®

chase st.
9 â–¡ s
9 â–¡ ft
9 D |
9 □ §
9 a - . â–¡ fl
ebenton st.
9 â–¡ t
1 9 l â–¡ c
9 u I
'ames st.
Q 1
Opportunities
ftp. m> a ■yn^nM tnr«iT irt ^viH6, hi <7Hf 4U6UTY 1H6 uTf
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Legend
issin! exit>Wt t>trt i----ii TPAf-terr
4111111111 aw*, per r***yi catp) â– 
z^rie cp o(6,rtipmr |-ki 'â– ^TAnihATiPM I___-39 map-pwat-
v0 ' f*tep —“ mt m/ft-
Edgewater Square
M.L.A. Thesis
College of Design & Planning University of Colorado/ Denver Dennis L. Morgan


ALBEDO ANALYSIS
As has been mentioned earlier, heat Islands, or the lack thereof, are caused by surface materials 1n the urban setting. The surface materials surrounding a site greatly determine the m1cro-cl 1mate of the area. Because m1cro-cl Imates can change drastically within a very short distance, site-specific analysis 1s undertaken to augment general climate data published by the Weather Bureau.
When direct solar radiation reaches a surface, a fraction of this radiation 1s reflected and a fraction 1s absorbed by the surface material. Differing surface materials vary as to their degree of reflectivity and absorption of solar radiation. An albedo rate Is a measurement given to a particular material as to Its degree of reflection of solar radiation (see chart below). An albedo of 1.0 or 100% would be a perfect reflector, while an albedo of 0 would Indicate total absorption of the sun's radiation. When site designing, the surrounding albedo levels must be analyzed since they have such an Important role 1n m1cro-cl1mate modification. For example, urban centers usually are characterized by asphalt and concrete which reflect a high percentage of radiation, resulting 1n unpleasant heat gain 1n the summer. Large quantities of asphalt surrounding the Edgewater site contribute undesirable heat gain 1n the summer months with desirable heat gain occurring during the winter months. Although water bodies have a high albedo level, they affect the m1cro-cl1mate of a site 1n a much different way than other similar albedo level surfaces. Water bodies affect the temperature of adjacent land masses through the process of air flow. During the afternoon, when land 1s warmer than water, low cool air flows over the land and cools 1t. During evening hours, the ground begins to radiate heat and cool off. At the same time, warm air above the water rises due to convection and 1s replaced by cool air flowing 1n a low pattern along the land's surface.


Albedo Levels of Certain Materia
Surface Material
Fresh snow cover Dense cloud cover Old snow cover Light sand dunes Sandy soil Green leaves Meadows and fields Dry sand Desert
Densely built-up areas
Woods
Asphalt
Rock
Dark cultivated soil Water surfaces, sea
Albedo 1n %
75-95
60-90
40-70
30-60
15-40
25-32
12-30
18-30
21-28
15-25
5-10
15
12-15
7-10
3-10


colfax ave


ENERGY COMPOSITE
This composite map represents a combination of all of the energy-related factors previously presented. Obviously* not all of these factors have an equal Impact on energy efficiency, but rather, when combined with the outcome of the social composite, a site design concept will evolve which 1s sympathetic to the concerns of the urban ecosystems. The components of the energy composite are: hydrology, wind analysis (roses) for summer and winter, Albedo levels, slope exposure, landform and vegetation shadows. On the Energy Composite map, the tight "dot" pattern Indicates the areas on the site which are naturally the most energy-eff 1c1ent for both summer and winter conditions. The diagonal hatch Indicates that area on site which has a moderate level of energy efficiency and the grid pattern Indicates those areas on the site which are the least efficient. It 1s Important to note that the five areas were judged subjectively according to energy-related factors and for the most part, the site Is fairly (not totally) homogeneous 1n its energy-efflclent characteristics. With an urban site of this size, economics mandate that the entire site be utilized and not just those areas which indicate a favorable energy situation. The map does tell us that development in the least efficient areas need to be addressed more closely so that the end design 1s reflective of not only the site opportunities but also the constraints.


colfax ave
fentonst.
eaton st.
depew st.
chase st.
benton st.
ames st.
Sheridan blvd.
zenobia st.
yates st.
n ran
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QDtba

eQa â–¡ â–¡
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~3 E 3 2 2 2 4 1 3 IF
T E 2 2 2 8 4 1 EJ 14
IF E 1 2 2 9 . 5 1 3
Energy Influences Negative {------) Positive

Energy Composite
Legend

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â– 
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){\Mt
Edgewater Square
M L. A. Thesis
College of Design & Planning University of Colorado/ Denver Dennis L. Morgan 0 200 400 north


SOCIAL COMPOSITE
A composite of all of the social analysis* with an Integration of the energy-eff 1c1ent design principles, lidlcates which areas on the site are best suited for certain activities. A complete understanding of the zoning, circulation, site character and energy-eff 1c1ent principles Indicates five distinct areas and three major activities which need to be designed for: Circulation, Land Use and Cultural. The compatibility Index on the social composite map ranks Important design concepts with a high, medium or low score for the five zones on the site. By understanding which activities are best for certain areas on the site and by knowing which of the five areas are the most prone to being energy-efficient, a site can be designed sensitively to ecological and social concerns.


colfax ave
fenton st.
NJ
a
eaton st.
Compatibiliy Index
0 MEG]
Circulation r â–¡â–¡â–¡â–¡
Bicycle Opportunities nip pppi1 ‘1
Mass Transit Oppor. | mm i
Auto Pollution air & noise P hi
Edgewater Pea. Linkage | mrnmu
Sloans Lake Linkage â–  liliillil
Land Use 1 1 â–¡â–¡â–¡â–¡
Recreational Oppor. rrm 123 mm*
Comm./Office Oppor.
8SS"“ ■■■F!H
Cultural â–¡â–¡â–¡â–¡â–¡
Pedestrian MSIM B 1 Compatibilitv lRTttflli§aSs;Jlliittlll^^
i i
Baar mam m i
Social Composite
Legend
High Medium Low
Edgewater Square
M.L.A. Thesis
College of Design & Planning University of Colorado/Denver Dennis L. Morgan
0 200 400 north


/


oncept Framework
tentative 1
LEGEND
CIRCULATION
Depew
EES

R.T.D. Mass Transit ^
cr^exx**}#. f*. r^*x. u*p.
Vehicular Zone
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Parking Structure
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Pedestrian Paths w v **- '^^urpri^<^^iutTT--,*>^ T*



Benton



Ames

SOFTSCAPE
Earth Barms rrzz&zu? *rr-i, T« PP^iPt p-omt' ,«M£«»^sr,£H ^rfrs«-
"peUtF'At-^.
Danse Vegetation «p *®-firirp*-~fP cemvv in- fpEcrT'm- f»TlS-rnH. 'fKf-e^rkef. eae«S26^.
Natural Stream
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Site Pond pp^v^sp p- ->**n<**- oie&»i F^cMFpb m«. '•c r-wtreM6*^® ypfljfr
sons, >n
HARDSCAPE
Building Outline ictacj^vw %»hi chut
•ppp-i^ep ^cor^po T*-fTV*-+ cw. p^th- |hfTTBdfMT Linkage Bridge *^***r'
ppps*5»na^t h^vm-ht. ^-rvis. “irysj^' %*-agcim
Pedestrian Plaza
CD
Sheridan n
Edgewater Square
M.L.A. Thesis
College of Design & Planning U.C.D. Spring 1984 Dennis Moraan
100 200 north


oncept Framework
â–  â–  â– 
20 th
LEGEND
Depew
Benton
Ames
• I
Sheridan
CIRCULATION
8*3
ISE
S
R.T.D. Mass Transit ^
fi*1p
cer^mt^ ft*. p-f*x u^s.
Vehicular Zone . za^er* u/
rtn. (yfjff, ta&eo *-
M^vpifl>W| erK3|t-Surface Parking i*u[i*2ftA.r«i.*?>i.i^e <*p-rt> “tf-*****- ■wme*
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t>ePT>i^ HtfitTF- R»T^rr rfl-’to U'pAqMFE**’ **]» 2CCUK rT^WT*^ cerfjp??.
Pedestrian Linkage -^ap -rr>6t
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**JTC.\&£. Pedestrian Paths °K>. (fl £P*T2>*
e«- -uAwvpriis* o^nMniTT.. a»n - co-rvc^cr* ^
SOFTSCAPE

tra
Earth Berms iraascs? ~x-*
-O ffWMPt erexv' <*~**»*rc* nrrs*-
Dense Vegetation «*?
w ««■ pwsofflw FirnS-m'H- fw1-
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Site Pond p^vtu»^p ck -v*n**_ «fs»i
pflwpt^ ®a_iN3«flsc-. ve~*voe. cf-
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SUami^ ■^s’pc^, -*«’ n^tfSry^^ ^ /KTIS- ^ 2>Orit> ATI
HARDSCAPE
Building Outline o*2r
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Linkage Bridge ^Acp. «jp-a*^
Pedestrian Plaza A^^^rr^^jcat
vs3532nr •
Edgewater Square
M.L.A. Thesis
College of Design & Planning U.C.D. Spring 1984


LEGEND:
CIRCULATION
13
EH
m

R.T.D. Mass Transit -*j***ctp =*o-
«*w»f*eLe r** i-t**-irs*.
Vshlcular Zona VSfcUAA- Zo-fr “T1 VTp. */
mn. ptc^RAft ctrT^x. mojz«d t .jptws. * *50X
r-^VeaRWpl Surface Parking
/^7? R5T>T7 6re^it-i«ne«-aa-io«*'Ur'H'ift* *>*-Pb 1*>«P TTfo*Hiar ^
Parking Structure **mr>
JWT>iiA4 HkWi^ P^^TT rim? je^.
£T*> *«CU* TPWOM-rt ccnfjpfr.
Pedestrian Linkage «■»? _**>*»&
PEoq^feria^*ce>$-fe *?â– -
+*&C.\jH£. Pedestrian Paths «a?. ^4x^1
<«■ tL^f«uri?rV (Zrr\unTX ■ *T*vC*- ^
rts-n^^fTP c*eT2/4^6f*M*rvM.
SOFTSCAPE

tra
Earth Berms m-saw^o -.---«%>—r^r-^=£
•pfpMPP. p-ew’' rw+r-e*^VMSl^Ti*; ^Ttr^4-M^TTH^-‘*c Dense Vegetation «c>
Aft3 r^awepm- feTPttrm. 'r^f-
Natural Stream Site Pond pp4Vr>TP pf
Indigenous Vegetation «®T**e-'-ED s?f
Sl^r- ^
HARDSCAPE
Building Outline
-pp^-lf&Cp -ca 9ccr~t*> %>£>*/,V*"!3*-3£' jPWPI «**- pd«-7H rfir^VW.
Linkage Bridge •p^^^sr fTSPs»s»rpk^rt M^vr-iSHT. ***TMS-" .r^e' er*.
Pedestrian Plaza a<«x "ca-'=>T*>< 4“^.
nsfPrfpcrt.vg*spmvn-r <*cc+\- ^a. 4^
cept Framework^
lative 3
Edgewater Square
M.L.A. Thesis
College of Design & Planning U.C.D. Spring 1984 Dennis Morgan
100
200
north


SUMMARY
Man’s largest Impact on nature can be seen in our cities; the place where he has changed the basic components of h1s environment the most; the atmospheric environment* the hydrological environment, and the biological environment. Because of man’s urbanization patterns our ecosystems have been slowly suffocating and are at the point where action must be taken 1n order to stop this disintegration.
At the beginning of this thesis, 1t was stated that certain Ideas and practices concerning our development patterns were questioned because of their effects on the urban ecosystems. Questioned also because energy efficient planning techniques seem to be one alternative that viably challenges these past practices. Challenges, not from the viewpoint that energy efficient land planning 1s less expensive or a more aesthetic means of development, but rather, that over a long period of time, this development type 1s more resourceful and more beneficial to mankind and h1s survival.
Without the supportive data of years of study, the analysis of this atypical planning practice 1s theoretical at best. Although the materials presented 1n this thesis tend to confirm the Initial hypothesis that energy efficient land planning techniques can affect the urban ecosystems for the better, many questions are still open for further Investigation.
This thesis has been optimistically written 1n an era of Increased concern about our urban ecosystems. It is my firm conviction that the answers to our environmental health, happiness and welfare are readily available to us 1f we look past our conventional development practices. One of man’s largest assets for survival has been h1s ability to manipulate h1s environment. It 1s now time for him to change h1s environment for a more secure, healthy life.


SOURCES
1. Adams County Planning Department* "Erosion and Sediment Control Planning Manual," Adams County, Colorado, Board of County Commissioners, 1982.
2. Adams County Planning Department, "Percolation Pits," Adams County, Colorado, Board of County Commissioners, 1982.
3. A.I.A. Research Corporation, Energy Conservation 1n Building Design, 1978.
4. A.I.A. Joint Venture, Here Comes the Sun.
5. Austin, Richard. "Designing with Plants," Van Nostrand, 1982.
6. Center for Renewable Resources, Washington, D.C., U.S. Department of Energy, "Putting Renewable Energy to Work 1n Cities," 1982.
7. Colorado Department of Health, A1r Control Division, "Colorado: A1r Quality Data Report," 1984.
8. Colorado Land Use Commission, "A Land Use Program for Colorado," 1983.
9. Denver, City and County, "1981 Water Pollution Control Report," Environmental Health Services, City and County of Denver, 1982.
10. Denver Regional Council of Governments, "Land Use 1n the Denver Metropolitan Area," DRCOG, 1981.
11. Denver Regional Council of Governments, "Urban Runoff Quality 1n the Denver Region," DRCOG, 1983.
12. Detwyle, Thomas, "Urbanization and Environment," Duxbury Press, 1972.
13. Department of Commerce, "Climates of the United States — Colorado," Climatography of the United States,
No. 60-5, 1968.
14. Department of Commerce, "Annual Summary with Comparative Data — Denver, Colorado 1973," Local Climatological Data, 1974.
15. D1m1tr1, Procos, "Mixed Land Use: From Revival to Innovation," D.H. and R., Inc., Stroudsbury, Penn., 1976.


16. Egan, David, M. "Concepts 1n Thermal Comfort," Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prent1ce-Hal1 Inc., 1975.
17. Feught, J.R., "Some Woody Plants for Low Water Areas," Department of Horticulture, Colorado State
University Extension Service.
18. Feught, J.R., "Selecting Trees for the Home Grounds," Cooperative Extension Service, Colorado State University, Fort Col 11 ns, Colorado, 1973.
19. Foss, Phillip 0., "Environment and Colorado — A Handbook," Fort Collins, Colorado, Colorado State University.
20. Hough, Michael, "City Form and Natural Process," Van Nostrand Inc., England, 1984.
21. Hutchison, Boyd and Taylor, Fred, "Energy Conservation Mechanisms and Potentials of Landscape Design to
Ameliorate Building Microclimates," Landscape Journal, Volume 2, Number 1, Spring, 1983.
22. Knowles, Ralph L., "Energy and Form," Cambridge, Mass., The M.I.T. Press, 1984.
23. Koh, Jusuck, "Ecological Design: A Post-Modern Design Paradigm of Holistic Philosophy and Evolutionary Ethic," Landscape Journal, Vol. 1, No. 2, 1982.
24. Lovlns, Amory B., "Soft Energy Paths," Harper and Row, 1977.
25. Lynch, Kevin, "Site Planning," Cambridge, Mass., M.I.T. Press, 1962.
26. Lynch, Kevin, "The Image of the City," Cambridge, Mass, M.I.T. Press, 1960.
27. Mcharg, Ian L., "Design with Nature," Garden City, N.Y., The Natural History Press, 1969.
28. M1tz1, Barker, Consulting Urban Planner, "Comprehensive Plan: City of Edgewater, Colorado, 1984.
29. National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior, "Energy Conscious Planning Guidelines, March 1981.
30. Newton, Norman T., "Design on the Land," Kelknap/Harvard, 1971.
31. National Association of Home Builders, "Cost Effective Site Planning," 1982.
32. Olgyay, Victor, "Design with Climate," Princeton, University Press, 1963.


33. Proceedings and Notes of a Conference held 1n Fort Worth, Texas, "Alternatives 1n Energy Conservation: The Use of Earth Covered Buildings," Washington D.C., U.S. Government Press, 1975.
34. Robinette, Gary 0., "Energy Efficient Site Design," Van Nostrand Press, 1983.
35. Scallse, James W., "Earth Integrated Architecture," Tempe, Arizona, Arizona State University Press, 1975.
36. Solar Energy Research Institute, "The Implementation of State Solar Incentives: Land-Use Planning to Ensure Solar Access," 1979.
37. Solar Energy Research Institute, "Land-Use Barriers and Incentives to the Use of Solar Energy," 1979.
38. Splrn, Anne W., The Granite Garden," Basic Books, Inc., New York, N.Y., 1984.
39. Underground Space Center, University of Minnesota, "Earth Sheltered Design," Van Nostrand Co., N.Y., 1978.
40. Untermann, Richard and Small, Robert, "Site Planning for Cluster Housing," Van Nostrand Co., N.Y., 1977.
41. Wright, David, "Natural Solar Architecture, A Passive Primer," Van Nostrand Co., N.Y., 1978.


Full Text

PAGE 1

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. THIS THESIS IS SUBMITTED AS PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A MASTER OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE DEGREE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT DENVER COLLEGE OF DESIGN AND PLANNING GRADUATE PROGRAM OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE ACCEPTED BY: COMMITTEE ADVISOR

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f L f} I '1 '19 't:J {1..1 b6b I

PAGE 4

INTRODUCTION What are urban ecosystems? How did they come into existence? How have they evolved over time? What is man's role in their transformation? No single answer or definition can describe how our ecosystems have been ignored, respected and/or exploited throughout history. An asset if respected, a hazard if ignored, and a threat to mankind if exploited. Why then has our species chosen to ignore and exploit our natural environment? Humankind, as we have discovered through history, is not a physically adaptable creature. Thus, we have learned to modify and mold the environment to meet our survival needs and desires. The needs of the human race are basic: shelter, food and clothing, with survival desires being a recent social phenomenon, i.e., "a higher quality of life" based on the newest of technology. Man's initial environmental adaptations were minor and indigenous by design. These adaptations provided basic survival needs while respecting the environmental ecosystems of his surroundings. Early man also realized the luxury of higher standards and human comfort which was achieved by a bonding which occurred between his architecture and landscape. As man evolved, his city evolved and thus his environment has evolved. American society from inception, has been based on individualism and freedom which has been reflected in our settlement patterns, energy consumption and attitudes concerning the air, water, and land of our cities. During the late 1980's a pervasive attitude existed that the best way to solve the problems associated with urban living, i.e., congestion, pollution, crime and high prices was to move to the country. This, coupled with new technology and abundant fuel, has led to sprawling conurbation and a magnification of the original ecological problems deemed as strictly urban. We have been so busy designing and enjoying our new standard of living that we have not looked at the consequences of our actions. For a long time, these natural disasters have been ignored or made more tolerable by technology based upon cheap and abundant fossil fuel. No longer is this the case, and now the dilemma arises. People living in urban situations are beginning to notice that the quality of their air is poisonous, their water unsafe for consumption due to erosion, flooding and waste management, and their land contaminated with chemicals

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and general mismanagement. A growing concern in society for positive health and welfare has led to a resurgence 1n environmental respect. The belief that the urban fabric was an entity distinctly unto itself and that the idea of nature or ecology was "someplace else" has dominated the perception of urban and its actual construction. These perceptions have intensified and in some regards produced many of our cities' environmental concerns. A vast knowledge of statistical information exists about our ecosystems, their opportunities and constraints, but little has been compiled in the form of solutions. Acceptable solutions to our environmental degradation can only occur if we examine and understand the whole ecological process and adapt our social, economic and technological concerns to these systems. The environmental degradation of our city has been an issue of concern for many years. Hydraulic engineers have been associated at the macroscale level, with erosion problems and urban flooding for quite some time and have alleviated some of those concerns. Since the oil embargo of the 1970's, architects have adapted their profession to energy efficient construction based on new technologies and have been quite successful in decreasing our dependency on dwindling natural resources. Planners have devised regional techniques for reducing conurbation and wasteful development, and have been social catalyst in environmental rejuvenation. Landscape architects have always been concerned with producing results that are indigenous to environmental opportunities and constraints but like all other "environmental designers," have only contributed with microscaled solutions and results to macroscaled problems. Environmental designers of such philosophical position normally worked in "multidisciplinary" teams to solve design problems under the coordination of one master designer who usually defined the problems. Consultation with other professions would exist only after a preliminary design had taken place, but rarely did they consult ecologists, sociologists, psychologists, or businessmen in the analysis or design of the site. For too long, designers have believed that solutions arrived by themselves were the best solutions. They declared that the users were incompetent of their needs or desires and did not have the taste to appreciate good design. They believed that the client needed to be educated as to good design and that it was their

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responsibility to do so. Good ends were believed to justify poor means. Designs often became "beautiful" but socially irrelevant, unresponsive to the ecosystems, and offensive to the client or users. The landscape architect, by profession, has always been a defender of environmental rights but now must be a leader in the design profession as well. Many design professions have worked in their own niches, each contributing to massive problems from a standpoint of exclusion and elitism and it is now the case that landscape architects must encourage interdisciplinary team work and take the principal role in formulating design concepts that utilize all disciplinary and social strengths. The end result will be a stronger and healthier city fabric. Land planning design problems facing our society will be tremendous and complex, and will require innovative solutions in solving them. These solutions should minimize the input of natural resources and thus minimize the output or waste of present day development. This will be the means of preserving our natural environment. A vast percentage of society's health, safety and welfare is based on the proper management of nature which, at present, is very energy-inefficient. Thus, it is extremely important that we learn to develop and transform our surroundings using the least amount of energy or a context for development which is energy-efficient. Before this can be done, landscape architects need to develop a framework for energy-efficient analysis and design which reduces the exploitation of natural resources and increases the quality of our air, water and land. By energy-efficient design, I mean design which not only is environmental in concept, from the McHary Approach to planning, but also a design which incorporates the actual users, i.e., society. In order to formalize a total system approach to our environmental problems, it is imperative that we understand the history of Denver's form and to recognize the mistakes in past growth patterns and attitudes. By recognizing the inappropriate social and environmental solution, the appropriate relationship between human needs and environmental development may be understood and met.

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THESIS OBJECTIVES The focus or hypothesis of this thesis is that comprehensive and energy efficient land planning can improve the quality of Denver's ecosystem, i.e., our air, water and land. All design problems, regardless of their size should have a solution which avoid any negative influences to the ecosystem and, if at all possible, should try to regenerate them. The issues of this hypothesis will be subdivided into the interdisciplinary design professions which the landscape architect will have to work in conjunction with. These principles will be utilized on a Front Range site and will address issues such as: o Look at the relationship of the site to regional and local climatic and ecosystem problems as well as its surrounding context. o Arrange landscape and architectural components in such a way as to produce desirable microclimates. o Utilize passive energy systems as a design concept to minimize resource use and waste. o Maximize the energy conservation and energy production potential of the natural environment. o Suggest alternatives to our social dependency of the automobile by making those alternatives accessible and a pleasant experience which would curtail air pollution.

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ATMOSPHERE PROBLEMS Development patterns, urbanization and industrialization of the Denver metropolitan region has led to today's immense air quality problem. The air pollution of the Front Range area affects not only the health and welfare of its human inhabitants, but also contributes to the negative welfare of the ecosystems within and around the urban center. New and insightful site planning techniques are now required in order to minimize and eventually eliminate our pollution problem. The quality of Denver's air is both qualitative and quantitative in nature. Not only can one smell, taste and see the quality of our air, but one can also examine quantitative evidence of the problem, compiled by the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division. The C.A.P.C.D. has been monitoring the concentrations of various pollutants (undesirable gases and particles) in the air for several years. The monitoring is due to Federal and State requirements, to determine pollutant concentrations related both to National Ambient Air Quality Standards
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Carbon Monoxide Carbon monoxide 1s an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas which occurs naturally 1n the a1r by forest fires, ox1dat1on of methane and other natural processes. Concentrations of th1s pollutant show that 1t 1s the most abundant urban pollutant. Urban atmospheres contain roughly 100 tfmes as much CO as any other pollutant whfch 1s caused 1n urban settings pr1mar1ly by motor vehicles. In Denver, 1t 1s estimated that 1n 1982, 90% of the CO em1ss1ons were from vehicular sources, the rest befog produced by other combustion sources such as heating, fnc1nerat1on, power generation, etc. The newest source of carbon monoxide 1n the urbanized areas of Colorado 1s wood burning stoves. The large scale use of wood for heating and aesthetics 1n the home has been estimated to contribute approximately 10% of the total concentration levels for the Denver metropolitan stat1st1cs. Carbon monoxide affects the central nervous system by depr1v1ng the body of oxygen and can 1mpafr a person's judgment and response t1me. Ozone Ozone at h1gh concentrations 1s a blue unstable gas w1th a very dfstfnct1ve odor. At normal ambient concentrations, ozone 1s colorless and odorless. Whfle ozone 1s a major component of photochemical 'smog', the haziness and odors of smog are caused primarily by other substances. Ozone is not produced directly from a source as are other pollutants, but rather forms as a secondary pollutant. The reactive hydrocarbons are emitted in automobile exhaust, from gasoline and oil storage and from industrial use of paint solvents, degreasing agents and cleaning fluids. Not only is ozone harmful to the respiratory systems of man and wildlife, but ozone has been found to affect certain plants sensitive to the pollutant, such as white pines, soybeans and alfalfa. Sulfur Dioxide Sulfur d1ox1de is a colorless gas w1th a pungent odor. This chemical, being high soluble 1n water, results in the formation of sulfurous acid. This pollutant has received worldwide recognition as a devastator of our

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lakes, streams, fish habitats, forests and other resources. This "acid rain" is known to affect our drinking water and to produce carcinogenic (cancer-causing) agents. so2 is produced by, primar1ly, stat1onary sources that burn fossil fuels such as coal and o11, i.e., power plants and refiner1es. Particulate Matter The microscopic particles or solids found 1n the atmosphere are known as part1culate matter. The Denver "Brown Cloud" or "Haze" is, 1n large part, part1culate matter. These particles in the atmosphere are a major contribut1on to the visibility related problems in both rural and urban areas. Common sources of the problem are wind blown dust and sand from construction sites, etc., coal dust and carbon black from various sources such as diesel automobiles and wood stoves. The affects of part1culates range from visibility degradation to climate changes to vegetation damage. Soiling, for a long time thought to be just a nuisance, can have long-term effects on building paints and other mater1als. The major source of lead 1n the atmosphere is from motor veh1cles that burn 'leaded gas' and from the extraction and processing of metallic ores. Lead is a highly poisonous substance which, when breathed into the blood stream, has devastating results. It has been shown that the U.S. population's blood lead levels has declined 36.7% from 1976 to 1980, due to such factors as requiring automobiles to burn 'unleaded gasoline'. Controls or actions should be implemented so that urban atmospheric pollution can be halted, allowing the ecosystem to clean itself and thus produce a healthier environment.

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HYDROSPHERE PROBLEMS The basic prem1se of water quality and plann1ng is that the goal of env1ronmentally clean water 1s not atta1nable unless both point source and nonpoint source pollution are considered 1n future planning. Nonpoint sources of pollut1on, during per1ods of high runoff can contribute larger pollutant loading to area streams than point sources. Nonpoint sources are defined as sources which enter waterways from diffuse areas rather than pollution which enters waterways through a pipe or similar 'point' source. The Denver Regional Council of Governments' 1977 clean water plan categorizes e1ght sources of nonpoint pollut1on: urban runoff, sept1c tanks, landf1lls, agriculture, foresting, mining, stream channel modif1cation, and new construction. Although all of the sources contributes to the degradation of our water, some affect the environment more so than others. The DRCOG report's conclusion about urban runoff are: • For some pollutants, urban runoff is a major contr1butor; • Non-storm urban drainage is another major source of pollutants; • Land use does have an influence on the types and quantities of pollutants; and • There are a number of practices which can reduce urban runoff and the resultant pollution of our hydrosphere. Storm-water runoff generated w1th1n the Denver metropolitan region can negat1vely affect the quality of water of the South Platte R1ver and 1ts tributaries. This storm-water runoff flushes 1nto the r1ver loads of sediment, nutrients, bacteria and trace elements wh1ch are depos1ted on the land surface due to development, automobile use and a w1de range of other act1vit1es. A large amount of sed1ment, fecal coliform bacteria, nutrients, organ1c matter, and heavy metals enter the r1ver dur1ng per1ods directly after a storm as compared to discharges from wastewater treatment plants over the same period of time. The DRCOG study indicated that a large portion of the aquatic biota of the South . Platte River was contaminated due to suspended solids and total lead caused by storm-water runoff. The fish collected in this study were smaller than normal in size. Also, ambient lead concentrations were found to be with1n a range capable of inducing long-term, chronic effects in the fish.

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HYPOllETICAl CITY OF 1.000,000 The shape of land is a result of the natural forces acting upon it, that is, hydrological cycles, geological reactions and the forces of the plant and animal kingdom. The form of metropolitan Denver is a by-product of all these forces and will continue to change in this never-ending ecological cycle. Colorado settlers of the past as well as the present have been catalyst in the evolution of the Front Range landscape, sometimes for the better but more often for the worse, with many people actually unconscious of their effects on the original landscape. Our Front Range corridor exhibits many unhealthy examples of destructive change but at the same time has many that have been beneficial. Man-made landscapes may be created that are not identical to the original but at the same time, result in healthy and varied environments. Design and planning professionals must understand and plan for the effects of their projects on the city as a whole rather than just specifically at the micro-scale of their site boundary. For a city to be a healthy, vibrant organism, all designers/builders must take into account the consequences of their actions on the quality of the air, water, and land as well as energy consumption and depletion. The depletion/waste of our natural resources in the urban setting is the major cause of our degraded ecological quality. A typical city requires the input of motor fuel, natural gas, oil, coal, nuclear power, food and water for its existence and discharges nitrogen, particulates, sulfur dioxide, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, refuse and sewage water, to list a few, in the process. These by-products permeate our water, air and land and act as a time bomb for future explosion. The design/planning solution to these regional problems is one that is energy-efficient, that is, requires little if any energy input and thus expels little or no hazardous by-products and in turn allows the natural processes/ecosystems to return to a healthy normal state. The Granite Garden
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describes these design/planning philosophies as either a closed or open system. A site which is considered a closed system requires little if any input of energy for its survival and thus has fewer outputs of chemicals, noxious air and contaminated water which is a significant positive contribution to the urban ecosystem. Ecosystems which are self-sustaining are possible even on the smallest or urban s1tes. Emory Lonins, in Energy Paths, describes this same system as a soft path with three major characteristics: 1) they rely on renewable energy flows that are always there whether we use them or not (such as sun, wind and vegetation) on energy income, not on depleted energy capital; (2) they are diverse, running on many small contributions each designed for maximum effectiveness in particular circumstances; (3) they are flexible and relatively low technology, which does not mean unsophisticated but rather easy to understand and use without extensive skills. Open systems, which are predominant in our environment, require a tremendous amount of energy to sustain with an end result of waste, contamination and a lower quality of living. They require a great deal of maintenance in the form of clipping, mowing and spraying with pesticides and fertilizers and in return give the city storm water runoff (i.e., flooding and erosion), soil contaminated with nutrients and toxicants and air which is polluted by the fossil fuels required in the process of maintenance. An aggregate sum of land planners using closed systems could make a remarkable difference in the quality of our urban ecosystems. I OPEN [c I!IM Outo--btDu FOX!l--FUt:l5 MQJLATt? FE.Fqll.-lz_t:f:? . Hl.Jf!2f:HT? H> 4-lmHLP

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DENVER GROWTH PATTERN The early explorers of the Rocky Mountain territory looked for a sfte to settle which would be secure from hostile invasion wh1le accommodating their need for fresh water. They found such a side formed by the confluence of the Platte Rfver and Cherry Creek. The town was called Aurar1a, but d1d not last long due to the annual flooding of both water sources. The move north, across Cherry Creek to higher elevations was qufck and justified, w1th the new location known as Denver. Denver's relatively mfld weather and connection to the ra11 11nes gave 1t importance as a major trading center and social mecca to the thr1v1ng mining colonies sprouting up in the Rocky Mountains. The ra11 lines not only connected the mountain commun1t1es to Denver and Denver to the eastern populations, but also defined the baste form of early Denver. The 11fel1ne of the city was the rail system with development sprouting up around this lineal path in a rather rapid, unplanned economorphic way. This haphazard development pattern produced a city fabric wh1ch was 1mplos1ve by nature; vertical, dense and centralized city core with mixed uses wh1ch were quite often incompatible and hazardous to the occupants of Denver. Separation and segregation occurred as those w1th f1nanc1al means moved further and further from the a1r/no1se pollution and congestion. With the advent of new technology and a plentiful supply of oil, a new form of transportation and city form soon appeared. It was not possible for not only the affluent, but also the middle class to move away from the c1ty center which by now was a threat to anyone's health, safety and welfare. Suburban development exploded from the city center 1n all directions since land was abundant and inexpensive. On a regional level, th1s new oil/rubber network was an overlay of the or1g1nal coal/rail network; a gr1d pattern wh1ch existed regardless of the environment

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it was invading. This exploding development pattern changed the city fabric from vertical to horizontal movement. Separation and segregation within the city became much more apparent both socially and economically. The masses fled the environmental problems of the city rather than constructively changing them and as a result, left urban cores for the poor. This leapfrog or noncontiguous development swallowed agricultural land, eliminated many open space and created ecological problems much worse than the original problems of the coal/rail network. Noncontiguous development is characteristic of the least energy-efficient development pattern--sprawl, a pattern highly dependent on the automobile. This development pattern is not only difficult to service by public transit, but also requires residents to travel longer distances to work, shopping. and recreation which lead to massive consumption of dwindling natural resources and air which is deemed dangerous by federal standards. Regional characteristics of architecture and landscape architecture abandoned passive techniques traditionally used for the improvement or maintenance of favorable environmental conditions. As a result, the regional characteristics were replaced by design concepts reflecting fads as opposed to local tradition. New ( ) 't 1

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technology allowed development to satisfy arbitrary energy inefficient standards based on what often turned out to be whimsical fashions. The use of native vegetation for shade and wind protection became economically unnecessary with new devices available that used fossil fuels. From coat to coast, new growth patterns have everywhere become a boring sameness. The opportunities for the Front Range natural environment to effect and form the urban fabric in a distinctive and memorable way has been ignored. Man had adapted the environment to his needs and desires which has adversely affected the air, water and land which is so important to his basic survival. As we look to a future of energy scarcity, environmental degradation and human discomfort, decisions made today with respect to land use, economic development, and transportation will determine our ecosystem quality and thus the quality of life in the Denver metropolitan region. To realize the benefits of energy efficient land planning tomorrow, new design must become an integral part of the landscape architecture profession.

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CLIMATE/WINO For the Denver metropolitan area, the main factor in our climate is the distinct geography which is known as highland or mountain geology. The geography of Denver is best known for the ridge of the Front Range mountains which tower over a city already at an altitude of one mile above sea level. This great feature acts as a funnel by directing major fronts and climatic conditions to our city from different directions, depending on the season. Our climate, being semi-arid, is mild, sunny and low in humidity. Denver's placement next to the Rocky Mountains results in mild winter temperatures and pleasant summer conditions. With the annual average rain fall of 12 fnches, the Front Range is considered a semi-arid location. Desert land is classified as an area which receives 10 inches or less a year, which gives a clearer image of the Front Range, its possible vegetation and problems associated with predominantly eastern development attitudes. According to Stapleton Airport records, May shows the peak rainfall of 2.7 inches. This peak rain season, combined with the spring mountain snow melt can result in serious flooding and erosion if not planned for along and near any waterways. The heavy month for snow fall is March, but is generally not a problem for most designs in Denver since it is usually not a large amount. Occasionally, a locally severe winter storm will drop a large amount of snow but it quickly melts in the mild winter weather. A major climatic element for all development is the winds which aid and prohibit user comfort depending on the season. Strong winds are never a comfort and are especially energy inefficient during the winter months. Although a great quantity of technical data exists about the Denver wind conditions, they must always be viewed as seasonal and not specific to any time of year or day. Many regional and local geographic and man-made conditions will affect wind patterns. Wind, the movement of air molecules, is

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caused by a combination of the earth's rotation, and the heating and cooling of the earth's natural and man-made surfaces. No two sites will ever have the same wind conditions due to varying topography, vegetation, and surrounding structures. A common feature to the Front Range climate is the chinook wind effect which is caused by air movement up or down the mountain slopes. As the air moves from Denver (at a high pressure) to the mountain tops
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Wltl> BlOCKS A vast quantity of research exists pertaining to the use of shelter belts of windbreaks to change microclimatic conditions, showing 'that a widespread need exists for wind protection. Unfortunately, the majority of this information pertains to the protection of agricultural assets and does not deal with the need for such protection in urban context. Regardless, the physical principles concerned are similar, and the research available gives designers many useful tools in their quest for energy-efficient concepts. Vegetation near or around a building that reduces wind speeds to or below 16 km/h would result in a substantial reduction in energy loss (nearly 20%), with a consequent reduction in heating energy consumption (Dewalle, 1978). According to Caborn (see reference) and Read, the best windbreaks for reducing energy consumption are those which have vertical sides and are moderately dense with a height equal to or greater than the building to be protected. The shelterbelts should be placed upwind of the building, obviously, and at a distance of 45 to 150 feet from the building (Dewalle and Farrand, 1978). Very dense or solid barriers to the wind are to be avoided because their reductions in wind speed are accompanied by increased levels of turbulence (Caborn, 1965). Most information concerning the use of vegetation for energy conservation deals with buffering effects of cold winter winds, but the use of vegetation should also be looked at for its channeling capabilities on desired summer cooling breezes. Another use of vegetation suggested by several papers involves the planting of densely crowned shrubs or small trees immediately adjacent to buildings to create a still air layer, which, in effect, will increase the insulating value of the wall. Nisbet (1977) reports that fuel savings from 10% to 25% are possible through these techniques. Some form of planting almost always accompanies new

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construction with the cost of such treatment being justified by aesthetics rather than economics. If land planners had easy access to windbreak information for urban situations, the selling point for this vegetation could then be on the basis of long-term economics as well as aesthetics with a net result of energy conservation and a healthier urban ecosystem. The following factors should be considered when using plant materials or earthforms to control airflow: o Boundary layers of air are compressed as they pass over a ridge, with the result that wind speed is usually 20% greater on the top of a ridge than on the slopes. o The degree of effectiveness obtained by using plants as wind controllers is dependent upon both the characteristics of the plant material and the placement of the plants. o Wind velocity is cut from 15 to 25 percent of the open field velocity directly leeward of a dense screen planting, while a loose barrier reduces leeward wind velocity to 60 percent of its original velocity. o The speed of the air movement directly beneath a tree is measurably increased over speeds measured at the same height on its lee and windward sides. o Wind velocity may be reduced by 50 percent for a distance of from 10 to 20 times the tree height downwind of a shelterbelt. o The more impenetrable the windbreak is, the longer the distance behind the windbreak protection extends. o Increased wind velocity, higher than that found in the open field, occurs at both ends of windbreaks. o When a gap is introduced in a windbreak, a zone of increased wind velocity develops with the gap.

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o The percentage of velocity reduction and the zone of quieter air increase as the wind becomes stronger and the center of the quieter air tends to move farther away from the windbreak on the leeward side. o The measurement of wind velocity differs, depending on the height at which it is recorded. Source: James W. Scalice (E.I.A.)

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THERMAL BREEZES Development near major water bodies may be beneficial for cooling in the summer and heating in the winter due to variations in mass temperatures and air convections. Land masses warm faster than water during the day and cools more rapidly at night. During the morning hours the winds will blow from the land to the water and during the evening hours, it will blow from the water to the land. Proximity to water bodies has been found to moderate temperature extremes of adjacent land forms by raising winter temperatures and lowering summer temperatures. Water temperature variations have been reported in the range of 20-30 difference for summer and winter. It must be stressed that large bodies of water are being referred to here since smaller ones would freeze in the winter and be of no significance for thermal breezes. By situating development around or near large bodies of water, energy needed for heating and cooling can be reduced, thus having a substantial impact on the ecosystems. Not only will water proximity benefit the natural surroundings but will also benefit the site users psychologically.

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SOlAR ACCESS The rapid expansion of solar energy for hot water and space heating is likely to reduce this nation's dependency upon natural resources which are finite. The rising cost of oil and gas have made solar energy a wise investment and has triggered much greater utilization of this plentiful resource. However, many problems still exist concerning the legal aspect of this energy source. At present, there are not right-of-way laws pertaining to the access of sunlight which could be detrimental to the system's future development. "Out of 153 solar domestic hot water systems inspected in Connecticut, 27% of the units were shaded or were likely to be shaded in the near future. In effect, the free market provides no guarantee that adequate solar access standards will be applied to future installations of solar energy systems." Landscape architects can play an important role, especially in the early stages of the development of solar energy, by guiding the location and orientation of development/solar systems and by implementing a degree of solar access protection necessary for efficient operation of and continued growth of this resource. Depending on individual site conditions, the location of such systems is limitless and is dependent on the landscape architect/planner for their "correct" placement on the site.

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WOODY BIOMASS Numerous books and articles exist which describe, mostly in qualitative terms, procedures for energy-efficient landscapes. Simple in concept, they generally recommend designs which allow winter solar access, provide summer shade from intense heat gain, channel cooling summer breezes and prevent harsh winter winds. All valid, they generally have some regional variations in the solutions and a few address macroclimatic conditions. Misconceptions exist concerning a few of these energy-efficient solutions, the most popular being the use of landscape on southern exposures for summer shade. Species described for this condition are inevitably deciduous ones with a rationale which has widespread belief and practice. Plants that lose their leaves in the winter will allow the solar gain to penetrate into living spaces. During summer months, these trees create a canopy which shades the users and thus reduces the temperature of the structure. Because of this, many authors recommend that these deciduous trees be planted on south exposures for their benefit during both winter and summer seasons. Recent research by G.M. Heisler and other shows that the woody biomass of deciduous trees (branches and twigs) blocks an alarming amount of solar radiation during the winter months. Heisler found solar reductions of up to 40 percent under leafless elm trees, a metropolitan area, and solar reductions of up to 60% for beech and black locust trees. to 60% solar reduction during winter periods would increase energy usage for space heating more than the energy consumption would be reduced by summer shade, causing a net annual increase in energy usage. His conclusions wee that for the majority of the U.S.A., shade is recommended only for east and west sides of buildings. To replace the positive effects of the shade provided by these trees, architectural modifi cations are recommended, such as wide roof overhangs, increased ceiling insulation and vegetative treatments which provide summer shade and unimpeded solar access during the winter months.

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DRAINAGE SYSTEMS The hydrological cycle, in simple terms, is a process by which precipitation by means of rain or snow falls to the ground, is absorbed by the ground, returning to streams, rivers and the oceans and eventually evaporating into the air and returning continuing the ecological process. Recent urban development has jeopardized much of the natural hydrological processes and created very serious problems. The hard surfaces associated with urbanization, i.e., asphalt, concrete, etc., are impervious to moisture which act as a stopper for the natural flow of water into the ground. These large areas of impervious materials, as has been stated earlier, cause large amounts of water to concentrate at a specific point, quickly which caused flooding, erosion but more importantly an upset to the natural ecosystem. Design solutions with a concept of natural drainage saves money and resources/energy needed in construction of conventional systems. Designing natural drainage systems also allows water to recharge our natural water supplies and reduces rapid runoff, flooding and erosion. The most common use of this concept is the detention/retention pond which allows for . NllliWi. '?I5CfM • f"l"':P!Xe? r:tu:::PC( I .I#;(U. W ClJti'5r f'i..I.OW,? 1--JAT F-TD F'Af'ID f'UNOf'l", fUCCir--tCi N-tD

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natura 1 recharging of supplies and are currently required by many municipalities. Other solutions would be to retain the water at parking lot, plaza and/or rooftop retention areas for later release into the system, thereby reducing floods and the cost and energy of storm drainage systems. The first solution of ponding and allowing for natural infiltration into the soil is obviously the most desired solution but not always practical in certain urban settings due to a lack of effective space required. In situations such as this the other solutions should be used for slow release in conjunction with smaller ponding areas, the net effect being the prevention of off-site drainage by allowing rooftop, plaza and parking stormwater to be released into the pond and eventually into the earth.

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DROUGIT TOLERANT PLANTS As was mentioned earlier, the Denver metropolitan region is located in the foothills region of the Rocky Mountain Mountains and is characterized by a semi-arid climate. On the average, Denver receives 12" of rainfall a year while cities of the midwest average 30" per year. A shortage of water exists because of rapid growth and development in the Colorado Front Range area. This water shortage is further exacerbated by ubiquitous nonindigenous plant materials with demand for water far exceeding mother nature's supply and downstream states now demanding more water rights from the Rocky Mountain Area. Because of the extensive use of foreign plant species which are not adapted to our special regional climatic condition, the Denver metropolitan region consumes twice the national average. By using native species, a 25% reduction in overall water consumption can occur. The following list i dicates suitable trees to the Denver metropolitan area which have low water requirements. DECIDUOUS EVERGREEN TALL (30'-100') SMALL <10' -30') WINDBREAK SUBJECT TO STORM BREAKAGE DROUGHT TOLERANT EARLY LEAF DROP BLOCK ACCESS SHADE

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URBAN HEAT ISLAND Urban areas, as is generally known, are warmer on any given day compared to rural areas. This man-made occurrence has been termed the 'urban heat island' effect. These urban areas not only are warmer, but generally are less windy, have higher levels of air pollution and consume more energy then their suburban counterparts. In the City, the predominant material is concrete, asphalt, steel, brick, etc. which have replaced the natural vegetation found elsewhere. These urban materials are excellent absorbers of solar radiation and transmits ft back into the environment slowly, thus maintaining increased afr temperatures for long periods. The increased temperatures in the urban ecosystems are generally 9 F and have reached 20 F 1n certain conditions which generally causes net increase. This altered ecosystem, with its higher temperature, fs not only an unpleasant condition but also a health hazard to many of the urban inhabitants. The goal of an energy efficient land plan would be to decrease these urban ecosystem temperatures by designing areas with low solar absorption levels, e.g., vegetation. According to L.O. Myrup, it is possible to negate the affects of the urban heat island through the use of vegetation. Many studies exist which have recommended percentages of vegetation cover in order to offset the heat island with 20% being the lowest and 50% being the largest amount of vegetation cover. It is quite clear that, collectively, sites utilizing larger than average areas of plant material can have an effect on the urban ecosystem at a macroscale/regional level with decreased energy consumption for afr conditioning in buildings. • uzee.t-1 Hkff I?LNiD ... 1-20" f ,AWrl:. ... 1::1-"107. tt::J(:letfli'-"f''N. Al'f'I'OI<. ll!>f. . { Pe:Tl'-IME:.HTN-. '.50 'D CAtq'f COIFY-1D Cte!AGCNmr:s • YE'L,f':!T"'f!'D UMMl.)-ffT( C#Cl:!H?/ 1 0 I.OWff I'J.UCD HfF'f f !ZmU? eN f"6rl cc.tWMFTictt

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ARCHITECTURE (EARTH INTEGRATED) Dwindling energy resources and the degradation of our environmental quality (i.e., ecosystems) the basis for design objectives that must be met in today's land development; that is, to protect and preserve the natural systems (hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere), to use land in a more efficient way and to reduce energy consumption/waste. It should be emphasized that many other objectives are to be involved in a design such as the importance of aesthetics, social and economic goals. Designs which respond to the natural conditions not only result in lower costs over the long term, but also produce overall designs which are more exciting and varied. Earth integrated architecture/land planning is a solution which takes many of these goals/objectives and transforms them into design solutions which are stimulating and sensitive. Vast quantities of natural resources can be saved by using this architectural/planning technique. Studies have shown that a savings of 35% to 75% can be realized by using some form of earth integration. Berming around buildings alone can reduce heat loss by 13% to 31% which in turn reduces the amount of energy required to heat or cool the space. The insulating qualities of the earth for winter heating is significant second only to the cooling effects in the summer months. Front range soil has a steady temperature of 50 F below frost line which acts as a constant temperature stabilizer regard 1 ess of the climatic Berm Subgrade Basement conditions at the time. Developments which utilize earth integration also have a lower albedo level as opposed to conventional construction which in turn means a lower heat island effect and a more pleasant environment in which to live. Other opportunities associated with earth integrated architecture/ planning are protection from fires, natural disasters and noise, as well as sturdier, simpler construction. ..

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TRANSPORTATION/R.T.O. The automobile, even though made more fuel efficient by recent technology. still consumes more energy than any other mode of transportation in our society. Our culture is very much dependent on the automobile which will most likely not be replaced by non-petroleum-powered cars for decades. Thus, substitutes such as public transit, car pooling, biking and walking should all be explored as alternative transportation sources. The automobile, while consuming more energy than any other mode of transportation, also produces the largest amount of pollution of any mode of transportation. As is shown in the chart, buses and mass transit use half the energy that a car does per passenger mile. Energy used for transportation represents one-fourth of our total energy consumption and some studies have shown that 97% of Los Angeles air pollution (i.e., carbon monoxide) is caused by vehicle exhaust, a problem very similar to the Denver metropolitan area air problem. In order to save our urban ecosystems, we must make other modes of travel more convenient, more enjoyable and safer. In order to eliminate our air pollution problem, one land planning solution is to make mass transit stops/wafting areas as convenient, safe and comfortable as possible. By increasing user comfort, mass transit ..I LY.:t. cr Mvn

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REDUCED STREET WIDTHS Typical land planning/development projects throughout the U.S.A. are based on outdated and inefficient standards with design data pertaining to street layout and design being the most obvious and wasteful. The majority of road/street construction is based on standards from years past, consume massive amounts of raw materials in their construction and simply magnify the problems associated with the urban heat island effect (see urban heat island section). In 1978, 1.5% of the annual total energy consumption (including sectors other than transportation) was for road construction in asphalt and road oil. The average surface temperature of asphalt on a 90 day can reach 140 which can increase air temperatures in the immediate surrounding area by as much as 10, thus increasing energy consumption by as much as 55%. Present standards are based on arbitrary widths which have no indication on the actual potential usage or number of units served. According to a study conducted by the City of Davis, California, the reduction of street widths and the elimination of street parking actually facilitated the movement of fire and emergency vehicles on and around the project site. This study also concluded that also concluded that because of the reduced street widths, automobiles reduced their average speed, thus increasing pedestrian safety. One study recommends the following sizing rules-of-thumb: • Collector and sub-collector streets, now built typically@ 36', reduced to 26' • Cul-de-sac streets reduced to 18' width.

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A.M./P.M. PARKING USE Typical land planning/development projects throughout the U.S.A. are based on outdated and inefficient standards, with design data/zoning regulations pertaining to parking requirements per square footage being an obvious and wasteful practice. The majority of parking design has been based on square footage requirements for single use developments which correlates with past land use design. As has been shown, single use land planning is very energy consumptive and leads to sprawl and a general degradation of the ecosystems. Land planners who utilize mixed use development patterns can arrange uses or activities which share parking areas and thus reduces the amount of energy required in construction. This will also reduce the area of asphalt required which in turn will decrease the albedo level as well as the average surrounding air temperature (heat island effect) and in return decrease the energy consumed in cooling. A decrease in the overall amount of hardsurface (parking asphalt) will leave more area for a closed system, energy efficient landscape which in turn will benefit the surrounding ecosystems. Land planners/landscape architects analyze the program's peak parking use for each activity and base such designs on uses which will share the same parking space (i.e., a.m. versus p.m. peak times arranged accordingly). A general rule of thumb is that such activities as retail/office/medical uses will have parking peak use times during the day e:11AEW rN -+IH(J and residential/recreational activities will have parking peak times during the evening (p.m.). • f'&f'HAL--T -Af'tA -{-CI-IAfU: O f j A.M . Use P.M. Use

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ZONE OF SIGNIFICANT CONTAMINATION The major transportation network of a city consists of expressways, arterials collectors and local streets with traffic volume decreasing with each level. Non-industrial development should avoid contact with expressways because of negative effects caused by the noise and air pollution. Local collector streets are required in close proximity to residential development due to our social dependence on the automobile, which leaves the arterial streets as a major conflict to the health, safety and welfare of those living and working next to the source as well as the ecosystem. According to The Granite Garden by Ann Spirn, an arterial street can generate an average of 24,000 vehicles per day with a zone of air pollution 16 times acceptable levels at the source and eight times the acceptable level fifty meters from the source. Since the level of pollution falls off dramatically after ten meters and progressively more so with further distance, Spirn suggests that a minimum of ten meters by used between the arterial streets and site users for health reasons. She also suggests heavy use of vegetation in this buffer zone which should act as a filter to pull contaminants out of the air as well as reducing the decibel levels of the street noise. One should remember, though, that this land planning technique is not a solution to the major problem of air pollution caused by automobile use, but rather a design solution which improves the general health of those people near the source until a more permanent answer can be found. ---.----" . "" -----------------

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LN40 USE Land use policies represent one of the most effective means a community has for influencing its energy situation and, in return, its ecosystem quality. Many studies have shown that land use patterns affect energy consumption levels. Different development patterns result in various levels of energy consumption, and thus affect the environment differently. Changing the development patterns of a community is a long-term goal and its success is closely tied to the community's growth rate. Making energy-efficient land planning a goal by land planners, landscape architects and local/state government agencies can guarantee an infrastructure which has positive results on the environment for future decades and will yield substantial economic savings over that time period. Conservative estimates from the Urban Institute predict at least a 15% savings 1n transportation energy demands from moderate changes in land use policies, and 30% savings in space heating and cooling energy in multifamily housing as opposed to single-family detached units. The Costs of Sprawl, by the Real Estate Research Corporation, reports that high-density developments with energy efficient land use techniques will use 74% less energy requirements than an unplanned lower density development, i.e., conurbation. High density development is the key to effective energy-efficient land use by virtue of this effect on public transit feasibility and utilization. In order for high-density developments to work effectively, the land planning and transportation elements must be analyzed and designed in an integrated fashion. By integrating uses of various natures together on one site (mixed use development), automobile trip lengths c an be reduced, thus benefiting the atmospheric ecosystem. A study entitled Portland Energy Conservation Choices H!UHIXN-:::nl crt"lnUNrJ"JI::.0lY-JJHC1 trit:Fr(( efflC.lrnT l-AND GAlt e:x_f"'rvr TO LY-:e-It (o [.b?? ?IHC.iE-I.AHD t>:; . • .?5-15?. Cf' 1"'1"--CcMML)ITI'-ti .. N:-Ur t:<-...::WH C!i n-Il? 1? Fb?. fit"j :

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indicates the household in a dense urban center uses 65% less transportation energy than a comparable household living in the sprawling suburbs. A planned unit development
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INTRODUCTION TO PART II In addition to these "closed system" design concepts, a number of energy related factors should be used for each site analysis. A site should be thoroughly analyzed and understood for its energy-efficient capabilities so that the closed system design concepts can work to their full potential. In addition to basic and prevalent concept of "solar orientation" a designer must look at other environmental factors that affect a site's energy efficiency. These include hydrology, wind analysis (roses), albedo levels on and around the site, landform and vegetation shadows and slope exposure. By analyzing the site and using the traditional overlay system, a composite can be created which indicates the best areas for development from an energy-efficient point of view. To quote from Landscape Planning for Energy Conservation, " .• the essence of all landscape development for energy conservation has been to modify the aspects of our temperature, humidity, radiation and air movement in such a way as to bring existing or unpleasant conditions as closely as possible into the climatic conditions which are comfortable to specific persons on a precise sfte at a particular time." i

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EDGEWATER 1MH.. YSIS This community profile presents, in a brief outline, the essence of the city of Edgewater--who its people are and where it is located in relation to the Denver metropolitan region. Its land uses and transportation sources will be studied at a later point in this thesis. It is an attempt to address opportunities and constraints within the city. Edgewater is located on the eastern boundary of Jefferson County and abutting the City and County of Denver. The city parallels Sheridan Boulevard and is located in the Sloans lake drainage basin, across from Sloans lake Park. The city is relatively flat with major drainage towards Sloans lake to the east. Surface geology is primarily alluvial soils, transported into the basin over time by erosion. Beneath the alluvial soils are interbedded shales and sandstone. The soils of Edgewater tend to pose many problems since they are made up primarily of clay. A major problem for Edgewater, with its clay soils, is a low permeability which tends to periodically cause flooding and erosion problems. A second problem with these clayish soils is their expansive qualities and the results to build-ings, their foundations and underground utilities. The site used for this study causes further complications, geologically, since it was at one time used as a landfill. This s1te was used as a landfill for twenty years and closed 1n 1945, with no problems being reported. Major development on the site has not occurred w1th its present use being that of a drive-in theatre, so complications may occur with compaction of the fill and the possible migration of leachated onto the surface or into the water supply.

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Edgewater is often visualized as a blue collar, middle class community. does not agree with this statement and classified Edgewater as below the The city's minority population of 13.3% is lower than the proportion higher than Jefferson County's 9.2%. However, data from the 1980 U.S. Census median household income for the U.S. of minorities in the Denver region, yet Edgewater showed a modest yet consistent growth for many years but reversed this trend in the 1980 census, with a decrease from the 1970 population of 4,910 to a 1980 population of 4,766. This is due to the city's decreasing household size, limited land availability for new development, and a higher than average proportion of elderly people. The community has a small town sense of place to it, which is unusual for a major urban center and a feature which should be preserved. Mature trees are one significant element which give Edgewater this sense of place or rural atmosphere, consequently a major redevelopment goal or concept should be to preserve as many of these trees as possible. Redevelopment of the project site must also be in scale with the adjacent neighborhood. In order to ensure this, areas between differing uses or scales should be identified and designed accordingly. Inconsistent or out-of-scale design will defeat the goal of a small town character of sense of place.

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WIND As has been stated earlier, extensive technical data exists about the Denver metropolitan area wind conditions, but this information must be viewed as general and not specific since any geographic and man-made conditions affect their patterns. Wind patterns tend to be consistently seasonally qualitative from the standpoint of direction but quantitatively inconsistent with respect to intensity. The interrelationship of the environmental factors of heat loss in shaded areas and of heat gain through solar radiation is extremely complicated by the prevailing winds on a site. The following effects created by winds will ultimately affect land planning of a site for energy efficiency. o The direction and the intensity of the prevailing winds for the different months of the year; o The effect created on the site due to seasonal winds influenced by local geographic land forms; o The thermal effects of winds. Wind direction and speed are usually studied and recorded by state climatologist wind roses, which show this data in graphic form; the frequencies of winds in a month-to-month basis with direction and intensities. The following page graphically shows the wind roses for the average year in Denver. These graphs show the percentage of occurrence of four wind speed ranges for sixteen directions. Each month is represented with north straight up and at a scale of approximately 1/411 = 1%. As is represented by the legend, the inner area is for the 0-7 mph, and the outside for winds in excess of 24 mph. The width of each area represents the percentage of N ltrmrrrl o-l Mm llr=tt:r::l B 1 2 brr:rwg 24 Mftt --t24i'\ftt

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occurrence for the month from that particular direction. For design purposes, the wind roses indicate general aberrations in speed and direction for the different months. South to southwest winds, especially during the months of December and January, seem to dominate the roses, yet actually indicate that the winds from that direction average 9 to 11 mph, which is not excessive. The strongest winds in the Denver area (over 24 mph) appear to originate from the west to northeast during the months of February, March, November, and December. April and May indicate winds over 24 mph being equalized from all directions. An abundant amount of research exists regarding the use of windbreaks and shelterbelts to improve a site's microclimatic conditions. Unfortunately, most of this literature deals with rural farm land requirements. Regardless, the physical principles may be transferred to urban situations and should be used in land planning to create energy-efficient communities. For conventional buildings, heat loss due to air infiltration (increased by northeast and west winter winds) can represent 24% to 65% of the total heating requirements. Vast amounts of our region's natural resources could be saved if buildings were situated in areas not exposed to these west and northeast winds as well as areas which receive southerly breezes which act as a cooling agent in the summer. These are blanket suggestions based on the Denver wind rose charts and will more than likely be modified by local site conditions. The fact that Denver's undesirable as well as desirable winds come from different directions makes the site designer's job that much easier.

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fO., ,., 12.1" 11.2 IO.Z. ., . ., 'l.o ,,:Jo 1o. s /0.0

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WINDSHED ANALYSIS As has been stated earlier, wind roses indicate that the Denver metropolitan area has a cool wind and a warm wind season. The roses indicate that the undesirable winter winds occur during the months of December and January and originate mainly from the northeast and northwest. The roses also show that the desirable summer breezes tend to be from due south. Winds are very difficult to predict since so many variables affect their intensity and direction, but wind tunnels have helped us to understand their characteristics and the effects of land forms on them. After the earth's surface heats the air, causing uplifts, and other surface winds mix with the predominant winds, these intense winds of 12 knots or more travel across the earth's surface for a distance of twenty times the height of the landform. Immediately over the crest of the landform is an area of turbulence which extends for five times the height of the hill. This zone is caused by a mixing of winds (the downward flow of cold winds and the updrafts associated with warm winds) and is referred to as a bubble effect. This turbulence area is situated directly in front of an area known as the calm zone or more commonly known as the windshed area. As can be seen on the summer wfndshed analysis map, the southern breezes are affected by the major hill directly to the south of the site. A turbulence area exists on the site due to this landform, but more importantly, the majority of the site is in the calm zone or the windshed. This undesirable condition will require site cooling design principles which do not utilize the summer breezes since they are not available. No major landform or man-made structure exists to divert the undesirable winter winds from the northwest and northeast. Wind breaks will be required on site to create a calm or windshed area.

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fenton st. y•tes st. Windsheds 1summerl Legend f>.!i'f:NJ J'P{)![.L.:fW e>i s H lvtit (TlJI!W..tliU; AfZ.fA) . NV\ PPDrtvTto 171 ZVH ZUNt (tAI..M : Opportunities Constraints WAJ2M :;ct)ll-1tl2-l-\ er-m DMNI:tiW L__ ___ __, L__lJ_ o_tJ=----_0__, eJf LAHDrcrn qEdgewater M . L.A. The811 College of Deatgn & Pl•nnlng Unlverelty of Color•do/ Denver Dennis L. Morgan Square 0 200 400 north

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IS st. Vindsheds egend m i;Mf120rEC1W 0 D 0 aoo Dooooooo pooooooooooo C'JD[ Constraints o HO I? rrollr::t. D D 1 J<,'JN5f u.w tt:!'l\Odr-lb IJ . Hef1H!t-!t.:JT W NCO. NEast Edgewater Square M.L.A . Thesis College of Design & Planning University of Colorado/ Denve r Dennis L. Morgan 0 200 400 north

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SLOPE EXPOSURE ANALYSIS Given a south-facing steep slope and a gentle slope with the same orientation, the steeper slope will always have higher values of radiation. Based on quantitative information from The Climate Near the Ground, a site can be analyzed according to its exposure to the sun and its relative grade to determine its suitability for energy efficient design. During the winter and spring months, the slopes facing each and west are important areas to consider for optimizing solar gain. Obviously, those slopes facing south with a steep grade will have optimal solar gain all year long. The Denver metropolitan area's topography and, most important, that of the site, is generally most similar to the 10% slope borrowed from The Climate Near the Ground. The Edgewater site has a grade of approximately 1.5% to 2.5% and an exposure to the east and northeast. These two conditions indicate that the site has D.Q_"optimal" areas for slope exposure. The area located off the site and directly to the south has a steep grade to the north which indicated that it has no appreciable gain, but most importantly, does not cast shadows onto the project site and thus hindering its potential for solar gain. An analysis of the site indicates that desired solar exposure will have to be solved from the design of the site and from architectural solutions since the site exposure and slope are not the most favorable for solar gain.

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renton at. II I lope Exposure egend .?U4ff Cf'JN . . . Of ?rfZI it., t Ffi-1..-. Constraints Edgewater Square M . L . A . Thesis College or Design & Planning University or Colorado / Denver Dennis L . Morgan 0 200 400 north

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HYDROLOGY ANALYSIS As a consequence of its location on an alluvial plain adjacent to Sloan Lake, the thesis site is inundated with periodic flooding. This water, which originates in neighboring Wheat Ridge and Lakewood, flows directly through the Edgewater site on its way to Sloan Lake. Wheat Ridge and Lakewood, both highly developed and urbanized, add to this problem of urban flooding. Upstream development increases the area of impervious surfaces (roads, parking lots, sidewalks, etc.) which causes massive quantities of water to run through the cities, rather than be absorbed back into the ground, as the natural process would have it. Swamp-like conditions are evident in many low elevation areas of the city after large rain storms or snowmelt, with these "watering holes" remaining for several days and sometimes several weeks. At times the city's storm drainage system cannot handle the large sudden influx of water from these natural occurrences. In anticipation of further urban flooding, the city of Edgewater has responded by participating in the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District and adopting land use controls and building specifications aimed at alleviating problems with the city's flooding. The 1977 Urban Drainage Master Plan indicates numerous flood control projects which solved some of the major flooding problems, but has yet to be completed. Upon fulfillment of the Master Plan projects, the thesis site flooding problem should be significantly reduced. Until these projects are accomplished, any development should consider the possibility of major flooding through the site. The following hydrology analysis map shows the 100-year flood plain before and after the completion of the Urban Drainage Master Plan.

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0 = • I II'---------' CJ l__________JJJ_JJ,II.U"'-J I""., I '--------------ot .111.JoL..____ -------' ames st. I I'---\> ___ CJDD yates st. Hydrology Legend 0 []DO 00000000 . Opportunities • :;1ftN1 f-lt>b l1(f71-i r -I LL{i i v .. I Lll.l j i rl--. • ?liTAtJ D['fCF".J A O f h!Altf rtf Cf1f' •BIAf'C Fi\Wt ri\1 t NI-V\ttt . LDMFtfl O F •5ff2Cfiy TIE W 010\N? l.Nt/ l.bt. Constraints FZl-TIL-H Of :.ITt. I FFOrte T C flli::Y1h -1 lb IJ 0 • ?TF'-EN1 01Tt-F-Vn-t L___---=_ _j ANt,; Mt::tf!f.U:(. Edgewater M . L.A . Thesis College of Design & Planning University of (;olorado/ Denver Dennis L. Morgan Square 0 200 400 north

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ZONING ANALYSIS One of the main concerns regarding this site analysis and design is the spot zoning which occurs around the thesis site as well as throughout the city of Edgewater. The predominant land use category in Edgewater is single family residential, comprising 58.93% of the total land use. To contrast this with other urbanized areas of Jefferson County, only 25% of those areas are used as residential. Residential uses in small middle classed communities produce much smaller amounts of revenue than other land uses, say commercial. Edgewater relies on two grocery stores for approximately one-half of its sales tax revenues. Publicly-held land is the second largest use in Edgewater, with 11.7% of the total land use. This would include such uses as churches, schools, municipal facilities, and community meeting places. Commercial uses comprise 3.34% of the city's land; offices use .5% and parks account for 2% of the total land use. 10.5% of the city's land is vacant with the majority of that being the thesis site between 17th and 20th Avenues and Sheridan Boulevard and Depew Street. Because Edgewater is a landlocked city, this site is the city's only opportunity for new growth and development which makes the project all the more critical and important. As has been expressed before, mixed use zoning is the most energy-efficient land use available, yet many municipalities avoid the unusual or unconventional and opt for "safe" single land use zoning. A telephone survey of 15 metropolitan cities indicates that only four of those have any provisions for actual mixed use zoning, those being Edgewater, Denver, Boulder, and Littleton. The majority offer Planned Unit Development (P.U.D.) areas which leave the developer to mix uses, but this rarely happens to the degree that it should for social and environmental concerns. An area specifically zoned Mixed Use should have predetermined ratios of residential, commercial and other uses. As has been shown earlier, development rarely is environmentally conscious, thus putting the burden of environmental policing on the city planning departments and their agencies. The understanding of mixed use opportunities --socially and environmentally, as well as economically --fs a fresh start to a health city.

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Zoning I Land Use Legend l llllllllllllllll . .t1 MEF!_,h UHIH( , LII2IJ tmrw&tMi c=J , -!'-/
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SITE OfARACTER NfAL YSIS The site character or visual quality analysis 1s concerned with beauty, people's perception of the environment and especially with how this perception creates a sense of place in the Denver metropolitan area. The intent of this study/analysis is to identify areas of high visual quality which are major parts of the urban character. Water appears to be the major element on and around the site with the small brook dividing the site and Sloan Lake directly across Sheridan Boulevard. Although the stream divides the site physically, it does offer many design and environmental opportunities. Sloan Lake offers very positive views from the site and acts as a foreground to views of the downtown Denver skyline. Views of the site amenity are best from the eastern portion of the property due to 1ts higher elevation. The major offensive element around the site 1s noise and air pollution caused by automobiles on Sheridan Boulevard and 20th Avenue with minor offensive elements being eyesores such as the King Soopers shopping complex to the north and the trailer court located off the southwest corner of the site. Buffers will be required at these points so as to not only provide pleasant experiences for the users but to also separate them from the negative health influences associated with the automobile, i.e., carbon monoxide and decibels which can only be stressful. These issues must be addressed since users may not return to a site 1f visual elements are offensive. By developing the landscape 1n such a way as to enhance the positive visual elements and draw attention away from the poor elements, an environment can be created that not only serves the actual users of the site but also those passing by it and thus attracting them into ft. Visual opportunities are as valuable as any other resource on or around the site since, like the others, this resource 1s limited and once depleted cannot be resurrected for our enjoyment. The way in which development fits visually into the landscape, both off site and one site, will be a factor 1n maintaining the quality of life for residences 1n and around the Denver metropolitan area.

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Site Character Legend l b tJ o l Opportunities • MAJr-..AZ-v 1 rw ? AT zo1ll : '::HtiZI ' !Xf tl-1 Of C:OWiilZ:-\.-IN %"\I--I HE-. • fc.G.AI.-ft..\HT t"f z.-;.-1H i 0HEFU :;x>fi LU..D E;ta.Mt. HEW br( r:tiTF'ANc..e.': • P'f'&N MrT\ Cf IAW-p f12C.Urc,Constraints eco DMP01J1t • !7U'ftf2 rec.ur>t:o. • "ff.-t-er'? lr Edgewater M. L.A. Thesis Coliege of Design & Planning University of Colorado/ Denver Denn i s L. Morgan 0 200 400 north

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TRANSPORTATION ANALYSIS The four main transportation alternatives around and on the site are the pedestrian ways/sidewalks, mass transit routes
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should separate a major arterial street from pedestrian areas in order to limit the site users' exposure to contaminated air due to automobile exhaust. This area is known as the area of significant contamination. A shortage of off-street parking presents a transportation problem for the city, as well as a disincentive to commercial revitalization. A large portion of the site is asphalt parking and could be utilized in the proposed design which would alleviate the cost and energy required to build a new parking area elsewhere of the site. Any mixed use development should utilize off-street parking and possibly be connected with a much needed municipal parking facility.

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yates st. Circulation Legend . • F.f. D. Hill; A ::!jV{. n 1..-1 rt' f{;.'f 1 i H\YH r "f vJtuT?. i 1 HE-• l.Dr? 11\T E:Cti HtJ,.J • r--1 '1ETFV--Al2rf\ l'MI...,. (%F'IJY..J fll . :rtFt\lNt:. Constraints Edgewater Square M . L. A . Thesis College of Design & Planning University of Colorado/ Denver Dennis L. Morgan L...M 0 200 400 north

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ALBEDO ANALYSIS As has been mentioned earlier, heat islands, or the lack thereof, are caused by surface materials in the urban setting. The surface materials surrounding a site greatly determine the micro-climate of the area. Because micro-climates can change drastically within a very short distance, site-specific analysis 1s undertaken to augment general climate data published by the Weather Bureau. When direct solar radiation reaches a surface, a fraction of this radiation is reflected and a fraction is absorbed by the surface material. Differing surface materials vary as to their degree of reflectivity and absorption of solar radiation. An albedo rate is a measurement given to a particular material as to its degree of reflection of solar radiation (see chart below). An albedo of 1.0 or 100% would be a perfect reflector, while an albedo of 0 would indicate total absorption of the sun's radiation. When site designing, the surrounding albedo levels must be analyzed since they have such an important role in micro-climate modification. For example, urban centers usually are characterized by asphalt and concrete which reflect a high percentage of radiation, resulting in unpleasant heat gain in the summer. Large quantities of asphalt surrounding the Edgewater site contribute undesirable heat gain in the summer months with desirable heat gain occurring during the winter months. Although water bodies have a high albedo level, they affect the micro-climate of a site in a much different way than other similar albedo level surfaces. Water bodies affect the temperature of adjacent land masses through the process of air flow. During the afternoon, when land is warmer than water, low cool air flows over the land and cools it. During evening hours, the ground begins to radiate heat and cool off. At the same time, warm air above the water rises due to convection and is replaced by cool air flowing in a low pattern along the land's surface.

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Albedo Levels of Certain Materials Surface Material Fresh snow cover Dense cloud cover Old snow cover L 1 g ht sand dunes Sandy so11 Green leaves Meadows and fields Dry sand Desert Densely built-up areas Woods Asphalt Rock Dark cultivated soil Water surfaces, sea Albedo in % 75-95 60-90 40-70 30-60 15-40 25-32 12-30 18-30 21-28 15-25 5-10 15 12-15 7-10 3-10

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Albedo Legend 9EIIEIIl ....lATE!'!-l:l:l:l:liH!Il 37., -107. _ Opportunities • cr k.;f')N..T AND l.ff ':ITt IZFU'Cf rzAr;:1AI D-, IH 11-IE WINTt:f: • Wi'ilU'-I IJ'{'iD ALet:W PATt? TH m1fi_ FtJ:::ti i f'LU. . UVI-EVt:NI1't1 Bfftz..b 1:) i WAJ2M Bftczer::, err THr: Constraints CJNin]lt:-7 O f ft.ft-t\L-T O N N'IP Off fZ{fU:t--T rf.AT IH .:DMt-t-. ,Atftlbtf Hrt\f GV.::>!Ny Edgewater M . L.A. Thesis College of Design & Plann ing University of Colorado/ Denver Dennis L . Morgan 0 200 400 north

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ENERGY COMPOSITE This composite map represents a combination of all of the energy-related factors previously presented. Obviously, not all of these factors have an equal impact on energy efficiency, but rather, when combined with the outcome of the social composite, a site design concept will evolve which is sympathetic to the concerns of the urban ecosystems. The components of the energy composite are: hydrology, wind analysis (roses) for summer and winter, Albedo levels, slope exposure, landform and vegetation shadows. On the Energy Composite map, the tight "dot" pattern indicates the areas on the site which are naturally the most energy-efficient for both summer and winter conditions. The diagonal hatch indicates that area on site which has a moderate level of energy efficiency and the grid pattern indicates those areas on the site which are the least efficient. It is important to note that the five areas were judged subjectively according to energy-related factors and for the most part, the site is fairly (not totally) homogeneous in its energy-efficient characteristics. With an urban site of this size, economics mandate that the entire site be utilized and not just those areas which indicate a favorable energy situation. The map does tell us that development in the least efficient areas need to be addressed more closely so that the end design is reflective of not only the site opportunities but also the constraints.

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yates st. Energy Composite Legend D D 0 aoo Oooooooo pooooooooooo DOC I Energy Influences Negative ( ---) Positive Edgewater Square M . L.A . Thesis College of Design & Planning ...-" University of Colorado/ Denver ' Dennis L. Morgan o 200 400 north

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SOCIAL COWOSffi A composite of all of the social analysis, with an integration of the energy-efficient design principles, 'dicates which areas on the site are best suited for certain activities. A complete understanding of the zoning, circulation, site character and energy-efficient principles indicates five distinct areas and three major activities which need to be designed for: Circulation, Land Use and Cultural. The compatibility index on the social composite map ranks important design concepts with a high, medium or low score for the five zones on the site. By understanding which activities are best for-certain areas on the site and by knowing which of the five areas are the most prone to being energy-efficient, a site can be designed sensitively to ecological and social concerns.

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fenton st. !I 1;1 _.. • ._,_______,.,.,.... L___B _o o _CllJ_CJo I L__l __ CJ l____---'!J..l.llU.llll..J [""" I.......___ _ ___J ames st. I I ____... I FTr L : ; nff'l' ,to Pi:'D. l-IH!ChtU-•'11':>..>'1!-Gt'A-11: Tv oOooooooo •"'V'\"-h TJ?A, 'J?i'r ;,; M 'Xi"Bii..fl"' •R:;f'fo.H-!"'fl't-t , j :t:,l'iTI"i' tJ 0 sheridan blvd. CJDD yates st. Social Composite Legend High Medium Low IIH III fil Edgewater M.L.A . Thesis College of Design & Planning University of Colorado/ Denver Dennis L. Morgan 0 200 400 north

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J:[ I {J; l llJl llll oncept Framework 1 I I I I'll\ O!JJ Jn IJl2l Depew I I __ j a:m Sheridan I I I LEGEND: I CIRCULATION SOFTSCAPE Edgewater M.l.A. Thesis College of Design & Planning U . C . D . Spring 1g54 Dennis Moraan Square 0 100 200 north

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IJ;] llD P:l B oncept Framework I) ""' l ll 1.1 "" . \l ll gil Depew I _ j (I!L Sheridan I I I LEGEND: I CIRCULATION SOFTSCAPE HARDSCAPE ll!O Edgewater M . L.A . T hesis College o f Design & Planning U . C . D . Spring 1984 1nn 'lnn nnrth

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l i g ' d1r " oncept Framework lternat1ve 3 till j:[ 6 "' Depew I _ j 1lll Sheridan IPl I I I LEGEND: I CIRCULATION SOFTSCAPE HARDSCAPE Edgewater M.L.A . Thesis College of Design & Planning U . C . D . Spring 1984 Dennis Morga n 0 100 200 north

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SUMMARY Man's largest impact on nature can be seen in our cities; the place where he has changed the basic components of his environment the most; the atmospheric environment, the hydrological environment, and the biological environment. Because of man's urbanization patterns our ecosystems have been slowly suffocating and are at the point where action must be taken in order to stop this disintegration. At the beginning of this thesis, it was stated that certain ideas and practices concerning our development patterns were questioned because of their effects on the urban ecosystems. Questioned also because energy efficient planning techniques seem to be one alternative that viably challenges these past practices. Challenges, not from the viewpoint that energy efficient land planning is less expensive or a more aesthetic means of development, but rather, that over a long period of time, this development type is more resourceful and more beneficial to mankind and his survival. Without the supportive data of years of study, the analysis of this atypical planning practice is theoretical at best. Although the materials presented in this thesis tend to confirm the initial hypothesis that energy efficient land planning techniques can affect the urban ecosystems for the better, many questions are still open for further investigation. This thesis has been optimistically written in an era of increased concern about our urban ecosystems. It is my firm conviction that the answers to our environmental health, happiness and welfare are readily available to us if we look past our conventional development practices. One of man's largest assets for survival has been his ability to manipulate his environment. It is now time for him to change his environment for a more secure, healthy life.

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SOURCES 1. Adams County Planning Department, "Erosion and Sediment Control Planning Manual," Adams County, Colorado, Board of County Commissioners, 1982. 2. Adams County Planning "Percolation Pits," Adams County, Colorado, Board of County Commissioners, 1982. 3. A.I.A. Research Corporation, Energy Conservation in Building Design, 1978. 4. A.I.A. Joint Venture, Here Comes the Sun. 5. Austin, Richard. "Designing with Plants," Van Nostrand, 1982. 6. Center for Renewable Resources, Washington, D.C., U.S. Department of Energy, "Putting Renewable Energy to Work in Cities," 1982. 7. Colorado Department of Health, Air Control Division, "Colorado: Air Quality Data Report," 1984. 8. Colorado Land Use Commission, "A Land Use Program for Colorado," 1983. 9. Denver, City and County, "1981 Water Pollution Control Report," Environmental Health Services, City and County of Denver, 1982. 10. Denver Regional Council of Governments, "Land Use in the Denver Metropolitan Area," DRCOG, 1981. 11. Denver Regional Council of Governments, "Urban Runoff Quality in the Denver Region," DRCOG, 1983. 12. Detwyle, Thomas, "Urbanization and Environment," Duxbury Press, 1972. 13. Department of Commerce, "Climates of the United States -Colorado," Climatography of the United States, No. 60-5, 1968. 14. of Commerce, "Annual Summary with Comparative Data --Denver, Colorado 1973," Local Climatological Data, 1974. 15. Dimitri, Procos, "Mixed Land Use: From Revival to Innovation," D.H. and R., Inc., Stroudsbury, Penn., 1976.

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16. Egan. David. M. "Concepts in Thermal Comfort." Englewood Cliffs. New Jersey. Prentice-Hall Inc •• 1975. 17. Feught. J.R •• "Some Woody Plants for Low Water Areas," Department of Horticulture. Colorado State University Extension Service. 18. Feught. J.R., "Selecting Trees for the Home Grounds." Cooperative Extension Service, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. 1973. 19. Foss, Phillip 0., "Environment and Colorado --A Handbook," Fort Collins, Colorado, Colorado State University. 20. Hough, Michael, "City Form and Natural Process," Van Nostrand Inc., England. 1984. 21. Hutchison, Boyd and Taylor, Fred, "Energy Conservation Mechanisms and Potentials of Landscape Design to Ameliorate Building Microclimates," Landscape Journal, Volume 2, Number 1, Spring, 1983. 22. Knowles, Ralph L., "Energy and Form," Cambridge, Mass., The M.I.T. Press, 1984. 23. Koh, Jusuck, "Ecological Design: A Post-Modern Design Paradigm of Holistic Philosophy and Evolutionary Ethic," Landscape Journal, Vol. 1, No.2, 1982. 24. Lovins. Amory B •• "Soft Energy Paths," Harper and Row, 1977. 25. Lynch, Kevin, "Site Planning," Cambridge, Mass., M.I.T. Press. 1962. 26. Lynch. Kevin, "The Image of the City." Cambridge, Mass, M.I.T. Press, 1960. 27. Mcharg, Ian L., "Design with Nature." Garden City, N.Y., The Natural History Press, 1969. 28. Mitzi. Barker. Consulting Urban Planner, "Comprehensive Plan: City of Edgewater, Colorado, 1984. 29. National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior. "Energy Conscious Planning Guidelines, March 1981. 30. Newton, Norman T., "Design on the Land," Kelknap/Harvard. 1971. 31. National Association of Home Builders, "Cost Effective Site Planning." 1982. 32. Olgyay, Victor, "Design with Climate," Princeton, University Press. 1963.

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33. Proceedings and Notes of a Conference held in Fort Worth, Texas, "Alternatives 1n Energy Conservation: The Use of Earth Covered Buildings," Washington D.C., U.S. Government Press, 1975. 34. Robinette, Gary 0., "Energy Efficient Site Design," Van Nostrand Press, 1983. 35. Scalise, James W., "Earth Integrated Architecture," Tempe, Arizona, Arizona State University Press, 1975. 36. Solar Energy Research Institute, "The Implementation of State Solar Incentives: Land-Use Planning to Ensure Solar Access," 1979. 37. Solar Energy Research Institute, "Land-Use Barriers and Incentives to the Use of Solar Energy,'' 1979. 38. Spirn, Anne W., The Granite Garden," Basic Books, Inc., New York, N.Y., 1984. 39. Underground Space Center, University of Minnesota, "Earth Sheltered Design," Van Nostrand Co., N.Y., 1978. 40. Untermann, Richard and Small, "Site Planning for Cluster Housing," Van Nostrand Co., N.Y., 1977. 41. Wright, David, "Natura 1 Solar Architecture, A Passive Primer," Van Nostrand Co., N.Y., 1978.