Adaptive-reuse Local and Regenerative Mixed-use- Thesis


My MFA thesis project was researched for one year, written in several months during Fall/Winter 2010, while I created a project to illustrate my thesis imperatives in the Winter/Spring of 2011. Being inspired and excited about green building practices that go past LEED benchmarks– that go beyond Net Zero, even– led me to concentrate on Regenerative (or Net Positive or Living) buildings. I studied various third party certification systems across the world, and from the culmination of this research I created my own checklist or guideline for regenerative design. The fundamental green principals that I focused on presented me a catchy title for this guideline– Adaptive-reuse, Local and Regenerative Mixed-use, or ALaRM.

The building chosen would be adaptive-reuse, the materials local and/or salvaged and transportation community-accessible, regenerative in its systems and production, and mixed-use in its program as a live/work/retail facility. The site that the building sits at is a former industrial corridor (Kinzie Corridor) in Chicago, and the neighborhood committees want to encourage it to thrive in production once again. Instead of becoming a new warehouse luxury apartment building like in neighboring communities, this building would focus on developing a live/work community in a 21st century green industrial corridor.

I am continuing working on this project, although I have graduated from the program. I am working on more detailed renderings and polishing the written thesis prior to publication.