Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


First Advisor

Eric Boschmann, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Donald G. Sullivan

Third Advisor

Dean Saitta

Fourth Advisor

Andrew Goetz


Adaptive reuse, Green building, Historic preservation, Urban geography


The goal of this research is to provide a more in depth understanding of the green building landscape in Denver, Colorado than was previously available. The past and present of sustainable structures as well as the vernacular architecture of the region are analyzed in order to make useful projections about the future of the city and its buildings and potential planning policies. In conducting this analysis, methods utilized include case studies, histories, archival research, as well as a brief spatial analysis that outlines the extent of current green building trends in Denver. As a result of this research, it is divulged that there is a distinct difference between producing and achieving sustainability. It is seen that the vernacular traditions of the past achieved sustainability by choosing local, durable materials. An alarming trend is found in which the LEED certification process seemingly relies too heavily upon innovative technology and imported resources that produce sustainability rather than achieve it. It is hoped that through this research arises a better appreciation of vernacular architecture and traditional building elements. Ultimately this research proposes that learning from the past may be the best way to ensure the future of sustainable cities through the implementation of truly green buildings. We do not need to learn how to be sustainable, but simply remember.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Jessica Nicole Gabriel


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

193 p.