ABOUT THE COLLECTION

The Senior Capstone is the culminating experience for Sustainable Built Environment majors involving a substantive project that demonstrates a synthesis of learning accumulated in the major, including broadly comprehensive knowledge of the discipline and its methodologies. It is intended to be a personalized experience in which a student explores a concept in-depth while incorporating the knowledge or investigative techniques learned during his or her undergraduate career. Students are encouraged to build upon their major Emphasis Area, internship, or a previously completed project or research topic for the starting point of their Senior Capstone experience.


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Recent Submissions

  • Adapting Green Roofs for Desert Climates

    Deitering, Sydney; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Iuliano, Joey; Wong, Kenny (The University of Arizona., 2022-04-21)
    The following paper is an in-depth assessment of the challenges and benefits of implementing green roofs (a layer of vegetation planted over a waterproofing system that is installed on top of a flat or slightly–sloped roof) in hot and arid climates. (NPS) Green roofs provide a variety of benefits that would be helpful in the creation and upkeep of sustainable, green buildings-but they also bring about costs and a need for resources in an area where these resources are not abundant. Through an analysis of several different groups of vegetation, structures, and watering methods a discussion of the costs and benefits will help reimagine the traditional green roof to be better suited for the dry, drought-ridden desert climate of Tucson, Arizona.
  • Optimizing Building Performance: Recommended Design Strategies for the University of Arizona Mathematics Building

    Baker, Slade Caspe; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Wong, Kenny; Iuliano, Joey (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-09)
    This study focuses on design intervention strategies for the University of Arizona Mathematics building to increase building energy efficiency through a reduction of electric energy loads. Through a post occupancy evaluation of the Mathematics Building, problem areas pertaining to inefficient placement and function of overhead lighting and lack of exterior shading devices were found to cause unnecessary energy demands which can be avoided. The post occupancy evaluation was guided by literature reviews and case studies showing successful implementations of smart building interior lighting and the reduced electric energy demands following implementation of effective exterior shading. These findings justify design recommendations that can be applied to the Mathematics Building.
  • Commercial Green Roof Systems in New Orleans

    Boone, Emma; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Iuliano, Joey; Wong, Kenny (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-10)
    Green roofs have been greatly underappreciated for their ability to provide environmental and economic benefits to a building. This method of green infrastructure utilizes unused roof space to prevent climate risks and provide savings toward water costs. Climate change has caused many environmental, social, and constructional issues that have hindered the integrity of the city of New Orleans. The city has been looking for alternative routes to prevent these negative effects. The research presented focuses on how green roofs can benefit cities with high storm exposure, such as New Orleans. These benefits were measured through a proposed green roof located atop the Columns Hotel in New Orleans, LA. This proposed green roof was created using information gained from the Hanging Gardens LLC and their project located at the Sewerage and Water Board’s administration building. Although this method of green infrastructure is not the most cost-efficient, it has proven to be a great implementation for flood prevention. By slowing the water flow during storms, pressure can be taken off the already stressed pipes and pumps. Land subsidence will also decrease with green roofs as stormwater will now have time to infiltrate through the clay-like soil. Finally, adding a green roof may bring additional customers to the hotel.
  • Challenges in Laboratory Sustainability Within the Biopharmaceutical Industry

    Bustamante, Apolonia; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Wong, Kenny; Iuliano, Joey (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-03)
    Abstract The biotech pharmaceutical industry (Bio-Pharma) is fast growing with drug products that save millions of lives with scientific research and dedication to providing medication to its clientele. With such a high demand and fast paced agenda there is much difficult surrounding the ability to adopt sustainable practices. This research was conducted at Ajinomoto Biopharma, specifically the United States branch, and its challenges with laboratory sustainability practice. A total of 20 (N=20) laboratory analysts were surveyed for this research. Each analyst was asked a series of 3 questions and their responses were recorded. It was found that laboratory sustainability mainly faces challenges due the lack of alternatives that are available. Specifically within the pharmaceutical industry there are many guidelines and standards that must be followed for the health and safety of patients as well as employees. This causes issues when trying to find sustainable tools for conducting research that also are safe for the environment.
  • Density in the Desert: Analyzing the Infill Incentive District in Tucson, Arizona

    Nelson, Brad; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Iuliano, Joey; Wong, Kenny (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-04)
    This study investigates the outcomes of the Infill Incentive District (IID) in Tucson, Arizona. Implemented in 2009, this program was designed to reduce blight and high vacancy rates in downtown Tucson and surrounding areas. The program also had the goal of creating more pedestrian and transit-oriented development along the Sun Link streetcar route. The intention of this study is to determine if the goals sought out by the city at the time of the program’s implementation were realized. Several incentives were offered by the program including reductions in parking restrictions, application fees and setback limitations as well as relaxations on height limitations determined by existing zoning restrictions. There were also financial incentives through tax abatements for developers. The findings of this study were that, as of the date of writing, 2,199 new multi-family units were approved under the program, as well as over 300,000 square feet of new retail, office, restaurant/bar and entertainment space. Additionally, several existing locations have had their parking requirements reduced or eliminated.
  • Waste Not Rot Not: Landscaping in Tucson, AZ

    Iuliano, Joey; Wong, Kenny; Huerta, Alejandra; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Wong, Kenny; Iuliano, Joey (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-05)
    Tucson, Arizona’s population has grown quickly in the past few decades, causing the existing population to demand more from Tucson’s aging infrastructure, particularly in the realm of green (vegetative) waste disposal. For the Los Reales Sustainability Campus, the site that houses Tucson’s largest (and Arizona’s 3rd largest) landfill, one reaction to this demand has been to invest in different waste diversion programs, such as green waste, to keep reusable materials out of its landfill. However, the success of these programs relies heavily upon their use by those who have the greatest potential to divert vegetative waste: local landscaping firms. For this reason, this research assesses the barriers to green waste diversion according to Tucson landscaping firms of different sizes in order to determine trends in current green waste disposal as well as commercial behaviors towards green waste diversion. A qualitative analysis of four landscaping companies in Tucson, AZ revealed that the greatest barrier to green waste diversion was the cost of waste diversion and the inability to ensure a 100% green load as required by most green waste diversion programs. Customer preference plays a significant role in deciding the disposal business model and its capacity to change, primarily because most customers prioritize cutting costs over promoting sustainability.
  • The Magnitude of Sustainability Practices Across the Globe

    Gage, Breanna; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Youssef, Omar; Iuliano, Joey; Wong, Kenny (The University of Arizona., 2022)
    This paper investigates the importance of planning in order to appropriately adapt to an ever-evolving coexistence between humanity, the Earth and its ecosystems, and the resources it provides. Specifically, the study aims to summarize the ways in which sustainable architectural design practices can create a mutualistic coexistence between the planet, current and future generations. By analyzing failures and successes within sustainable architecture and applying the respective data, we can further learn and enhance current ideas to better protect, preserve, and provide for the Earth and all that live on it. As fossil fuels are burned they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, carbon dioxide is known as a greenhouse gas, which traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. As greenhouse gasses are continuously released into the atmosphere with no regulation, temperatures continue to rise. Increased temperatures from burning fossil fuels have negatively affected all living things on Earth including sea level rise threatening islands and peninsulas, increased risk of extreme weather, which leads to biodiversity loss and species extinction; leading to food scarcity, loss of health and increased poverty across the globe. Provident solutions must be made to measure, observe and implement new ideas and technology in order to prevent such catastrophe from being the fate of the future.
  • Effects of Development on Native Hawaiian Communities

    Iuliano, Joey; Carter, McKenna; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Wong, Kenny (The University of Arizona., 2022-04-21)
    This paper is detailed research on a small coastal community named Keaukaha to the east of Hilo, Hawaii. The community is a largely Native Hawaiian neighborhood facing external and internal challenges against its sustainability. Native Hawaiians have had to face some of the toughest challenges socially, environmentally, and economically because they have faced generations of injustices and neglect from the government and competitive foreigners who want to live on an island. Since the Hawaiian Government has created land trusts to set aside for them, there are pockets of Native neighborhoods around the islands and they face these challenges altogether in one place. Within these neighborhoods, there are developments that are encouraged by the people, and developments that are placed there by external players. Using research collection and conducting interviews with residents and community officials, I am able to understand what developments within their community are harming them, and what is beneficial. Assessment of developments was done through three categories: social, environmental, and economic impacts. As was predicted, external developments, the Hilo Airport and the Hilo Sewage Plant that infiltrate the neighborhood cause great distress to the residents and will have long-lasting negative effects on the land and people. Yet, the developments asked by the people, the Keaukaha schools, proved to have huge positive impacts and bring the community together and make them stronger.
  • Building Heat Resilience in Rental Homes

    Simons, Korina; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Wong, Kenny (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-05)
    We are already seeing the negative effects of climate change and extreme climate events. However, they are disproportionately affecting certain communities. It is essential that the different qualities and environments in which make people more vulnerable are identified and addressed. This research aims to identify how renters are vulnerable to heat-related illness and death due to the physiological, social, and environmental conditions of living in a rental home. Throughout the capstone, the factors which increase heat risk were identified, compared to the conditions of a renter, and simple solutions for how renters can build heat resiliency in a cost effective and simple way were proposed.
  • Improving the Circular Economy of Construction Waste

    Wong, Kenny; Malone, Zachary; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Iuliano, Joey (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-06)
    Using different commercial and residential construction jobsites within California and Arizona, this project highlighted the different methods of waste management used within the construction industry and steps to become a zero-waste industry. This paper analyzes the ground view perspective of industry professionals utilizing the current methods in place for waste management in the construction industry. The project differentiates the policies for Construction and Demolition debris (C&D) recycling and waste management between the two states to better form a plan for an Arizona waste management plan. Utilizing the methods and standards from construction sites, interviews, and common themes from industry professionals (specifically, project managers), this project outlines potential strategies to improve current waste management methods in both California and Arizona. Finally, the paper provides recommendations to state and local municipalities on how best to establish waste management techniques that benefit both the environment and industry professionals.
  • Energy Storage Systems and Renewable Energy

    Ward, Michelle; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Iuliano, Joey; Wong, Kenny (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-06)
    As people worldwide race to eliminate polluting sources of electricity production, renewable energy generation has become more widely used. Wind and solar energy production are the most popular sources of renewable energy. However, energy storage systems are a vital part of the puzzle for the renewable energy transition to ensure stable power both at home and grid scales. Large utility companies like Tucson Electric Power Company understand that to become carbon neutral, energy storage systems must be added to our current power grids. TEP is experimenting with this by incorporating two 10MW lithium-type battery storage systems into the power grid and a 2MW solar power generation facility. As technology improves and prices fall, more can be done at home and work to reduce energy demand. By including energy storage and solar energy production in our homes, we can contribute excess energy to the grid while lowering the amount produced by utility companies. When cities work with their utility companies on renewable energy and energy storage projects, we can move toward our goals of becoming carbon neutral.
  • Adobe Structures in Tucson, AZ

    Schulz, Heather; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Iuliano, Joey; Wong, Kenny (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-06)
    Different construction materials utilized throughout the built environment influence people’s interactions and levels of connection within a city. This capstone project will detail types of adobe construction, its history and processes, as well as some of the benefits and consequences of utilizing this ancient material. Interviews with current homeowners, people in the market, realtors, adobe specialists and general contractors showcase the different perspectives surrounding the material and capture its relevance within today’s construction field. Case studies on different sites around Tucson, Arizona and MLS listings will help round out the picture of adobe construction in the city and give solid examples of its beauty, integrity, longevity, and importance. Historically, adobe structures were some of the most affordable due to the utilization of on-site materials and the availability of the resources. Today however, adobe construction costs more due to a specific labor force as well as the material, and this research aims to find out why.
  • How Can we Learn from the Pandemic to Design Healthier Shopping Malls?

    Leipold, William; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Iuliano, Joey (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-07)
    The COVID-19 pandemic profoundly impacted consumer shopping behavior and dramatically influenced how and where people shop. People shifted to prefer shopping online or at an outdoor mall to shopping indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is still a strong preference for shopping in person as people highly value physically evaluating their purchases. Successful shopping districts pivoted to provide outdoor shopping and dining spaces. Through a survey of shoppers in the Tucson area, data shows that some aspects of a shopping mall can strongly influence where consumers ultimately decide to shop. Ample green space and shade, fascinating art features, and overall suitability are all things that people consciously consider during their shopping experience. This study found that elements such as green space can make an area more comfortable, and outdoor public spaces are less likely to transmit disease than indoor spaces. This data should be a significant consideration for the future planning and development of shopping malls. Incorporating outdoor shopping elements can provide a more enjoyable shopping experience and a healthier shopping environment.
  • Green Roofs in the Desert: Comparing Grass and Lavender

    Horn, Cameron; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Iuliano, Joey; Wong, Kenny (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-06)
    Green roofs are an exciting development in modern architecture. Although they have been used throughout history, they are seeing a resurgence as a way to aid in insulation in buildings passively. Since they are a fairly new topic of modern research, there is little information on different plant types for green roofs in desert climates. This paper measures and compares differences between two types of plants for green roof application, grass, and lavender. These two plants will be tested in multiple categories to determine their strengths and weaknesses compared to each other. This paper shows the benefits of choosing one type of plant over another by thoroughly analyzing multiple variables. The tested variables are interior temperature, water use, drought tolerance, initial cost, soil loss, growth, and potential future growth. This paper identified soil as the primary component of insulation in green roofs. Grass and lavender are evenly split on advantages and disadvantages. However, lavender would be a better choice in a desert climate due to its higher drought tolerance and lower water use.
  • Infrastructure’s Influence on Active Travel in Tucson

    Smith, Shamara; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Iuliano, Joey (The University of Arizona., 2022)
    Compared to other cities with a similar population, Tucson, Arizona, has a relatively higher active transportation engagement. However, the city has safety concerns for those who engage in active transportation methods such as cycling and walking. As a result, Tucsonans are hesitant to cycle or walk to their destination, so the city is not reaching its full active transportation engagement potential and reaping those environmental benefits. This research explored Tucsonans’ comfort utilizing specific cyclist and pedestrian facilities through surveys and interviews. The results concluded that Tucsonans’ felt the most comfortable utilizing protected infrastructures, which consist of barriers between automobile traffic and people. With this information, the Tucson Department of Transportation and Mobility (DTM) can address safety woes and encourage more cyclists and pedestrians by appropriately designing Tucson’s roads to support residents’ safety and comfortability.
  • Bridging the Gap: Leveraging Social Media to Drive Proliferation of Sustainable Buildings

    DiNicola, Briana; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Wong, Kenny; Iuliano, Joey; Wong, Kenny (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-05)
    As we progress in the global fight against climate change, there has been slow adoption of sustainable building practices, especially within the United States. It is vital for the public to become familiar enough with the concepts to generate a demand for sustainable buildings. This study investigates the use of social media as a key tool for filling the knowledge gap between sustainable building professionals and the public. Specifically, it seeks to address why businesses in the industry should utilize social media and how they can use it most effectively. The study investigates the public’s use habits and preferences on six social media platforms with a survey, interviews, platform discourse analysis, and a review of popular press and peer reviewed journals. The study finds that Instagram is ideal for visual content targeting younger populations; Facebook is best for written content targeting older populations; TikTok is the best platform for reaching new audiences using short videos which may direct users to YouTube for in-depth learning; LinkedIn is ideal for interindustry content; and Twitter is best for intra-industry content. Bridging the gap will propel widespread change in the built environment by generating consumer demand for sustainable buildings, enabling all to reap its benefits and contribute to stopping, and reversing, effects of climate change.
  • Shading Methods and Thermal Comfort in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.

    Fernandez, Francisco; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Iuliano, Joey; Wong, Kenny (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-06)
    Through time we have seen that the environment changes due to human activity. This provides a series of problems that puts the survival of humanity at a disadvantage. In this report, you will find the different shading methods used in the city of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. Where a questionnaire was used to find the most comfortable shading method for the population of Hermosillo. A quiz containing a series of questions about what shading methods they use. Questions related to the basic principles of sustainability in the home are also added. The results that were answered in the Montecarlo residential will be compared. Located in the southwest of the city of Hermosillo, Mexico, and based on these, give importance if the season defines differently the methods that society prefers. Based on the results, it can be seen that the majority would prefer natural methods, like trees that provide shade. However, the results show that not everyone uses this method. This is critical if people cannot maintain a tree or if the environment disadvantages vegetation growth in dry climates. In the end, more complex solutions are sought where people create or use more regular shading methods such as shade sails. However, the shading methods used by the Montecarlo community are not enough to create a pleasant environment during the Spring-Summer season. But they showed that shading does work in seasons where the temperature is not so high, as is the case in Autumn-Winter.
  • Viability of Sustainable Agriculture: An Expansion of Knowledge

    May, Keaton; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Iuliano, Joey; Wong, Kenny (The University of Arizona., 2022-04-21)
    A transition from harmful industrial agriculture to sustainable agriculture has been deemed necessary; yet, the viability of widespread sustainable implementations remains uncertain. Sustainable operations are considered on three levels: commercial, community, and personal. Extensive literature review and data collected from: literature, experiment, observation, and survey are used to support claims. Literature summarizes effective designs and practices for each scale of operation, and is used to validate claims throughout the results discussion. Experiment - the most utilized data source – pertains to the design and operation of hydroponic and aquaponic growing systems; valuable information concerning system effectiveness and viability was found. Survey data conveys public willingness and support for sustainable agriculture, but expresses the need for improved education systems and public outreach. Cumulative results suggest the widespread implementation of sustainable agriculture is viable, though lacking in many regards. Continued research and support will be essential to the success of later implementation
  • Barriers to Water Conservation in the Southwestern Landscape

    Rodriguez Ponce, Oscar A.; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Iuliano, Joey; Wong, Kenny (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-02)
    The growing demand for water, coupled with high outdoor water use and declining water supplies in the American Southwest adds uncertainty to the future of the region’s water availability. To increase the adoption of water conservation in the landscape, past studies have focused on finding what barriers slow down progress in this area, though the majority focus on homeowner perspectives, communication issues, and the impacts of public policies. Most agree that existing policies need to aim for higher reductions in water use, that public participation and communication be inclusive and more effective, and that educational programs be put in place, but this does not explain why these projects are not the standard. This study used interview and secondary data to find expert-recommended solutions to known barriers to implementation of these landscapes. The findings suggest that collaboration between different levels of government and stakeholders is one of the keys to developing the right conditions to make adoption more widespread. Moreover, many of the existing barriers can be mitigated together with holistic approaches. Numerous solutions are compiled and categorized under four major barrier types: Professional Practice, Political, Social, and Economic.
  • Greening History

    Kowal, Keegan; College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture; Iuliano, Joseph (The University of Arizona., 2022-05-02)
    Sustainable development is one of the major focuses in several countries today. Most people opt for sustainable constructions and designs to promote greener environments and safer environmental practices. The green roof is one of the major projects meant to promote sustainable development in the community. These are roofs that have been completely covered by vegetation due to deliberate intervention rather than neglect. Greening history focuses on renovating old buildings to incorporate eco-friendly design elements while maintaining their historic charm. Installing a green roof helps a building become more sustainable and efficient in economic use and monetary value. This specifically looks at applying a green roofing system to the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. The Stanley Hotel is currently on the National Registrar of Historic Places and making changes are highly complex. However, one aspect of the structure that is not of any historic value is the existing roofing system made up of asphalt shingles, the only meaningful part is the color of these shingles, red. If the hotel was to install a green roofing system using specific vegetation that was red in color it could feasibly maintain the iconic look of this historically important structure. While the initial capital required for a project of this scale would be immense, the roof would eventually pay for itself through increased energy and stormwater efficiencies as well as real estate value incurred over the lifetime of such a roof. The Stanley Hotel would be a shining example of how one unique place could bring its history into the modern world with a significant environmental impact and statement.

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