While most attention in green development is given to planning and design, it’s construction and maintenance that determine success.
(2010) Article by Mark Hostetler, University of Florida published in sustainability. In urban communities, green developments are becoming a popular concept as a way to accommodate growth while minimizing impacts on natural resources. While many variations of this concept can be found worldwide, green development goals typically include habitat conservation, energy and water conservation, walkability, and the reduction of vehicular miles. To achieve these goals, attention must be paid to the three phases of a new development: design, construction, and post-construction. The design phase is where the juxtaposition of built lots, roads, and open space (if any) are placed on paper and submitted for approval through local authorities. Once approved, construction phase is where a host of contractors and sub-contractors take what is on paper and build homes, lots, and transportation routes. Post-construction phase is where people move into their homes, managing their properties and neighborhoods. In creating green communities, land use planning practices typically focus most on the design phase whereas the construction and post-construction phases are neglected. However, the long-term functionality of a green development is primarily dependent on what happens during the construction and post-construction phases. Even the best design is doomed to fail if these two latter phases are not addressed.