The United States is at a developmental turning point in how it grows, responds to the housing needs of its existing citizens, and utilizes its existing infrastructure. Since 1945, population has doubled, however land use has increased by nearly 400%. This indicates that we are developing at lower densities, which have been shown to increase the environmental, social, and economic costs of development due to infrastructure construction, operations and maintenance, transportation use, and lifestyle.

Jacksonville, Florida is spatially the largest city in the USA, and most populated in Florida. Due to the wide array of foreclosed and vacant houses in nearly every suburban community within the city, this thesis explores how adaptive reuse projects can use these lots to increase density, unit variety, and limit new infrastructure construction. This framework will then be made into a comprehensive design for a community housing building fitting into the context of a suburban neighborhood.

This thesis demonstrates how a designer can utilize the top down and bottom up organizational methods to help attain a more complete understanding of context and overall goal project goals. By condensing large scale sustainability goals into measurable outcomes, and understanding how the specific context will respond to implementation, sustainability can be realized with appropriate design.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

City planning--Florida--Jacksonville; Suburbs--Florida--Jacksonville; Buildings--Remodeling for other use--Florida--Jacksonville; Sustainable architecture--Florida--Jacksonville

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Architecture (M.Arch.)

Department, Program, or Center

Architecture (GIS)


Jules Chiavaroli

Advisor/Committee Member

Roger Chen

Advisor/Committee Member

Mary Scipioni


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at HT168.J34 R49 2015


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes