Our climate is changing rapidly due to an excess of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. A major force behind the release of these gases is the means by which we generate our energy — the combustion of fossil fuels. One of the biggest drivers of this energy demand within the United States is our built environment and more pointedly our cold-climate, urban based, residential building stock. All signs indicate that unless steps are taken, this demand will continue to grow. Ed Mazria’s Architecture 2030 Challenge proposes an ambitious plan for achieving carbon neutrality in buildings by 2030. What if there was an opportunity for buildings to not only be carbon neutral but carbon negative? This could be accomplished through a combination of carbon sequestration and designing for net-zero energy usage. Many avenues for inactive sequestration of carbon have been explored but of the active methods suitable for the built environment, only the application of an algae facade has been explored and brought to fruition to-date. Using an algae facade in concert with design for net-zero energy use, the goal of this project is to showcase a concept for a carbon negative building through the lens of a common house for the Flower City Cohousing Community, an intentional urban community in Rochester, NY.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Housing, Cooperative--New York (State)--Rochester--Design and construction; Sustainable architecture--New York (State)--Rochester; Carbon sequestration

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Architecture (M.Arch.)

Department, Program, or Center

Architecture (GIS)


Jules Chiavaroli

Advisor/Committee Member

Callie Babbitt

Advisor/Committee Member

Mark Maddalina


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at HD7287.7 .E55 2016


RIT – Main Campus