Living Green in a Brownfield

Schwendy Leed

Sustainable Construction and Behavior Changes

Elyssa Susan Schwendy

Live Green Capewell is a website I created as part of my capstone project that combines information about the construction of the Capewell Lofts from the old Capewell Horse Nail Company brownfield with sustainable living tips for the future residents of the Lofts. Visit the website at

The website is split into three major sections: history, design, and sustainable living. The history section highlights the Lofts’ status as a brownfield; that is, an area of land that was, at one point, used in manufacturing or a similar field and may been contaminated with hazardous materials. The design section expands upon the importance of site selection while providing information on the engineering and architectural decisions made during construction and the Lofts’ LEED Silver certification. The third section is the largest and focuses

An extensive literature review focused on effective communication through websites was carried out to inform how Live Green Capewell was designed. The final website contains multiple hyperlinks per page, based on previous studies that suggest website users like the ability to choose the level of detail they’re exposed to, primarily through access to links to further information that they can pursue if a subject interests them. The website also features discussion boards where residents can ask questions and share information, as people on everyday ways that residents can make choices to live more sustainably in terms of food, energy, recycling, transportation, and water. While the site is directed at residents of the Lofts, the information is intentionally generic enough that non-residents can still implement the changes into their own lives.

Schwendy Brownfield

The Capewell Lofts will open in the winter of 2016 or early 2017. Live Green Capewell will be linked to the official website for the Lofts, as well as introduced to residents on magnets in each room. They will be encouraged to visit the site as a way to familiarize themselves with the building, and the discussion boards will be highlighted as a way to build community within the building. Residents are more likely to implement positive behavior changes if they feel that their community is making changes, as well. The boards are linked to social media accounts and focused on food (nearby farmers’ markets, favorite recipes using local produce) and transportation (carpool requests, public transportation options, local bike trails) to minimize the negative behavior sometimes associated with discussion boards that lack specific direction and allow for anonymity.