The trend towards affordable, green housing highlights the need for a Green Affordable Housing (GAH) model that produces durable dwellings that are not significantly more expensive to build, cheaper to operate, healthier for their occupants, and more environmentally sound. The model should also reduce the risk of poverty for those with low and moderate incomes, be close to public transportation, and support a neighborhood that is healthy, walkable and connected to the broader community and natural environment. This case study utilized detailed interviews with occupants, town officials, a developer, and a design builder to explore how green building strategies could be applied in real-world communities with the help of a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and contributions from other funding bodies. Focusing on the Roanoke and Lee Street housing project in Blacksburg, Virginia (VA), this study demonstrated how green building strategies can be integrated into affordable housing with help from public programs and incentives to provide houses that are more durable, no more expensive to build, cheaper to operate, healthier, more environmentally sound and less risky for their occupants. The new framework includes ways to deal with neighborhood issues such as the deterioration of housing stock and infrastructure to support the creation of a vital and healthy neighborhood with improved public services and community spirit, as well as providing an integrated design process framework that enables stakeholders to work together to achieve the goal of building green and affordable housing.

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Author notes


Ph.D., LEED AP, Assistant Professor, Department of Construction Management, Western Carolina University, Email: yonghan77@gmail.com (Corresponding Author).


Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Email: ceyhwang@polyu.edu.hk


Ph.D., Professor, Department of Architectural Engineering, Andong National University, Email: leekh@andong.ac.kr


Ph.D., Manager, Technology Development Department, POSCO A&C Co., Ltd., Email: mhjeon@poscoanc.com (Corresponding Author).