Mississippi State University
Date of Degree
Graduate Thesis - Open Access
Master of Arts
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures
This project investigated the sustainability of homes within three intentional communities. Semi-structured interview and photographic walkthroughs examined the variability of architectural and technological approaches toward sustainability. These include: passive solar design, green roofs, radiant flooring, composting toilets, ground assist heat pumps, solar water heaters, multiamily units and modular construction. It was hypothesized that variation in sustainable construction is related to socioeconomic status and that economics would be a constraint. This project investigated whether communities were transmitting their practices to wider society, if individuals were copying vernacular architecture and if architectural practices followed individual beliefs regarding sustainability. It was found that the Internet is the main method of conveying these practices; that variability was tied less to individual beliefs than to the communities’ institutional documents; and that copying vernacular architecture was for aesthetics not sustainability. Intentional communities are good models for sustainable development, but knowledge transmission is limited.
Shedd, Jason Lee, "Sustainable Construction Practices of Intentional Communities: a Pilot Investigation in Loudoun County, Virginia and Frederick County, Maryland" (2012). Theses and Dissertations. 4172.