An Analysis of the Westfield Riverfront Redevelopment's Green Building Potential

After the Great River Bridge Project was completed in 2012 in Westfield, MA, the City of Westfield desired to expand the area's attractions by developing a sustainable site to provide mixed use and recreational space that would be inclusive and enjoyable for all. Therefore, research was conducted in order to determine if the Riverfront Redevelopment proposal on Elm St. would be suitable for the highest standards for green building certification, such as LEED Platinum and The Living Building Challenge. A site analysis was completed to answer the important questions that would inform this determination. For example, the location, utilities, and composition of the surrounding area were analyzed. The general requirements for both LEED Platinum certification as well as The Living Building Challenge were also reviewed. A matrix was created to analyze the level of potential of the redevelopment site. After using the data collected to populate the matrix it was found that the riverfront area in Westfield is a strong potential site for the highest level of green building certification. The findings determined that most of the qualifications such as south facing windows, renewable energy, access to nature and beauty, and open space availability had very high potential. Although some of the issues including floodplain restrictions and uneven topography also must be considered, these are obstacles that can be overcome with professional solutions. The research conducted is a stepping stone towards achieving Westfield’s goals of becoming a more sustainable, efficient, and accessible city that meets the needs of every individual.