This study focuses on the Wheaton Triangle, a clearly defined area within the Wheaton central business district. The concentration of shops and businesses located in Wheaton generates high levels of waste, including recyclable material, biodegradable food waste and trash. The studio examined green business strategies in order to determine their implications for restaurants, the larger community and site design for a potential redevelopment project. In addition to researching green business strategies that restaurants could adopt, the studio also investigated the restaurant owners' and the broader Wheaton community's perceptions of restaurants adopting green business practices through surveys, interviews, and a focus group. Finally, the studio examined the impact on stormwater run-off if a large surface parking lot in the study area was redeveloped into a community green space.
The goal of the research project was to provide the Wheaton Sustainability Subcommittee with recommendations for methods to achieve a greener Wheaton community. The research focused on strategies to promote green business practices within Wheaton's established restaurant community, to provide the Wheaton Sustainability Subcommittee with a replicable analysis of how greening businesses in Wheaton will improve the environment, and tools for implementing the greening process in the business community. The studio also researched best green practices and case studies on what kinds of strategies restaurants can implement to reduce waste, conserve water and improve water quality.
The project was guided by the input and advice of a number of individuals, to which the studi team owes a sincere debt of gratitude. This includes Dr. Alex Chen and Dr. Jim Cohen, Peter McGinnity with the Wheaton Redevelopment Program, Ann English with the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, Bruce Adams with the Montgomery County Office of Community Partnerships, and the staff of the Latino Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) and Local First Wheaton.