WASHINGTON, D.C. – To celebrate Boston, the host city of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 2008 Convention, and its commitment to sustainable design, the AIA partnered with Mayor Thomas M. Menino to select Boston’s “greenest” buildings. The AIA, the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) and City representatives identified a cross-section of building types and uses that represent the diversity of green buildings in Boston. Mayor Menino announced “Boston’s Greenest” during a ceremony at Boston Children’s Museum, which is one of 12 buildings selected for the honor. He was joined by Lou Cassagrande, President and CEO of Boston Children's Museum and Christine McEntee, CEO of AIA.
Boston’s Greenest program celebrates projects that make a positive contribution to their communities and reduce environmental impacts through strategies such as reuse of existing structures, energy and water conservation and the use of sustainable or renewable construction materials. The announcement follows on Mayor Menino’s leadership in the green building policy area, where the City of Boston is nationally recognized as the first major city in the U.S. to require adherence to green building standards in the zoning review process (Article 37 of the Boston Zoning Code).
“Boston will continue to be at the forefront of the green building movement,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “Green buildings are not only good for our environment and the health of occupants, but they significantly reduce operating costs and that is good for the bottom line.”
The Boston’s Greenest list includes buildings that are certified by the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED â) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Program. Signature historic preservation projects that have built in sustainability strategies through energy retrofits, procurement and the operations of the facility also have been selected.
The logo for the AIA’s “Walk the Walk” sustainable design campaign, a green footprint, will be placed outside of the selected buildings to represent the AIA’s mission of reducing fossil fuel consumption and achieving carbon neutrality.
“We are pleased to partner with the Mayor Menino and his office to honor these buildings for their commitment to sustainable design and eco-friendly practices,” said Christine McEntee, Executive Vice President and CEO of the AIA. “These buildings have been spotlighted because they raise public awareness about reducing energy consumption in buildings, which is a critical step in lowering greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change. Our hope is that existing structures and buildings under new construction follow in the footsteps of Boston’s Greenest.”
“Boston’s Greenest” (listed in alphabetical order):
Boston Children’s Museum
Architects: Cambridge Seven Associates
Boston Children’s Museum has made a major commitment to green design and has integrated energy efficient practices that have obtained the Museum a U.S. Building Council’s LEED Gold certification. The Museum selected materials that represent its commitment to the environment, incorporating up to 25 percent of recycled materials and 20 percent of locally manufactured or harvested materials. In addition, applicable materials used in the project are certified low-emitting materials to ensure the Museum maintains a high level of air quality for its visitors.
Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Center
Architects: Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.
The Shapiro Cardio Vascular Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital features eco-friendly construction materials. This facility is likened to a “healing garden” for patients due to large windows that allow natural light, a white roof to deflect heat and a ventilation system designed to reduce the build up of latex allergens in ceiling spaces.
EpiCenter, Artists for Humanity
Architects: Arrowstreet Inc.
The first Platinum LEED Certified building in Boston, the EpiCenter is a simple, functional building that achieves the highest levels of sustainability in a cost-effective manner. Rainwater collected from the roof is channeled through a transparent drain pipe which runs through the gallery into a holding tank to serve the irrigation needs of the grassy recessed courtyard. Concentrated windows on the south side of the building provides for the deep penetration of warming sunlight in the winter. Large floor-to-floor heights, 12 and 18 feet, allow daylight to penetrate deep into the building, which also utilizes a no refrigerant-based cooling system.
The George Robert White Environmental Conservation Center at Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center
Architects: ICON Architecture and Steven Winters and Associates
The George Robert White Environmental Conservation Center at Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center is designed, constructed, and maintained in a manner that protects and conserves the natural environment. The building employs renewable energy technologies such as geothermal heat pumps, photovoltaic shingles, and a solar hot water system to maximize energy efficiency. Where possible, the building uses environmentally-sound materials such as wood from certified sustainably-harvested forests, as well as products with recycled content, and local sources including Roxbury Puddingstone.
Architects: Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse, Inc.
Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, features sustainable design aspects including a sand filtration layer that moderates runoff into the city storm drains. When designing, the grounds crews used less-toxic chemicals to maintain the field, reused bricks and recycled construction waste. Additionally, architects are working to convert to fluorescent lighting, adding sensor-controlled fixtures, and installing low-flow plumbing.
Harvard Business School - Hamilton Hall
Architects: Finegold Alexander + Associates, Inc.
Hamilton Hall is part of Harvard’s Green Campus Initiative, an institute wide plan to address campus sustainability through the management of building design, construction, renovation, procurement, landscape, energy, water, waste, emissions, transportation, human health and productivity. To build Hamilton Hall, Harvard Business School reused an existing structure, specifying components manufactured from rapidly renewable sources – including interior finishes made from recycled material and through replacement of all existing windows with new energy efficient models.
John Hancock Financial Headquarters – 601 Congress Street
Architects: Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)
Developed, owned and managed by Manulife Financial, 601 Congress opened in 2004 as the new headquarters for Manulife’s U.S. subsidiary, John Hancock Financial and was one of the first buildings in North America to implement a state-of-the-art double-skin window system, an important precedent in "greening" commercial buildings. The building also features a landscaped “green” rooftop which helps to insulate the building and manage storm water-run-off. 601 Congress was LEED certified in 2006 and is also an EPA Energy Star building.
Logan International Airport - Terminal A
Architects: HOK Inc.
Logan's Terminal A is the first air terminal in the world to earn LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Its design and construction incorporates many environmentally- friendly elements including: special storm water filtration devices, roofing membranes to reflect heat from the building and limit the heat island effect, drip irrigation and special low-e glass to reflect heat away from the windows and minimize heat loss in the winter.
The Lenox Hotel
Architects: Lucias Boomer
Selected as the top urban hotel in the world on Conde Nast Traveler’s Annual Green List, The Lenox Hotel’s main initiative is to offset 100 percent of the carbon emissions resulting from all of its electricity usage. The Lenox was also the first US hotel to offer guests the towel and linen reuse option. The Lenox uses healthy cleaners, air fresheners and paints to improve the hotel’s indoor air quality and its energy efficient windows keep rooms quiet and comfortable.
Architects: Office dA Inc. and Burt Hill Inc.
The 140-unit condominium is a conscious and deliberate effort by both client/developer and the architectural and engineering team to incorporate sustainable design measures. It utilizes green design as a way of marketing a lifestyle and concern for the environment. Located in South Boston, the building has achieved LEED Gold certification. Some of the green building features include innovative technologies that will save more than 600,000 gallons of water annually while consuming 30 percent less electricity than a conventional building.
One Beacon Street
Architects: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
One Beacon Street is the first existing office building in Boston to receive LEED Certification. The building was awarded LEED at the Silver level earlier in 2008. One Beacon Street also is an Energy Star building. The Landlord has invested $500,000 in various green initiatives in the last two years, including upgrades to energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems, water conservation measures, green cleaning, and educational programs. The building also has an aggressive recycling program and recycles approximately 55 percent of all building waste.
WGBH Headquarters Building
Architects: Polshek Partnership
Public broadcaster WGBH’s new studio complex incorporates energy conservation measures throughout the facility. Constructed of 90 percent recycled steel, the new LEED-certified studio complex features motion-sensitive office lighting, UV-filtering glass and motorized sunshades on windows to help conserve energy, while waterless urinals and dual-flush toilets enable WGBH to decrease its water consumption by as much as 30 percent. A “green roof” on a portion of the building’s south side utilizes plants and vegetation to help insulate the building in the winter and cool it in warmer months. Solar panels provide a total of 100KW of solar power.