Celebrating and showcasing inspiring success stories for a sustainable built environment.

Over 225 people gathered in the main atrium of Harvard University’s new Science & Engineering Complex to celebrate the impressive array of projects that have slowly but surely transformed the built environment and our relationship to it. The venue itself served as a fitting success story itself – winning last year’s Green Building of the Year Award, and securing LEED Platinum certification along with Living Building Challenge petal certifications for Materials, Equity, and for Beauty.

The annual awards program and celebration is an important marker of progress towards sustainable and regenerative design, construction, and operation of the built environment. The local green building community came together in full force. It was the largest showcase since the national Greenbuild conference was held in Boston in 2017. Attendees included architects, engineers, contractors, developers, owners, facility managers, building users, lenders, suppliers, and others who play a role in shaping the built environment. The Harvard SEC project team, led by Erik Hegre of Behnisch Architekten, coordinated building tours ahead of the reception.

For the second year running, local judges selected a Change Agent of the Year to recognize someone who has made a significant positive impact on the environment, social equity, and economy. The awards program included one new award for Sustainable Building Renovations, highlighting the importance of retrofitting existing buildings. Another new award category for Sustainable Interior Fit-outs did not receive any submissions, but we hope for many projects to submit for next year’s program.

The highly coveted Green Building of the Year Award went to HMFH Architects for their impressive Bristol County Agricultural High School.

GREEN BUILDING OF THE YEAR

Bristol County Agricultural High School
Submitted by HMFH Architects

Bristol-County-Agricultural-High-School

The renewal of Bristol County Agricultural High School’s campus reflects the school’s close ties to the natural environment and unique curriculum rooted in science and environmental education. Integrating sustainability with curricular goals, the campus is both a place of discovery and an instructional tool through its highly sustainable design. Building systems that reduce energy use, carbon emissions, waste, and water are purposefully exposed to view to offer immersive, hands-on learning experiences and to maximize educational impact.

At the heart of the campus, the heavy timber-framed Student Commons provides a space to work, eat, study, and socialize. Home to the dining area and media center, the Student Commons is a community asset hosting local environmental organizations in addition to being a hub for student activities.

The new Center for Science and the Environment (CSE) highlights the integral role of science and environmental research. Designed as an interactive learning center, the CSE houses a student-curated natural resource museum, specialized bio-secure labs, and flexible classrooms. The CSE is the first public school in Massachusetts with composting toilets that reduce annual water use by 68% from code baseline and helps educate students about water conservation. In addition, rainwater harvesting, vegetated green roofs, and exposed mechanical systems reinforce the idea of the building as a teaching tool.

The renovation and addition to the main academic building, Gilbert Hall, originally built in 1935, showcases the environmental benefits of reusing existing buildings. The design revitalizes the existing space to accommodate academic classrooms, administrative space, two gymnasiums and a one-of-a-kind indoor arborist climbing lab, while maintaining the original building’s character.

A new Landscape Arbor Building, renovations of a small building for the Agricultural Mechanics program and the new net-zero ready, heavy timber Dairy Barn which features state-of-the-art robotic milking technology complete the campus expansion.

Here’s what the judges had to say: “The Bristol County Agricultural High School checked so many boxes for us… aggressive sustainability, a strong community connection, a focus on carbon reduction, a teaching tool …all on a limited, public-school budget. The project is also a very familiar project type, the renovation and expansion of an obsolete public school, which the team executed beautifully, serving as a fiscally responsible model for the community, state, and public-school project type.”

GREEN HOME OF THE YEAR

Preserving a Family Legacy
Submitted by Byggmeister Inc.

Preserving-a-family-legacy

The owners of this 1930 home reached out to the designers with a long list of frustrations. Their kitchen was cramped, dark and isolated. The half-bath was tiny and lacked privacy. Insufficient insulation and old, inefficient systems made for hot summers, cold winters, and high utility bills.  While such frustrations are common for owners of older homes, the relationship these owners have with their house is anything but common. The husband’s grandfather was the home’s first owner, and his mother grew up there. He and his wife inherited the house and raised their children there. This family legacy imbued the project with special significance.  

The design team reoriented the kitchen towards the back yard, adding a full glass door and three windows that beckon onto a generous deck. They widened the opening between the kitchen and dining room, eliminating a pinch point and visually connecting the front and back of the house. They addressed the comfort complaints, inefficient systems, and high operating costs with a comprehensive package of insulation, air sealing and HVAC measures. They insulated the basement walls with 2” of closed cell spray foam; dense packed the wall cavities with cellulose; insulated the underside of the roof with 3” of closed cell spray foam followed by 7” of cellulose; reduced air leakage by 58%; and replaced the gas heating and hot water and window air conditioning with ducted heat pumps and a heat pump water heater. 

According to the judges,The project demonstrates the value of preserving the embodied carbon of the home, which might have otherwise been demolished; yet accomplishes substantial energy savings and comfort improvements.  The project preserved the original character of this home as well as its neighborhood and was done affordably.  The judges were impressed with the practical approach that achieved such significant results.”

CARBON & ENERGY

Williams College Renovation of Fort Bradshaw
Submitted by Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker Architects, LLP

Williams-College-Renovation-of-Fort-Bradshaw

Fort Bradshaw (The Fort) a 1931 Tudor Revival building, neighboring The Clark Art Institute, today is home to 12 students in The Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art. The Fort, constructed with brick masonry walls, slate roof, crenellated parapets, copper oriel window, and four-centered Tudor arch entry, needed interior and exterior renovations. The building had no insulation, was difficult to heat, not fully accessible and had programmatic issues from being divided up piecemeal, over the years.

Williams College set a high bar for the renovation requiring LEEDv4 Gold, Living Building Challenge Petal Certification, eliminating on-site combustion energy and an aggressive site EUI of 30 kBTU/yr/sf, all while maintaining the historic features of the building that had become part of the program’s identity. Through reuse of an existing building and an addition designed to blend-in, a dedicated design-build team, supported by the college’s commitment to sustainability, was able to achieve these goals.

The completed renovation is 12,900 gsf, fully accessible with elevator, contains 14 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, community space for cooking, dining, socializing, and a space for film screening and lectures, bike storage inside and out, and a variety of exterior spaces that extend and connect to the interior. Landscaping is with native plants and grasses and no need for irrigation.

Critical to the success of the project, work included window replacement, insulation, blower door testing, geothermal well field, ground source heat pump, VRF heating and cooling, energy recovery ventilation, roof mounted solar thermal, drain water heat recovery as well as low-water usage fixtures and energy efficient lighting and control systems.

Extensive research and review ensured material selections were free from toxins that affect human health and our ecosystems and that the sources of these materials are close to the site, meeting both LEED and LBC requirements.

In the judges’ words, “Reuse and renovation of existing buildings is the critical next step to decarbonization of the built environment and this project accomplishes not just that goal, but also shows a replicable pathway. The judges were impressed with both embodied and operational carbon savings through use of several innovative technologies.”

HEALTH & WELLNESS

Smith College – Neilson Library
Submitted by Thornton Tomasetti

Smith College Neilson Library

Creating a sustainable building was a critical objective for the new Neilson Library; one that reflects Smith College’s commitment to sustainability. As a result, the design team used a series of workshops and meetings with stakeholders to create a project sustainability charter that established metrics from the most stringent third-party green building rating systems such as LEED, WELL and Living Building Challenge. The team developed four sustainability priorities as part of the charter: 

The new Neilson Library will:

  1. Be smaller than the old library, featuring collaborative space and reducing energy use and carbon emissions. 
  2. Be one of the most energy efficient libraries with special collection spaces in North America.
  3. Emphasize health and well-being of students, the community, and the environment.
  4. Enhance the local ecology of Smith’s historic campus. 

The college committed to making the new Library as healthy as possible for the people using it. They decided to utilize the iconic nature of the building to advocate for positive change in the marketplace and encourage manufacturers to eliminate Red List chemicals, as defined by the International Living Future Institute. The project team used a targeted vetting approach to focus on visually prominent materials, interior finishes, furniture, and other materials that could influence market transformation efforts. This effort evaluated more than 100 manufacturers and 68 products from a healthier materials standpoint. The process and outcomes of this project are influencing other large institutions, and the healthier materials initiative is continuing to be implemented on Smith’s campus.  

In addition to healthier materials, the team prioritized low carbon materials. Thornton Tomasetti performed a whole building Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to study opportunities for reducing embodied carbon and engaged Smith College students on a capstone project focused on creating a campus Embodied Carbon Roadmap using findings from the Neilson Library. 

 The judges “appreciated Smith’s commitment to both eliminating materials with Red List chemicals in the Nielson Library and to publicly sharing the knowledge they gained in the process. The library is a beautiful, thoughtful project with aggressive sustainability goals that seem to have largely been met.”

EQUITY & INCLUSION

Frost Terrace
Submitted by Bruner/Cott Architects

Frost Terrace Affordable Housing

Frost Terrace is a unique, transit-oriented, 100% affordable family community. By weaving together three historic houses, significant contemporary architecture, and a dynamic, human-centered landscape, the design transforms a forgotten residential site, along a commercial avenue, into high-quality multi-family affordable housing for 40 low- and middle-income families—including (13) three-bedroom, (13) two-bedroom, (13) one-bedroom, and one (1) studio unit(s). Frost Terrace creates critically needed, modern, and sustainable affordable housing. 

Frost Terrace’s approach to sustainable design aligns with the principles of affordable housing—lowering utility costs, conserving resources, prioritizing mobility (bikes and transit), and creating healthy living environments for residents. The LEED Gold-certified project includes re-used existing buildings and materials, wood structure and finishes, energy recovery ventilation, efficient electric-driven heat-pump systems, and highly insulated envelopes (new and upgraded).

Frost Terrace is an innovative project that transforms a forgotten residential site along a commercial avenue into high-density, affordable urban housing. The design combines new construction with the creative reuse of existing historic resources – reminding us of the past while connecting to the present and future of Cambridge – and leverages the urban, transit-friendly site to create a place that favors people over parking.

According to the judges, “this project provides opportunities for affordable, intergenerational living in infill environments. The engagement with the community through design, and the community created by the development, are both exemplary.”

SITE & LANDSCAPE

Colby College Harold Alfond Athletics & Recreation Center
Submitted by Thornton Tomasetti

Colby College Harold Alfond Athletics & Rec Center

As one of the leading sustainable institutions in the country—and one of seven to achieve carbon neutrality— Colby College considers sustainability to be a key factor of every building and site design for its campus. The new 350,000-square-foot Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center (HAARC) is the most advanced and comprehensive NCAA D-III facility in the country, and it achieved LEED Platinum and SITES Gold certification. The facility includes an indoor track-and-field competition center, aquatic center, squash center, gymnasium, hockey arena, fitness center and studios, as well as training rooms and coaching suites. In addition, three new relocated fields are available for use by the community as well as the college.

Sustainable Building Features include: 

  • Energy savings: 52.19% reduction with PV, 42.05% without PV. 
  • 19.84% of total energy costs offset through on-campus generated renewable energy. 
  • 100% of the total building energy consumption offset by RECs and carbon offsets 
  • 50% reduction in indoor potable water use  
  • 95.53% of construction waste diverted from the landfill. 
  • Biophilic design strategies improve indoor space quality and connect people with the natural environment. 
  • Whole Building LCA was performed to reduce embodied carbon in the project.    
  • Envelope and monitoring-based commissioning was performed on the project   
  • Advanced submetering to monitor usage water and energy usage over time and track on-going performance.

Timber from the existing athletic center was salvaged and repurposed to clad the support building adjacent to the fields and provide custom benches across the site, and all topsoil removed from the building site was saved, amended, and reused on-site to provide better drainage, plant growth and drought-resilience. Boulders were found during excavation and integrated into the site landscape and the central courtyard in the building.

The judges commented, “We celebrate this project for both its design aspirations as well as the reality of its implementation and operations. The site and landscape are a living organism and this project has the infrastructure to support an on-going, durable landscape.”

SUSTAINABLE BUILDING OPERATIONS

Circling Back After Getting the Plaque
Submitted by The Green Engineer, Inc.

Circling Back After Getting the Plaque

The Green Engineer gathered operating performance metrics and conducted interviews with town staff for 21 public schools and libraries in Massachusetts that received LEED (15 total) or CHPS (6 total) certification. Energy use was the primary focus in this study of “high performing buildings” but other feedback was requested as well, such as on water use, occupant well-being, commissioning effectiveness, problems encountered, and lessons learned.

The actual site EUI, the total amount of energy consumed in one year, was calculated for each building and compared to the predicted EUI from energy models. We found that the total amount of energy consumed each year is typically higher than predicted by models. Energy models underpredict EUI by 15 kBtu/SF on average. Looking at schools only, we found that energy models underpredict EUI by 17 kBtu/SF.

The design water use estimates showed water use savings ranging from 26% to 38% for the 11 schools and libraries in our study with water data. However, when comparing actual use to design estimates, 6 out of 11 projects experienced more water use than predicted.

Many of the problems faced and lessons learned during the initial years of a school or library’s operation were shared by the Interviewees and summarized in the report. One common theme was that High Performing schools and libraries are complex buildings whose operators need to be properly trained and adequately supported to take full advantage of the efficiencies in their buildings’ design. Issues varied, however complicated air conditioning systems and schools occupied year-round were often noted as explanations of high energy use. Many of the insights and lessons learned after occupancy are best practices in the industry, however this pilot study highlights and documents some of the problems encountered by those who are charged with operating public schools or overseeing public libraries.

The judges said “building performance is the proof case for sustainability.  This team demonstrated transparency, collaborative leadership, and accountability by circling back to past projects to measure and share ongoing performance data.”

SUSTAINABLE BUILDING RENOVATION

808 Memorial Drive
Submitted by Bruner/Cott Architects

808 Memorial Drive

The project at 808 Memorial Drive is an occupied renovation of two 1970s-era apartment buildings along the Charles River. 808-812 Memorial Drive houses 300 mixed-income apartments of varying sizes, approximately 38,000 square feet of commercial space, and five levels of parking. The project aims to improve residents’ comfort and security, while also strengthening their sense of community and identity. Exterior renovations include the installation of new, high-performance cladding and window systems that refresh the appearance of the building, support efficient mechanical system upgrades, and significantly reduce residents’ cost of living. The project also reworks the landscape and community courtyard space to improve lighting, circulation, and accessibility.

To avoid displacing families and individuals, the two buildings have remained fully occupied during construction and installation of their overcladding systems. This critical goal refined the approach to design, installation, and phasing for the 450,000 square feet of exterior surface. The team developed a panelized skin that could be assembled off site and lifted into place. Once installed, the existing windows are removed and sealed to the new windows as a last step of assembly. 

Fair Housing Act guidelines and requirements for material specifications on projects that receive public funding presented an unprecedented challenge for the design team. Research and development in healthy material and product alternatives directly inform the interior design of 808 Memorial Drive, which is uniquely positioned to advocate for formal healthy building materials criteria on future publicly funded affordable housing projects.

According to the judges, “the project caught the jury’s eyes for its replicability, every city has brutalist apartment buildings that would benefit from a face lift. Renovating while the mixed income residents occupied the building took careful consideration to avoid disrupting occupants, and the resultant energy and water savings are compelling. This project gives us hope that refreshing existing buildings can breathe new life into our communities.”

SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION INNOVATION

Mass Timber for Mass Workers: The C. Gerald Lucey Building
Submitted by Jones Architecture, Inc.

Mass Timber for Mass Workers - Lucey Building

The C. Gerald Lucey Building for the Massachusetts’s Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is a modestly sized building that takes on an outsize role, blazing an important new path to sustainability for the Commonwealth.  Envisioned as prototype for the design of future State office buildings, it has set a new standard by being the most sustainable building in the State’s inventory. In addition to the high bar raised for sustainability, its forward-thinking design for the workplace provides a comfortable and flexible environment for its hard-working occupants. The building, its programs and the energy of its presence, are also helping to revitalize a struggling historic core and revive what was once a vibrant area of Brockton. As the first State project of this scale constructed with cross laminated timber (CLT) and glulam and a column structural system, the success of this building, and its ability to be replicated, establish a benchmark for the future.

Here is what the judges had to say: “Realizing mass timber is not easy on a budget! By utilizing an advanced bid package to work within the Massachusetts procurement requirements a thoughtfully integrated design and construction process resulted in holistic sustainability. The jury recognizes that the project will have a far reach as a visible ambassador for mass timber and more for its occupants.”

STUDENT PROJECT OF THE YEAR

Eco Homes Highland Park
Submitted by Northeastern University Solar Decathlon: Aasav Harania, Kamran Zahedi, Theodore Walinskas

Eco Homes Highland Park

Eco Homes Highland Park is a proposal for an affordable homeownership development as part of a recent RFP submission for Packages 3 & 5 of the Highland/Marcella E+ Sites released by The City of Boston’s Mayor’s Office of Housing. The proposal calls for 18 Units of housing, all Home Ownership & Income Restricted. The design is inspired by a triple decker and bow front, and looks to restore Highland Park’s Urban Landscape of the early 20th Century using this brownfield development.

 The project structure creates a model that brings educational and environmental stewardship to the development process. In terms of technological innovation, using the power of home automation & passive house design strategies, the Project Team can successfully achieve ‘energy-positive’ even under high occupancy and dense living. This is supported by energy modeling early in the design process, as well as collaboration with Northeastern Labs & Faculty.

The engineering theory within the project is that many sustainable design techniques in housing have already been created, and the next step is to efficiently converge these designs into a development that can meet performance measures such as energy-positive, yet remaining affordable to local residents in historically disadvantaged communities, where sustainable housing may otherwise price them out. 

 The judges commented “the collaboration in this project brings the community together on a topic that concerns everyone around affordability and inclusion in new housing development. This project could serve as a model not only for cities that struggle with housing affordability and choice issues, but also for cities that deal with historic segregation. This model gives the community an opportunity to voice their opinions and co-create.”

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD

10 Fan Pier / MassMutual
Submitted by Elkus Manfredi Architects

People's Choice - 10 Fan Pier / MassMutual

MassMutual at 10 Fan Pier Boulevard is an expansion of the company’s presence in Boston that honors their long history with a landmark destination and a contemporary, inspiring work environment. Applying the same empathy and respect for its employees that it does for its policyholders, MassMutual aspired to create a flexible, responsive workspace able to adapt to employee needs. Designed to house 1,200 staff members, the 17-story building offers ground-floor restaurant and retail, and an outdoor public plaza along the Harborwalk.

With a biophilic rounded exterior and tiered setbacks, the building establishes a uniquely elegant presence on Fan Pier—the distinctive exterior incorporates folded stainless steel panels in a pattern of contrasting angles, accentuating the building’s curvature as reflections shift throughout the day. Inspired by cresting waves, the curved, undulating façade has two large terraces carved out of the massing, allowing all employees access to the waterfront views.

While a glass curtain wall was desirable by the owner and tenant, they recognized the importance of energy efficiency and collaborated with the design team and energy modeler in a vigorous, iterative process to maximize the envelope performance and drive energy savings up, resulting in meeting the 2019 AIA 2030 carbon reduction target. Health and wellness was also a high priority for MassMutual. The office space features gender neutral restrooms, yoga rooms, an open communicating stair as well as consideration for indoor environmental quality which is maintained by monitoring CO2 levels, providing increased outside air rates for ventilation, selecting low-VOC materials, and incorporating biophilic elements. The building as a whole is similarly responsive–high-performance, low-emissivity glazing contributes to the highly efficient exterior envelope that, when coupled with high-performance mechanical systems, creates a building designed to LEED Platinum standards.

CHANGE AGENT OF THE YEAR

Katherine Walsh
Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Program Director for Boston Public Schools

Katherine Walsh - Change Agent of the Year

Congratulations to Katherine Walsh, Sustainability, Energy, & Environment Program Director of Boston Public Schools for such important work supporting future generations.

Her nomination raved “Katherine’s innovation and leadership even extends beyond the walls of our buildings. She leveraged the pandemic to re-emphasize the timely importance of access to nature for all students, and the benefits of outdoor classrooms, particularly in urban school districts. This past year, she was able to hire the district’s first Outdoor Teaching and Learning Coordinator, who will work to design outdoor classrooms, accessible gardens, green stormwater infrastructure, and curriculum for our district.”

The judges were particularly impressed with such measurable outcomes, her deep commitment to equity and inclusion in all of her work, and the innovative, replicable, and collaborative approaches she takes, sharing her learnings beyond BPS to practitioners across the country.

 

Experience our 2022 Green Building Showcase as a Digital Gallery

Thank you to our Amazing Judges!

Alexa Stone

Alexa Stone

LEED AP, SFP, ENV SP, President, EcoPreserve

Sustainable Construction Innovation | Sustainable Building Operations |
Sustainable Building Renovation

Arathi Gowda

Arathi Gowda

AIA, AICP, LEED AP BD+C, PrincipalZGF Architects LLP

Sustainable Construction Innovation | Sustainable Building Operations |
Sustainable Building Renovation

Michael Brown

Michael Brown

EIT, CEM, LEED AP BD+C, Associate | Energy Systems Design Engineer, HKS, Inc.

Sustainable Construction Innovation | Sustainable Building Operations |
Sustainable Building Renovation

Deepa Vedavyas

Deepa Vedavyas

Program Manager, Neighborhoods and EnvironmentThe Cleveland Foundation

Equity & Inclusion |  Site & Landscape |  Student Project of the Year

Allison Wilson

Allison Wilson

AIA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, Associate Principal | Sustainability DirectorAyers Saint Gross

Equity & Inclusion |  Site & Landscape |  Student Project of the Year

Mtra. Alicia Silva Villanueva

Mtra. Alicia Silva Villanueva

LEED FELLOW, USGBC Faculty, WELL Faculty, LFA, Founder | CEO, Revitaliza Consultores

Equity & Inclusion |  Site & Landscape |  Student Project of the Year

 

Kim E Shinn

Kim E Shinn

PE, LEED Fellow, BEMP, Principal | Sustainability Wizard, PEAK Institute

Green Home of the Year | Carbon & Energy

 

Sarah Gudeman

Sarah Gudeman

PE, BCxP, CPHC, WELL AP, LEED Fellow, Partner | Director of Sustainability, Morrissey Engineering

Green Home of the Year | Carbon & Energy

 

Ramya Shivkumar

Ramya Shivkumar

CEM, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, Director of Energy & Sustainability,Windward Engineers & Consultants

Green Home of the Year | Carbon & Energy

Julie Hendricks

Julie Hendricks

AIA, GRI, LEED Fellow, Senior Sustainability Manager, JLL

Green Building of the Year | Health & Wellness

Lindsey Perez

Lindsey Perez

AIA, LEED Fellow, GGP, Fitwell Amb., Senior Sustainability Architect, Amazon Fresh

Green Building of the Year | Health & Wellness

 

Brian Malarkey

Brian Malarkey

FAIA, LEED AP, Executive Vice President | Director of Interior Architecture, Kirksey Architecture

Green Building of the Year | Health & Wellness

 

Thank you to our Event Sponsors!

2022 Green Building Showcase Sponsors
Eli Beckerman

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