By Ethan Lay-Sleeper
May 6, 2015
By Ethan Lay-Sleeper
In 2012 Mayor Menino announced that Boston Properties’ Atlantic Wharf project earned LEED Platinum certification, officially making it Boston’s first greenskyscraper. The 1.2 million sf mixed-use project was designed by CBT Architects. It includes 86 residential units, 6 levels of below grade parking, 30 floors of premium office space, and ground floor retail to help activate the area around Fort Point Channel. The project incorporates two existing historic structures, the Russia Building which was transformed into lofts, and the façade and streetscape of the Tufts Building, which were preserved around updated interiors.
In addition to incorporating existing structures, the overall site design uses landscape and hardscape design elements to help link the financial district and the Rose Kennedy Greenway through the block to the waterfront. Over 30% of the site area is vegetated open space, incorporating native plantings and rainwater harvesting to eliminate the use of potable water for irrigation, and reduce overall irrigation by over 60%. Rainwater is harvested from the roof in a 40,000 gallon basement storage tank, and reused in irrigation and process water for HVAC systems. This reduced the amount of process water by 15% below comparable HVAC systems.
In terms of water consumption and improving the public realm, Atlantic Wharf is designed to use 33% energy than comparable office towers. To achieve these energy savings, the design team developed a core and shell system that performs well above ASHRAE 90.1-2004 standards. It uses a curtain wall system with 20% better thermal properties, glazing with 42% better thermal properties, and roof systems with 32% better thermal properties. These improvements help to reduce CO2 equivalent emissions by an estimated 43%, and they also help to save money on the project’s annual energy bill which is over $2.5 million. During construction, over 85% of waste was diverted from landfills, 20% of the building materials were manufactured from recycled products, and 50% of the wood used in the building is FSC certified. The building operations and maintenance also implemented a single stream recycling program upon opening, which continues to reduce waste over the building lifecycle. To learn more about Atlantic Wharf, check out the LEED project scorecard here.