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April 26th Building Tour of The Eddy - Residential Design at its Finest!

By USGBC MA on 4/27/2017

Last night (April 26th), the USGBC MA community took an evening tour of the highly-innovative Eddy, a high-end apartment complex developed by Gerding Edlen. The 250-unit building is proof that not only can a building be beautiful and functional, but it can also be incredibly good for the environment, as evident by its pending LEED Gold Certification. 

Starting off with a casual networking session with drinks and refreshments, attendees were excited to explore the lower levels of the building, primarily common space for residents to enjoy, such as an outdoor patio, a pool table, chairs by the water, and more.  Thank you to Renee Loveland for opening up the night and talking about Gerding Edlen's devotion to sustainability, and what makes The Eddy so unique.

From there, the large crowd broke off into two groups to see what really makes this building tick. One of The Eddy's most exciting features is the state-of-the-art co-generation plant on site, that generates the electricity and hot water for the entire building. It's amazing to see this up-close and personal - building design has come a long, long way in recent years.

Once the tour circulated to all of the display apartments, most of the time all you could hear were whispers of "oh, wow" - these are amazing layouts. 


One of the unique things the crowd has ever seen was the robotic parking system, which is a clever way of having someone park their car onto a landing platform, pulling it into a vertical row of cars (3 cars high!) and arranging the cars robotically. This way, so much space is conserved by condensing the space taken up as opposed to a full parking lot.  It's like Tetris, except your thumbs and eyes don't hurt afterward.

There was so much to see during this tour, and it really left a lasting impact on everyone who attended. Between the mechanical rooms, outdoors facilities, common spaces, roof decks, and apartments, The Eddy raises the bar for what a residential complex can achieve.

Thanks to all Eddy staff and Gerding Edlen guests for holding this tour for us!

See more pictures here.


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Elkus Manfredi is a Silver Sponsor of the USGBC MA!

By USGBC MA on 4/25/2017

We are incredibly proud to announce that Elkus Manfredi Architects is renewing as a Silver Sponsor of the USGBC Massachusetts Chapter. For years, they have been a great friend and ally in our fight for a net-zero future, and we're incredibly happy to be engaging with them even more. 

Elkus Manfredi is an architectural firm committed to the principles of green building and sustainability.  The group is well-versed in the ways that connectivity, location, market pressures, sustainability, and other elements play into the unique matrix that each project represents.  Elkus Manfredi has gained insight into what has historically worked and what hasn’t, and can take an educated look into the future to anticipate needs not yet evident.  This adds enormous substance to their work.

In recent memory, Elkus Manfredi developed the beautiful New Balance HQ located in Brighton, Massachusetts, which won the Green Building of the Year award at the 2016 Green Building Showcase. This five-story, 350,000 square-foot design is the sole LEED v2009 CS Platinum project in the United States to achieve all Indoor Environmental Quality credits, and only the third in the world. 

Learn more about Elkus Manfredi at their website and our blog.

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Bruner/Cott's R.W. Kern Center Makes 2017 COTE Top Ten List

By Alexander Landa on 4/25/2017

Nothing makes us happier than seeing our friends and allies making headlines for their monumental achievements to sustainability. Bruner/Cott's R.W. Kern Center at Hampshire College has made the 2017 AIA COTE Top Ten Awards, a program that celebrates sustainable design and building excellence. The R.W. Kern Center is pursuing Living Building certification - and making great strides towards it.

The AIA and Committee on the Environment (COTE)'s Top Ten Awards program is now in its 21st year, always highlighting projects that are models for what a great design should hope to achieve. By aligning with COTE's criteria for social, economic, and ecological value, designs can be entered into a competitive pool with only the highest-performing candidates making the list.

The R.W. Kern Center is an archetypal example of what it means to be a sustainable design and pinnacle of excellence. The new 17,000-square-foot campus welcome center was constructed using materials that were chosen to comply with the LBC Red List. The building is designed to supply its own power and water and process waste on-site.

Bruner/Cott has a distinguished 40-year sustainability record and a clear commitment to excellent green building. The firm approaches each project in the context of its community, program, and mission, and looks for ways to maximize projects’ positive impact.

Read more about Bruner/Cott at our Chapter Sponsor page, and their website.

Congratulations, Bruner Cott!

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May 25th - Spring Greenbuild Mixer and Farewell Toast to Grey!

By Alexander Landa on 4/21/2017

We're about half a year away until Greenbuild 2017, and while it might sound far off, it's never too early to get the party going!

We will be celebrating the biggest green building conference of the year with a wicked party to get psyched up. At this party - similar to our last Shawmut-hosted one in March - we will be unveiling some exclusive sneak previews that won't be made public for at least another month! We will also be discussing this year's Legacy Project, and announcing a few Green Building Tours.

But, that's not all! As many of you know, our fearless leader and Executive Director Grey Lee will be leaving in May. We want to throw him the biggest party we can! We're all his friends and this will be a going-away present for our favorite ED. 

Register here!

Schedule (subject to change):

5:30-6:00: Networking and drinks
6:00-6:30: Opening remarks, state of "The Road to Greenbuild," and words from our sponsors.
6:30-8:00: Networking

As a special for this event, if you become a Chapter member, you can get a free ticket to this event!

If you're a student, emerging professional, or government official, you can receive a discount for membership to the Chapter. Please email for further details.

Special thanks to Robinson + Cole for sponsoring this event!

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EPMA Energy Mixer: Smart Homes Event Recap

By Jasmine Abdollahi on 4/19/2017

On Friday, April 14th, EPMA partnered with the Northeastern University Energy Systems Society to host local students for a night of learning and networking. We discussed opportunities and challenges that arise as internet connected household technologies become commonplace.

Emerging Professionals committee members May Dussadeevutikul and Oliver Bautista gave an informative presentation, covering how innovations in connected household products present opportunities to enhance the interaction between buildings and people.

Sensors, cameras, and connected products give users the power to monitor and control their homes for a highly personalized experience. A variety of modern gadgets can communicate with each other and their surroundings to create a seamless hi-tech home environment.

Students questioned the advantages to energy efficiency, accessibility, and security, as well as challenges that are likely to arise with emerging technologies. After the presentation, the conversation continued regarding expectations and predictions for the smart homes industry, and the potential impact of the Internet of Things on the environmental performance of buildings.

We hope to see some of our new friends again at the next Emerging Professionals committee meeting on April 24th.

Thank you to our event sponsor, Atlantic Toyota Dealership in Lynn, MA on the Lynnway!

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What are you doing for Earth Day?

By Alexander Landa on 4/18/2017

See the full event note here.

We're halfway through Earth Month, and there are still plenty of ways that you can contribute to making a difference in your community.  

This Saturday (4/22) is the March for Science, and it's a great way to stand alongside those from other disciplines who are aiming to support their field. 

Next Saturday (4/29) is Boston People's Climate March, and we're going to have our own table there. We're looking for volunteers to help out! Please sign up via Eventbrite, and be on the look out for a spreadsheet that will let you choose the time(s) best for you to staff the table.

We have a lot going on over the next two months that we're super excited about! Tomorrow is our next LEED Green Associate exam prep course, then on Thursday, we have an Introduction to the WELL Building Standard and you will get the SparkNotes version of an awesome certification process.

Save the date! We have a few more big events in the near future. May 25th will be our next Greenbuild Mixer - and it will also be Grey Lee's send-off party. Register now to reserve early-bird ticket pricing.  

Stay tuned for more information on this year's Green Building Showcase on June 15th! It's the 10th anniversary, so it'll be bigger than ever. This year, it's going to be at Northeastern's ISEC Building, and it's quite an awesome spot.

Please consider becoming a member of our Chapter as well. Your support helps us grow our mission, ranging from our advocacy campaigns to supporting educational programs. 

I hope to see you soon! 

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4/26 Building Tour of The Eddy

By USGBC MA on 4/14/2017

What makes a building tic? How much goes into designing a high-end, sustainable apartment complex? The Eddy in Boston is a state-of-the-art building in East Boston and it's proof that apartments can be both beautiful and good for the environment.

Join us for a tour of Gerding Edlen's innovative, 250-unit residential complex with direct access to LoPresti Park, a city green space where residents and their families gather to relax, engage in water activities as well as enjoy the unmatched views of the city skyline. The Eddy has a state of the art co-generation plant on site which generates the electricity and hot water for the building.

The tour will circuit the mechanical rooms, co-gen plant, common spaces as well as the roof deck.

Speaking of the roof deck, once the tour concludes, Gerding Edlen will host an outdoors networking gathering with food, drinks, and plenty of fun!for 20% 

Use the code MAEarthWeek20 for 20% off any ticket type.

Register here!

Wednesday, April 26th, 5:30pm-8:00pm
10 New St
Boston, MA, 02128

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Reminder - Our LEED BD+C Exam Prep Course is Tomorrow!

By USGBC MA on 4/12/2017

For those that say a Master's degree is the new Bachelor's degree, the same logic can apply to architecture. Becoming LEED Accredited is the new standard for those in the field, and it's almost silly for anyone not yet LEED Green Associate or AP to obtain this accreditation. If you're interested in becoming LEED AP, we can help with our BD+C exam prep course tomorrow, April 13th.

Register here!

As an Earth Month special, you can use the code MAEarthWeek20 for 20% off any ticket type.

With this LEED AP Building Design and Construction training, you will learn the requirements and calculations required for the following LEED credits: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. Completing this course will prepare you for the prestigious LEED AP professional credential, by allowing you to focus your study efforts, ease your tension, and help you pass the exam!

What to expect:

  • Learn and practice the three exam areas – Recognition, Application, and Analysis
  • Identify the key components of the LEED BD+C Rating System
  • Prepare for the exam by focusing on key topics
  • Discuss the requirements and implementation strategies of each credit/prerequisite

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To Celebrate Earth Month, All of Our Events are 20% Off for April!

By Alexander Landa on 4/11/2017

We're on a mission for sustainability. This affects everyone and everything, and what we do can make a difference. The buildings we inhabit don't just make an impact on our own health, but the environment as a whole. We want to work with you to become experts in your field and to become a greater catalyst of change.

For all of April, we're offering a 20% discount on every event we're holding this month. Whether you want to help design more LEED Certified buildings or to develop net-zero plans for an entire city, we can help you make the ripples that will become waves. Now is the best time to get involved with the Chapter by becoming a member, attending our events, and working on our advocacy campaigns. We can't do this alone, but we can do it together.

Use the code MAEarthWeek20 for 20% off of any April event tickets below:

4/13: LEED BD+C Exam Prep and LEED v4 Refresher (all day)
4/19: LEED Green Associate Exam Prep Course (all day)
4/20: Introduction to the WELL Building Standard (830-10am)
4/25: WELL AP Exam Prep Course (all day)
4/26: Cambridge and a Net-Zero Plan (830-10am)
4/26: Building Tour of The Eddy (530-8pm)
4/27: The Future of SREC - Learn About SMART (830-10am)

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Solar Hot Water Systems for Multi-family Housing in Massachusetts

By John Moore, New England Solar Hot Water, Inc, on 4/10/2017

           Massachusetts leads the nation in providing incentives for solar hot water (SHW) systems for both residential and commercial facilities. Typical solar thermal systems generate free, renewable heat energy to offset use of fossil fuels for domestic hot water. Thanks to current incentives, simple paybacks for such systems are quick, depending on the displaced fuel type and pricing. For low-income housing developments, paybacks can range from 2-4 years. The numbers are excellent even for non-profits that are unable to take advantage of tax credits. Here's a breakdown of the incentives available:

  1. 30% Federal Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC.) This credit is applied to the system owner's tax bill during the year of installation. It is the same credit offered for solar PV systems and equal to 30% of the system cost.
  2. Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS.) Accelerated depreciation including Year 1 Bonus Depreciation of 50% of system costs is available to business owners of solar systems. The first year's depreciation benefit alone can be worth as much as 20% of the system cost.
  3. Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Rebates. Administered by the MA Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) these cash rebates are based upon system size and efficiency. They are paid upon system completion, and can equal 30-40% of the system cost if the Federal ITC is utilized, or for non-profits or low-income housing developments where the ITC is not utilized, equal to 60-80% of system cost. To qualify for the higher rebate, at least 50% of the property's units must be reserved for occupants with income below 80% of the state's median.

             Of course, the most powerful incentive for SHW systems is the energy savings. Most systems are designed to provide from 50-80% of domestic hot water energy needs utilizing free renewable energy from the sun. Depending on backup fuel, dollar savings varies and increases as fuel prices increase over the typical long life of these systems. Like any HVAC system, SHW requires ongoing monitoring and maintenance, but operational costs are minimal and if maintained well, these robust systems should perform well for 20-25 years or more.

            Unlike Solar PV systems, SHW systems require little relative roof space and are more affordable. They also do not require complicated time-consuming interaction with a utility company in order to develop the system or realize cash incentives. For many housing developers and designers looking for a solid investment to reduce ongoing energy costs, SHW systems offer a terrific option. The best source of local information can be found on the MassCEC website. Additional incentive information can be found on the DSIREUSA website.

By John Moore
New England Solar Hot Water, Inc.

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