Boston Housing Project Redevelopment Completed
- May 28, 2014
Boston—The second phase of the redevelopment of the Homes at Old Colony has been completed. The phase involved work on 129 residential units at the property, which is thought to be the nation’s oldest public housing project, and which had—until the redevelopment—been an example of a run-down public housing project.
Planning for the redevelopment of Old Colony began in 2009 with the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) and master planner Chan Krieger NBBJ. Later that year, BHA tapped Beacon Communities Development as the property’s redeveloper and hired The Architectural Team as master planner and architect, with Suffolk Construction as CG. These companies then proceeded with the redevelopment.
Phase I, which was completed in late 2011, included 116 housing units in a six-story midrise residential building and four groups of townhouses topped with photovoltaic panels. The redeveloped property achieved LEED Platinum certification. Phase I also included a 10,000-square-foot learning center, which won LEED-NC Gold.
The second phase is in keeping with the first phase, namely that it’s on track to be LEED Platinum. As a whole, Old Colony is also designed to EPA’s Energy Star and HUD Healthy Homes Guidelines, and the revitalized site is anticipating a LEED for Neighborhood Development certification.
Among other sustainable design features, the property features permeable concrete pavers and infiltration leaching galleys, an efficient irrigation system, low-flow plumbing, high-performing water pipe insulation, and non-HCFC refrigerants. In terms of materials, it uses low-VOC flooring, sealants and paints; locally produced aggregate and drywall; and 85 percent of construction waste diverted from landfill. The property’s outdoor air and local exhaust meet ASHRAE 62.1 and 62.2 (2007), and all of the structures are non-smoking, with designated smoking areas.