Today, Mayor Martin J. Walsh joined representatives from Boston's utility companies and other city officials to present local design and development firm Urbanica with a green building award and a $10,000 prize for the company's successful creation of Boston's best performing energy positive homes. The three-bedroom townhomes at the corner of Highland and Marcella Streets in Roxbury produce more energy than they consume in a year, and they are certified as LEED Platinum, the US Green Building Council's highest marker for sustainable design.
All of the homes are energy efficient with highly insulated air-tight walls and windows, LED lights, solar panels and water efficient plumbing. The design features which include energy recovery ventilation ensures access to fresh air while allowing the homes to keep a consistent temperature throughout the year with minimal heating in the winter or cooling in the summer months.
"These homes embody the kind of neighborhood based innovation that helps make Boston a world leader on climate change issues," said Mayor Walsh. "I want to congratulate Urbanica on receiving this special award, and I thank all of the partners who have helped to make Boston's E+ Green Building Program successful."
Since construction was completed in 2013, the City has been working with a local company to monitor the performance of the units. Over the past year, the four townhomes, which are each 1,970 square feet, collectively had a net electricity production of approximately 12,600 kilowatt hours. Together they create enough surplus energy annually to power a typical three-bedroom home.
The homes on Highland Street demonstrate the ability to deliver deep green energy positive living at a dense urban scale.
For its part, Urbanica will donate the $10,000 prize to the Hawthorne Youth and Community Center, a beloved non-profit that serves Roxbury's Highland Park neighborhood with educational, cultural, and recreational programming for youth and adults. The center is in the midst of an expansion project that includes a deep energy retrofit.
The E+ Green Building Program is managed jointly by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the Department of Neighborhood Development, and the Environment Department. The program's sponsors include Eversource and National Grid, which funded today's prize, as well as the US Green Building Council (USGBC), the Massachusetts USGBC Chapter, and the Boston Society of Architects/AIA.
Embue, a Boston-based company that develops hardware, software, and services for energy monitoring, received a grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to track the performance of the E+ homes on Highland Street.