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City Officials, Homeowners, and Developer Celebrate LEED Platinum Dedication for E+ Homes in Roxbury

Apr 02, 2014

highland4-(2).jpgOn Wednesday, the BRA Deputy Director of Urban Design Prataap Patrose joined with Kamran Zahedi of Urbanica Inc. and the new homeowners of 226-232 Highland St. in Roxbury to celebrate the award of LEED Platinum for the building. The development, which was completed in 2013, is Boston's first LEED Platinum E+ (energy positive) building.

226-232 Highland Street was developed as part of the Boston E+ Green Building Program, a collaboration between the BRA; the Department of Neighborhood Development; and the Office of Energy, Environment, and Open Space.
Further advancing Boston's sustainability goals, the E+ program is developing highly energy efficient homes in several neighborhoods throughout the City. An "energy positive" building employs a highly efficient building envelop,  systems to reduce energy use, and solar photovoltaics to produce energy and sell the surplus back to the grid. Building practices include thicker insulated walls and roofs, an air tight building envelope, and a heat recovery ventilation system. In February, an unusually frigid month which left most homeowners paying higher-than-usual utility bills, the Highland Street project reported energy positive days.

BRA Deputy Director Paatrose, speaking on behalf of Mayor Walsh, said, "Today’s event is the result of a remarkable, seemingly impossible, vision set three years ago to build the first energy positive deep green homes in an urban setting and to demonstrate the feasibility for the next generation of residential buildings that give back more energy than they consume...Green development is no longer just the big high rises and large projects downtown. It’s happening here. It’s happening in our neighborhoods."

The Highland Street project was the first of three approved E+ projects to be completed. Its developer, Urbanica, expanded the project goals to include social as well as environmental sustainability. Urbanica teamed up with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters to train over 125 union apprentices in the advanced construction techniques used in the building. A second E+ home was completed in Jamaica Plain in December, and a third is in planning. The E+ model has recently been expanded to the community scale, and a 44-unit project in Mission Hill is completing permitting.

Kamran Zahedi of Urbanica spoke on the success of this project and future plans for similar energy efficient developments. Several of the project's homeowners were present at the ceremony with their families and one homeowner, Ted Resnikoff, shared how these homes fulfilled his family's vision for a sustainable urban lifestyle.

Over 60 attendees, including neighborhood residents, area builders and designers, representatives of NSTAR and National Grid, and City Officials attended the dedication ceremony, which was followed by in-depth tours of a recently completed unit.


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