Courtesy of Sean Pavone,
Boston Hero Sean Pavone Dreamstime

Don’t Miss These 5 New Green Projects in Boston

March 21, 2023
Boston is better known as the City of Champions, and a handful of sustainable, new projects are winning the sustainability game.

Whether you’re a sports fan or not, Boston’s history of professional sports dominance is well established. Titletown, as it’s also known, is now home to a handful of design projects that are winning the sustainability game. From a new student health center and a civil engineering innovation studio to innovative new office spaces, the following new projects have one thing in common: they are racking up LEED points and cementing the city’s future as a champion of the environment as well.

1. Oxford Properties | 125 Summer Street, Boston MA 02111

Understanding that the pre-COVID office does not support the workstyle of the future, Oxford Properties tapped Boston-based firm SGA to create a space that provides what companies and individuals need from the workplace that the home does not provide: dynamic and flexible spaces that are safe, comfortable, adaptable and that foster a sense of community. Catering to a new era of office workers, SGA designed a speculative suite on the fourth floor of Oxford’s 22-story, LEED-Gold certified office tower. At the center of the space, an elevator bank and restrooms are enveloped by a supply amenity zone as well as the main circulation path. Around the perimeter, SGA designed a series of open spaces and closed rooms to facilitate four distinct work modes. A reception area and lounge take on a variety of functions: greeting visitors, supporting employee tech needs, providing a full pantry, and enabling informal collaboration through the use of flexible furniture.

2. 179 Lincoln | 179 Lincoln St, Boston MA 02111

EQ Office recently announced the completion of its repositioning of 179 Lincoln, a historic Beaux-Arts, Class-A office building in Boston originally constructed in 1899. Designed by Atelier Cho Thompson, an award-winning women-and-minority-owned firm, 179 Lincoln’s repositioning unearths the building’s rich history as a shoe factory while creating a hospitality-inspired space that meets the needs of today’s workplace. The 221,474-square-foot brick-and-beam building transformed an underutilized lobby, a dark central core, and common areas on each of its five floors, creating functional collaboration spaces for a range of group sizes and workstyles. Providing a second life to many of 179 Lincoln’s structural and architectural features significantly reduced embodied carbon and allowed for the building to maintain its LEED Silver rating certification. The design team chose a rich material palette of plaster, marble, stone, wood, and metals, that transformed the common areas of the building into light-filled and welcoming public spaces including a five-story atrium lobby.

3. Northeastern University | 110 Forsyth St, Boston, MA 02115

The newly transformed Civil and Environmental Engineering Innovation Studio (CEE) at Northeastern University reimagined by Dyer Brown & Associates houses state-of-the-art fabrication equipment and vibrant environmental graphics in a flexible academic setting. The redesigned studio features a new state-of-the-art experiential learning laboratory featuring movable lab benches. The studio also includes a reimagined fabrication facility, two “flex labs” for faculty and student use, and space for storage. New furniture for the studio emphasizes flexibility, with stacking chairs, movable tables, and plug-and-play pods for connecting to electricity. Dyer Brown also designed new interior signage and environmental graphics for the CEE Innovation Studio. The visual themes reflect the CEE department mission: a stylized Boston skyline with waveforms represents urban design innovation, which will be applied to a moss wall to emphasize sustainability and environmental responsibility.

4. Boston University | 881 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Chapman Construction/Design, a construction management company specializing in high-performance building, recently completed renovations to a 21,500-square-foot space at 881 Commonwealth Avenue to create an expanded Student Health Services facility for Boston University (BU). The project, designed by architecture firm isgenuity, is targeting LEED-CI Silver certification. This complex multi-phase project was performed in a fully occupied and active student health center where the project team had to be sensitive to the ongoing student care being conducted in the building. The new space was created to support BU’s behavioral medicine staff including psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical nurse specialists, licensed mental health clinicians, and clinical social workers. Chapman began the project by gutting the space and erecting 30 new therapy offices. Wall materials were selected for maximum sound absorption and soundproofing to protect the confidentiality of the patient/therapist conversations. A reception area, staff break room, two all-gender bathrooms, and two traditional group bathrooms were constructed, and new LED lighting was installed. |

5. BioMed Realty | 101 Main St., Cambridge, MA 02142

The design team at Hacin collaborated with BioMed Realty, a leading provider of real estate solutions to the life science and technology industries, for the interiors and architecture of their East Coast headquarters in Cambridge. The office has achieved LEED Gold status, mirroring the building it is housed within, and is designed to function as a warm, organic, and welcoming workspace with natural materials such as the oak palette throughout, wool and felt to enhance the space’s acoustics. A residential aesthetic is reinforced with decorative lighting fixtures and three kitchenettes in total, which also supports the company’s avid coffee culture. The floor features 360-degree views of Cambridge, Boston, and the Charles River, allowing varied striations of natural light to reach into the office from the windows at any given time of day. Individual private offices occupy defined zones of the perimeter floor-to-ceiling windows and custom shared workstations, additional offices, multiple conference rooms and community spaces fill the rest of the floorplan.

About the Author

Robert Nieminen | Chief Content Director

Robert Nieminen is the Chief Content Director of Architectural Products, BUILDINGS and i+s, sister publications of Smart Buildings Technology. He is an award-winning writer with more than 20 years of experience reporting on the architecture and design industry.

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