Sunday, April 27, 2014

Beyond Buildings: LEED ND presented by USGBC MA

Since its inception, LEED ND has been guiding many communities toward sustainability. The upcoming May presentation BeyondBuildings: LEED ND will showcase the importance of LEED for Neighborhood Development as both a certification and a tool for guiding sustainable community developments.

We will hear from some of the original USGBC 2008 pilot projects in Massachusetts about their progress toward attaining LEED ND certification, now that they are six years into their development. We will also hear from new projects, neighborhood developments that are pursuing LEED ND certification or have taken the elements of the program to guide them toward sustainability. A discussion of how LEED ND can be used by communities as a development guide will complete the agenda.

The Box District
Located as an infill project and surrounded by compact neighborhoods Chelsea’s Box District is walkable to civic, commercial, recreation, parks and transit amenities. It has created affordable and market rate rental and condominium units, retail and new green spaces. Working with The Neighborhood Developers of Chelsea was a partnership from the private, non-profit, municipal and state sectors illustrating the cooperation required to create new living spaces for a mix of incomes.

Old Colony Housing

By Robert Weiss, Neighborhood Development Working Group

This major renovation of a traditional South Boston public housing project replaced outmoded housing with townhouses and four-story elevator buildings. New streets were created to make the grounds more walkable and integrate the housing with the surrounding neighborhood. Families can stay in their own neighborhood with its schools and access to public transportation. The project meets criteria for Enterprise Green Communities, LEED Building and Neighborhood Certifications, and Energy Star Homes certification. The units will be smoke free.

Old Colony Housing Development in South Boston

Jackson Square
Jackson Square is located in the Roxbury and Jamaica Plain neighborhoods of Boston. The project is led by Jamaica Plain NDC and Urban Edge (non-profit developers), the Jackson Square Partners, which includes private corporations, non-profits, municipal and state public agencies. Two key components of the project’s green strategy are on-site generation of renewable and low-carbon energy from sources such as solar, wind, biofuel co-generation, geothermal and green roofs on each building. The 11.2 acre transit oriented project includes 438 units of housing, 60,000sf of commercial, 30,000sf retail, with recreational uses, as well. It is a mixed-income development built on previously developed land. Because it is an infill project within a compact area the new mixed-use development connects with its surroundings and enhances an even larger area.

The Village at Taylor Pond
Located in a suburban situation, this green living development is a great example of neighborhood development’s residential/jobs connectivity. Its site plan shows loads of green space that is simultaneously a human amenity and an environmental feature. There are connected paths of wooded walkways, a large space reserved for dog park, a rain garden and wetlands. Its 60,000sf of office space and 27,000sf of retail is an opportunity to walk to work and to commercial life. These amenities help eliminate use of cars for commuting and convenience. Sited on an infill area that was previously developed, Criterion Development Partners designed the project to encourage a healthy lifestyle.

Talbot Norfolk Triangle
Located near Dorchester’s Codman Square, the Talbot Norfolk Triangle area has been the focus of years of environmental, economic and residential development led by Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corp and TNT Neighbors United. Codman is using LEED ND as reference to drive quality of life improvements for residents. It is an Eco-District and is an illustration of input from the public and non-profit sectors. The neighborhood’s activism has resulted in the area being transit oriented today and a leader in urban environmental stewardship.

Talbot-Norfolk Triangle in Dorchester, Boston

LEED ND is a valuable tool for sustainable development in our communities. When you attend Beyond Buildings: LEED ND you will hear first-hand from the people who make these projects work and their analysis of their successes and shortcomings. GBCI, 3.5 CE hours, LEED ND specific are approved and AICP CM hours are pending. The presentation is from 8:00AM to noon on May 20 at the Atlantic Wharf Community Room, 290 Congress Street in Boston. For more information, learn about our sponsors and registration see:

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