Macallen Building: Luxury Green Living

Macallen Building: Luxury Green Living

The Macallen building in Southie is Boston's newest, greenest condominium building — and we got a tour. Though out of our price range, it's great to see environmentally responsible development happening in our backyard. And it hasn't gone unnoticed: it is a LEED Gold project and was chosen by the AIA as one of the top ten Green projects for 2008. See below for a list of the innovative features included in this stylish building…

The 140 Macallen units start in the low 500K range and while environmental responsibility is one of the perks of green development, the condominiums are selling for as much as 10% over market prices because of it — more than making up for the cost of the green features, which are marketed as luxury items promoting a green lifestyle.

Here are some of the green features in the Office DA designed building:

• Sloped green roof that controls stormwater drainage, filtering pollutants and carbon dioxide out of the air, reducing heating and cooling loads, reducing the project's contribution to the urban heat-island effect, and providing an ecosystem for wildlife.

• An additional 20,000 square-foot outdoor terrace incorporated into the building provides similar benefits as the green roof.

• All of the irrigation needs on site are met with collected rainwater. Large cisterns collect water from the storm drains, condensate from the mechanical systems, and treated blowdown water from the cooling tower.

• The covered garage was integrated into the building to reduce overall square footage and contribution to the urban heat-island effect and stormwater runoff.

• The building consumes 30% less electricity than a conventional building through elements such as taking advantage of solar cooling loads, the use of large interior windows to increase daylight penetration, water heaters using waste heat from mechanical systems to heat water, and the use of occupancy sensors to control lights

• The building saves 600,000 gallons of water annually through the use of dual-flush toilets and an innovative irrigation system. (see above)

• The project team chose rapidly renewable resources such as bamboo, cork wallpaper, grasscloth wallpaper, wood-fiber ceiling tile, linoleum flooring, wheatboard, and cotton insulation.

• Of all the wood used in the project, 75% is certified to Forest Stewardship Council standards.

More on the Macallen Building here.

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