North Jetty Building Groundbreaking


The groundbreaking for the new cold storage building we are working on for Cargo Ventures – located in the Marine Industrial Park in the Seaport – will be held in the next two weeks. The 325,000-square-foot facility will provide refrigerated space tailored to the needs of each cold storage tenant. The rooftop will be a 110,000 SF greenhouse (the size of two football fields) for a yet-to-be-announced urban agriculture grower and will generate enough food to feed 7,000 people…

Daylight Hour

Insight Studio

Arrowstreet participated in Daylight Hour today by joining thousands of other organizations in turning off the lights in their day-lit office spaces for one hour from noon-1:00. With the beautiful sunny weather in Boston today we went even further and kept the lights off all day in most of the office. Arrowstreet has a highly energy efficient LED lighting system that uses 42% less power than typical offices. But when there is ample daylight in our open studio we want to take advantage of turning of the electric lighting system and saving even more energy.

Renewable Now Radio Guest


To learn more about Arrowstreet’s sustainable work, tune in to WARP AM 1320 (if you’re in RI, CT, or southern MA you can stream live on the internet) to hear my radio interview with Jack Gregg. He co-hosts and reviews green business efforts with creator Peter Arpin – the show’s focus is on green business, organizations, scientists, and entrepreneurs. The date and time of the show will be posted as soon as it’s available. Stay tuned!

Community Strategies for Sustainable Development

Insight Design People

As a participant on the BSA’s Committee for the Advancement of Sustainability, I wanted to share some information about a free forum on June 19th. The committee promotes a sustainable agenda beyond the immediate focus of architectural practice, and engages other organizations in a dialogue that promotes sustainable principles. This year our task has been to organize a forum which will focus on empowering municipalities across Massachusetts to develop sustainable strategies for buildings, infrastructure, and planning…

Governor Forum on Energy, the Environment and the Innovation Economy

Left to Right: Joe Avellone, Don Berwick, Martha Coakley, Steve Grossman, Juliette Kayyem.
Left to Right: Joe Avellone, Don Berwick, Martha Coakley, Steve Grossman, Juliette Kayyem.

On March 23rd, I attended the Governor Forum on Energy, the Environment and the Innovation Economy at Faneuil Hall. The forum set the stage for Massachusetts Gubernatorial candidates to provide their position on sustainability topics affecting the Commonwealth as well as discusses opportunities to elevate sustainability goals…

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)


This week, I attended a symposium about Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. PACE is a way for property owners to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The Massachusetts program is also looking at funding for resiliency measures. Secretary Richard Sullivan’s opening remarks reiterated the Governor’s commitment to a sustainable energy future in Massachusetts…

Greenbuild 2013


Last November I headed to Philadelphia to attend Greenbuild 2013, an annual conference dedicated to the green building movement. Attendees share ideas, learn from industry experts, and develop new ideas to advance this movement. The 10th annual conference was attended by almost 25,000 practitioners, manufacturers, contractors, government officials, citizens, students, and more.

Edward Mazria gave a presentation I particularly enjoyed. Mazria is the founder of Architecture 2030, an organization focusing on buildings, the largest consumers of energy in the world, to address and reverse climate change. The 2030 Challenge sets targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions…

101 Main Achieves LEED Silver Certification


I’m happy to announce that the new regional offices we designed for BioMed Realty at 101 Main Street received LEED Silver Certification. The office is open, collaborative, and crisply detailed; multiple breakout and “huddle” spaces encourage impromptu discussions and collaboration. We’re proud of the project, and doubly proud of the green design choices (green power, enhanced commissioning, and low-emitting materials, to name a few) that helped us achieve our client’s LEED goal.

Mount Equinox

Insight Design Inspiration

I took a vacation last year to a site with no easy way in or out: Mount Equinox‘s Skyline Drive holds the record for the longest paved private road at 5.2 miles. While it’s not open year round, the drive is a pretty amazing vantage for views of most of New England and the Adirondacks. It’s a pretty crazy drive, full of hairpin turns and mirrors to see what’s coming ahead of you. I always find my knuckles are white and my nerves higher than normal after driving down, and I can’t even imagine what that trip must have been

Shades of Green


What do you do when your grocery business generates 55,000 tons of food waste every year – the leftovers from the store aisles that aren’t either sold or donated? If you’re Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the U.S., you build an anaerobic digester to convert all that food to usable energy.

Rails and Trails


For the past seven years, I’ve lived with my family in a small house that abuts a long abandoned spur of railroad tracks in Somerville, MA. The tracks have had a colorful history, as they used to serve a factory that manufactured paper products, construction supplies, and root beer at various points in its history. We’ve also heard stories from former residents that circus trains used to park on the tracks overnight before their trips into Boston. So lions, tigers, and elephants may have been transient residents of our backyard…


Insight Inspiration

I recently came back from upstate NY and got a chance to revisit my extended family’s windmills. My sister-in-law’s family scaled back their farming over ten years ago and now rent out part of their land for seven windmills. Most of the land around the windmills is still in rotation, so it’s a relatively fluid and symbiotic relationship…

LEED Goes Shopping


Our LEED Certification portfolio is full of retail projects, but one retail building type has been elusive: the mall in-line store. That is, until this year. With a project on the boards now (sorry, confidential), we have worked out a path to the LEED plaque. Getting LEED certification for a retail store in a mall setting can be difficult. If the mechanical system is an extension of an inefficient, centralized mall boiler or cooling tower, getting LEED points for the store’s mechanical system can be difficult or impossible. Similarly, if there is no space in the mall’s service areas

Sustainability is
Good Business

Insight Inspiration

Last month I had the opportunity to attend the Boston Chamber event “Making the Business Case for Sustainability”. This was a panel discussion of the integration of sustainability into business with representatives Johanna Jobin from EMD Millipore, Carolyn Kaplan from Nixon Peabody LLP, and Tony Calandro from VOX Global. The panelists represented varying industries, from service to production, which provided a range of perspectives on what sustainability means to various sectors…

Rechler Corporate
Headquarters Wins
EDC Award

Design Inspiration

We’re happy to announce that the Rechler Corporate Headquarters has been awarded EDC Magazine’s Excellence in Design Award in the Commercial Renovation category. The award honors the building’s unique sustainable strategies, such as its highly efficient, super-insulated building envelope. The project will be featured in EDC Magazine’s June issue, along with a podcast on their website.

Check out the video above (1:50 – 2:50), and for more information on this project and the other winners check out the awards webpage.

Four Season Commuting

Inspiration People

With the onset of spring, many people focus their attention on spending more time outdoors. A popular choice is cycling, particularly here in New England which has a strong history of mountain biking and road riding. I’d like to share some advice about combining a few passions many of us share – as my son says, “saving the world”, exercise, and something we all need to do: commuting to work…

Sustainability at KIPP Academy Lynn

Insight Construction

Earth month seems like a good point to reflect on the recently completed and now fully occupied KIPP Academy Lynn project in Lynn, MA. Part of the challenge associated with designing this project was making the school comfortable during the warmer months without the luxury of having a budget that could support full air conditioning. While oftentimes this problem is lamented, we saw it as an opportunity to be creative with the building systems and fenestration to provide low-energy, passive, and (most importantly) low-first cost climate control…

Sustainability on Campus

Dennis Carlberg speaks to Arrowstreet about BU's sustainability efforts
Dennis Carlberg speaks to Arrowstreet about BU's sustainability efforts

Arrowstreet invited Dennis Carlberg to speak to the firm about his efforts as the Director of Sustainability at Boston University. I was able to attend the discussion and I wanted to share the exciting things that are going on at this large university. As with any university or institutional campus, BU has a large environmental impact. BU understands it is important to reduce that footprint and in 2009 they created the Director of Sustainability position to do just that. Dennis Carlberg, the first to hold this position, jumped right into the role and has facilitated several programs over the last four years to create sustainable awareness and action on campus. Carlberg noted that one of the first things necessary to determine how to reduce the university’s footprint was to know exactly what their impact was. They assessed exactly how much energy, water, and waste that the university consumed and produced. Once that was determined then they could measure their success of the programs…

Architectural Reclamation Centers: Benefiting the Environment through Reuse


We are all becoming more aware of the complex environmental problems that exist today; both the architectural practice and individuals are encouraged to be mindful of our planet by reducing waste, recycling, and reusing materials. One way individuals can help in this effort is to utilize architectural reclamation centers when remodeling or renovating their home or property. These centers take donated building materials and items and sell them at bargain prices to homeowners and renovators. It’s a resource that provides a benefit to the environment as items get reused instead of sent to the landfill. And furthermore, donated items are tax deductible! A few years ago, I donated to Boston Building Resources Reuse Center when doing a home renovation project. The process was extremely simple: I just called and set up a time for them to pick up the items right at my door.

There are a number of Architectural Reclamation centers around the New England area. For more information, visit the Boston Building Resources website.

60+ Going Beyond the Hour


Started in 2007, Earth Hour is a yearly campaign to raise awareness of global warming and other environmental challenges and encourage people to participate on a global level to protect our planet. Individuals, organizations, and cities pledge to turn off the lights for the same hour on a set day each year. Earth Hour has grown from one city in 2007 to hundreds of thousands of people in 2013 in more than 150 countries and even outer space. The amount of electricity saved during that one hour of millions of homes and even major cities shutting of the lights is quite significant. However, saving the planet isn’t just about one hour that is why Earth Hour has grown to go “60+ Beyond the Hour”. One way that Earth Hour is encouraging people to go beyond the hour is through the “I Will If You Will” challenge. Individuals or organizations create a challenge which if met they are willing to do something in return to benefit the environment. From celebrities to cities challenges big and small have been made…

Green Thoughts from Walmart at ICSC RetailGreen

Design Inspiration People

[Part 3 of a series of posts from ICSC's RetailGreen conference.]

Last year, at ICSC’s RetailGreen conference, Don Moseley from Walmart gave an amazing 15 minute presentation on how codes differ from one municipality to another, and especially how they vary even more from the new International Green Construction Code (IgCC). Although it sounds wonky, Mr. Moseley used the specific example of how the prescribed number of plumbing fixtures can vary from code to code, with the delta being as much as 20 fixtures for the same size Walmart store. Same store footprint, same demands, totally different plumbing requirements. Importantly, when a retailer has thousands of locations across the world, it’s more difficult to plan, and it hits the bottom line in myriad ways.

This year, Mr. Moseley showed what Walmart has been doing on their roofs…

A Time to Look Back

Construction Studio

The start of a new year brings optimism and refreshed energy for the future, and also a chance to look back on accomplishments from the previous year. 2012 was a busy year at Arrowstreet. We celebrated the opening of two new charter schools in the Boston metro area, the corporate headquarters for Rechler Equity in Long Island, White Elephant Village Inn in Nantucket, a T-station garage and cool new bridge in Revere, and an LL Bean store in Danbury. The Arrowstreet construction banner was flying high in 2012…

Disrupt and Interrupt: Thoughts from Retail Green

Inspiration People

[Part 1 of a series of posts from ICSC's RetailGreen conference.]

In the first General Session of the ICSC RetailGreen conference in Phoenix last month, I moderated a panel discussion called “Disrupt and Interrupt”.  Since it was the beginning of the conference, we wanted to speak broadly about sustainability issues that retail developers encounter when planning projects and business initiatives.  The panel consisted of Audi Banny of Estée Lauder, George Caraghiaur of Simon Property Group, Jim Hanna of Starbucks, and Riggs Kubiak of Honest Buildings.  Some of my questions were pre-planned, but we had fun taking live questions through an email account and a scrolling twitter-feed which we projected above the stage.  It all worked quite well.  Audience members kept me well-stocked with comments and questions.

Green Apple Day of Service


USGBC MA is organizing several activities in the Boston area for the first annual Green Apple Day of Service this Saturday, September 29th. “Where we learn matters” is the theme of this national day of service, organized by the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Sign up for one of the activities on the Green Apple website or organize your own, and be sure to let others know about these activities.

Speaking at NCMA

Insight Construction People
Slide from NCMA presentation
Slide from NCMA presentation

I recently presented on the topic of Green Procurement at the regional National Contract Management Association (NCMA) conference and workshops. The NCMA is a professional association for those in the field of procurement and contract management. While I often speak about sustainable design, the U. S. Green Building Council and the LEED rating systems to groups in the world of real estate development, building design and construction, but the invitation to speak at this workshop presented an opportunity to talk to a different audience, one that is focused on purchasing products and services. A majority of the attendees were from military and government agencies and companies that contract with them…