Net-Positive Living in a Multi-family Urban Setting

Exterior of Condos

Event Date: 

Friday, May 5, 2017


Roxbury, Massachusetts
Roxbury, MA

CEU Information: 

CEUs: 3.0 AIA LU/HSW. Certificates of participation are available

Cost: $25 for NESEA Members, $35 for Non-members

This Pro Tour took attendees to the Highland Street Homes Project, two energy-efficient duplex homes designed to look like a traditional Georgian Colonial and its companion carriage house. The featured homes are part of Boston’s E+ Green Building Program, which is promoting regenerative multi-unit residential buildings and bringing energy and environmentally positive homes to the city.

This tour was hosted by NESEA members Sage Builders and Craig Foley, who were onsite to discuss the vision and methods behind the condos. Located in the sought-after Fort Hill neighborhood of Roxbury, the project consists of four condos – three at market rate and one affordable by BPDA guidelines – that were built as highly sustainable, ultra-energy efficient, urban infill homes with both human and environmental health in mind. Attendees toured the homes and had their questions about the project - from design to materials selection, to construction – answered by the experts responsible for making them a reality.

The condos were built using durable materials and building best practices will assure that materials last a long time and require little maintenance, keeping the upkeep costs low for homeowners and decreasing the buildings’ impact on the environment over the long term.  The project team chose to use materials with low and/or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to help avoid health risks from product off-gassing and deterioration,

As part of the City of Boston’s E+ homes program, each unit will be connected to an energy monitoring system that will provide homeowners access to their live and historical energy use data. Homeowners will be able to view their energy use over time and compare their use with others participating in the E+ program. Each home will also be wired for and easily upgraded for modern conveniences and connectivity such as personal device charging stations, internet, and cable TV connections, and remote control of thermostats and entry systems.

A collaboration between the BPDA’s Urban Design Department and the City’s Department of Neighborhood Development, the E+ program challenges the design, development and construction community to design and build deep green, energy positive homes. The Sage Builders team was selected to pilot this program at the historic site in the Fort Hill section of Roxbury.

These new homes are intended to provide superior comfort, indoor air quality, energy efficiency, and modern living in close proximately to community amenities.

Site Details
  • 4,600 sq. ft.
  • Built to be Living Building Challenge Eligible
  • Built to LEED Platinum criteria, highest level of Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design
  • Built to Energy Star Tier 3, the highest level of performance under the US Energy Star program
  • Mitsubishi Hyper Heat pumps will provide super-efficient heating and cooling
  • 10” thick, double stud walls enclosing dense-pack cellulose insulation providing R value of 42
  • 31kW solar photovoltaic system, with 98 panels offset more than 100% of on-site energy needs, with enough surplus energy generated to power electric vehicle


12:30 PM

Doors open, registration and networking

1:00 PM

Welcome by NESEA

1:10 PM

Overview from project team

1:50 PM

Travel a group to tour site

2:00 PM

Tour begins: attendees break into groups to rotate through stations

3:50 PM

Group reconvenes back to meeting point for reception

4:15 PM

Presentation, Q&A with members of project team

5:00 PM

Event concludes


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BuildingEnergy Pro Tour
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