Project Team

Other Team Member

Other Team Members

Developer/Design Manager: Urbanica, Inc
Architect of Record: Urbanica Design
Design Architect: Interface Studio Architects
LEED Consultant: Interface Studio Architects
Energy Consultant: Conservation Services Group
Green Rate/LEED for Homes Provider: Conservation Services Group
Mechanical Engineer: Engineering Design Build

Ratings, Awards and Recognition


LEED Platinum Certified


2015 AIA COTE Top Ten Award Winner

Published References:

City of Boston web site:

embue Energy Positive Building Dashboard:

Energy Star Score:
HERS Index::

The E+ Green Building Program is an intiative the City of Boston / Boston Redevelopment Authority purposed to proving the feasibility of regenerative multi-unit residential buildings and to building energy and environmentally positive homes in Boston’s neighborhoods. 226 - 232 Highland Street is the first building completed in phase one of the Program.

My family could afford to buy and own this house because of its passive design and E+ rating.  Although we didn’t realize it when we bought it, owning an e-positive house not only reduces our cost of ownership by lowering our energy expenses, it generates sufficient revenue to more quickly pay down our mortgage.  (Ted Resnikoff, Owner, 226 Highland St).

Urbanica Development and ISA Architects, the developer / design team, were selected through a competitive design competition held by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

A POSITIVE smaller footprint

Our goal is to create low-cost, energy-positive, and environmentally sustainable multi-family housing that stands as a model of responsible, contextual residential development.

Based in a holistic approach toward sustainability, using both low and high technologies in creative, efficient ways at all levels. However, it is the belief of the team that sustainability is not simply a technological fix, but a reconceptualizing of our outlook on the relationship between ourselves, the environment, and our lifestyle. The goal thus was to promote housing that actively engages residents with their local environment, neighborhood, city, and region. By re-evaluating and investing in our existing neighborhoods, they may become denser, more diverse, and more active while maintaining a smaller footprint on the earth.

Project Description

226 - 232 Highland Street is an adaptable townhome building that is a replicable prototype of efficient residential construction for Boston and similar cities through the Northeast. The building consists of four three-bedroom units, each approximately (1970 SF), in a row house configuration.

The building’s form and orientation serve to maximize natural daylight and solar gain for the photo-voltaic arrays that annually generate more electricity than is needed on site. The approach includes two major strategies for energy reduction: first, a super insulated envelope minimizes heat transfer without relying on mechanical conditioning techniques; second, feedback mechanisms that provide information and prompt to users in the house regarding their energy-related activities. The project is thus efficient in energy, resources, use, and space throughout.

embue Intelegent Buildings provides active monitoring of energy consumption and production for the each unit owner and public facing E+ Dashboard at:

The four unit project annually surpluses over 8,000 kWh of electricty, returning to the grid enough energy to annually power a typical code compliant home.

Quick Facts


Location Boston, Massachusetts
Building Type Multi-family rowhouse
Project Type Net Exporter
Basis of Performance Claim Verified
Bedrooms 3
Bathrooms 2.5
Conditioned Floor Area 1,955 sq ft
Total Cost of Project $1,900,000

Energy Summary

Energy Data Type Verified
Renewable Energy System Type(s) Photovoltaics, Other

LEED Platinum Certified

HERS Index -8
Energy Star Score 5
Annual renewable energy generated 44,400 kWh/year

Envelope and Mechanicals

Subslab assembly

Unconditioned crawl space with vapor barrier with crush stoned at grade.

Foundation wall assembly

10" steel reinforced concrete.

Above grade wall assembly

12” double 2×4 - 24" OC wood stud wall with Zip system sheathing and Siga taping and fiber cement siding on furring. Wall cavity filled with dense-packed cellulose and interior drywall finish.

Door Assembly

Schuco Brand, Low-E, triple paned uPVC doors.

Air Changes per hour, ACH50 0.57 ACH50