This week’s structure once again resides in our neck of the woods, Cambridge MA. This modern beauty is a product of Boehm Architecture, known for their expert green building and energy efficiency practices. Naturally, eco-friendly construction is evident in this healthy home, and Boehm’s recent success is probably due to their expertise in sustainability and qualaity workmanship.
This project was a transformation of a battered three-unit apartment building into two townhouse-style condominiums. The frame and foundation of the two condos were built out of recycled materials, laying down the groundwork for a thoroughly sustainable home. The walls, roof, and basement were all heavily insulated with an array of safe building materials. Additionally, the home features whole-house and ceiling fans, great for air circulation.
The heating and cooling is provided by a ductless mini-split air conditioner and an ultra efficient gas boiler. The boiler also indirectly provides the hot water for the home. What’s more, this place boasts on-site water retention, and a permeable driveway, meaning that the area will soak up rainwater instead of letting it overflow. This feature is particualrly facinating, and is seldomly mentioned in sustainable architecture. Many of the landscaping materials used today, such as concrete or asphalt, don’t allow any water retention. Furthermore, in times of heavy rain, un-permeable landscapes exacerbate flooding.
This structure received a HERS index score of 59. In other words, this home is 41% more efficient than other new code-compliant homes. Pair that with it’s sleek modern design and stunning interior, and you’ve got a House of the Week everyone can appreciate.
Photo credit: Mara Brod