Energy Efficiency In Boston’s Historic Buildings: Challenges And Solutions – Energy renovation in historic houses. Stephanie Horowitz was recruited by the Boston Globe staff to visit a historic home in Somerville and share her thoughts on how to improve its energy efficiency toward net zero performance. Stephanie joined air sealing specialist Jason Taylor of Byggmeister Associates and contractor Mark Philben of Charlie Allen Renovations on the tour. The group provided recommendations for attic and basement insulation, using a blower door test to check for air leaks, proper interior and exterior wall insulation, custom-built storm windows, and more. The piece provides relevant cost information on each topic, giving the reader a sense of what a renovation to an older home could set them back. The question remains – if net-zero is your goal, is retrofitting an old home the most sensible route?
The popular online resource for architects and designers, Archinect, just selected ZED’s Boston Family Loft as one of their 10 favorite architectural residential projects in the greater Boston area. The list was released as part of their month-long Boston Spotlight and will be followed next week by Boston’s outstanding academic and workplace projects.
- 1 Energy Efficiency In Boston’s Historic Buildings: Challenges And Solutions
- 2 Boston City Hall
- 3 Aligning Historic Preservation And Energy Efficiency
- 4 Massachusetts Should Be Converting 100,000 Homes A Year To Electric Heat. The Actual Number: 461
Energy Efficiency In Boston’s Historic Buildings: Challenges And Solutions
The two-story Boston Family Loft was originally built in the 1990s. ZED transformed this space for a growing family in an urban setting, adding a fresh, new look and increased functionality. Read all about it here – LOFT BOSTON FAMILY CASE STUDY.
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John Mucciarone, Senior Project Manager, Design, will share his experience in historic renovations at an upcoming lecture hosted by Passivhaus Maine. The event will also include architects Oliver Klein of 475 and Jeremy Avellino of Bright Common.
The lecture will address key challenges such as exterior appearance, preservation of original features, complexities of insulating brick exteriors, ventilation, installation of distribution systems, and materials sourcing that affect historic building renovations in Maine and other communities.
John will present his case study of a Victorian-era row house in Boston’s South End neighborhood. The historic brownstone was redesigned by Design experts for modern living and energy efficiency while retaining its original architectural details.
The event will also have a question and answer session for the audience to interact with the speakers.
Boston City Hall
John has over 19 years of experience as an architect and has worked in the design and construction of single-family residences, multi-family housing, small institutional buildings and academic buildings. He is a Certified Passive House Consultant and a LEED Accredited Professional.
Passivhaus Maine is a non-profit organization committed to reducing carbon emissions, fossil fuel dependence and winter heating costs in Maine. He works to support the passive house industry and community in Maine, North America and internationally.
WGBH investigative reporter interviews Design’s Stephanie Horowitz and others about energy efficiency, energy code as a tool for improvement, and recently constructed buildings in Boston.
Stephanie Horowitz, President of Passive House Massachusetts, welcomes the crowd in Boston to the opening night (last night) of the PHIUS Passive House Conference 2018. (Sold Out).
Aligning Historic Preservation And Energy Efficiency
SUMMARY | Can you make your home more energy efficient while still respecting its historic character? Yes! Panelists Stephanie Horowitz (Design), Paul Eldrenkamp (Byggmeister) and Nick Falkoff (Auburndale Builders) discuss how to blend comfort, carbon footprint and conservation. Suggested donation, $5 per person.
Experts (including ZED’s Stephanie Horowitz) examine the financial, political, legal and technical challenges of how we make net zero carbon construction happen in Boston.
The 2016 Passive House Symposium was a tremendous success! Speakers, vendors and attendees all gathered at District Hall in Boston for a full day of amazing content and knowledge sharing. The panels covered a variety of topics, including the legislative process, passive house sales, wall sections and multifamily buildings.
Below left to right: Panelists Senator William Brownsberger, Emily Norton, Director of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Eugenia Gibbons, Clean Energy Program Director of the Mass Energy Consumers Alliance.
Massachusetts Should Be Converting 100,000 Homes A Year To Electric Heat. The Actual Number: 461
Below: Panel moderator Stephanie Horowitz, Passive House Massachusetts Board of Directors and Managing Director of Design.
Sunday’s Boston Globe magazine interviews Stephanie Horowitz of Design, seeking her design opinion on unique lighting solutions. Boston City Hall is the seat of government for the city of Boston, Massachusetts. It includes the offices of the Mayor of Boston and the Boston City Council. The Currt Hall was built in 1968 to take over the functions of the Old Town Hall.
It was designed by the architectural firms of Kallmann McKinnell & Knowles and Campbell, Aldrich & Nulty, with engineers LeMessurier Consultants.
Together with the surrounding square, the City Hall is part of the Governmt Cter complex. This project was a major urban redesign effort in the 1960s, after Boston demolished an area of substandard housing and businesses.
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The building has been the subject of widespread public condemnation and is sometimes called one of the ugliest buildings in the world. Calls for the structure to be demolished were regularly made before construction was completed.
Architects and critics alike considered it a masterpiece, with a survey from 1976 finding that professional architects describe Boston City Hall as one of the proudest achievements of American architecture.
Who co-founded Kallmann McKinnell & Knowles. In 1962, they won an international two-stage design competition for the building.
Their design, chosen from 256 entries by a jury of prominent architects and businessmen, departed from the more conventional designs of most other trials (typical of clean geometric shapes lined with sleek curtain walls) to present a articulated structure that expresses the building’s internal functions in broken, cantilevered concrete forms.
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While hovering above the wide brick plaza, City Hall was designed to create a functional and accessible place for the city’s government, with the most used public activities all located on the lower levels directly connected to the plaza. The main civic spaces, including the Council Chamber, the library and the mayor’s office, were one level above, and the administrative offices were located above them, behind the repeated brackets of the top floors.
At a time when monumentality was usually considered an appropriate attribute for government architecture, the architects sought to create a bold statement of modern civic democracy, set within the historic city of Boston. While the architects looked to Le Corbusier’s predecessors, particularly the cloister of Sainte Marie de La Tourette, with its cantilevered upper floors, exposed concrete structure and a similar interpretation of public and private spaces, they also drew from the example of the Middle Ages and the Raissance. Italian town halls and public spaces, as well as from Boston’s bold 19th-century granite structures (including Alexander Parris’s Quincy Market just to the east).
Many of the elements in the design are considered abstractions of classical design elements, such as the coffers and architrave on concrete columns. Kallmann, McKinnell and Knowles partnered with two other Boston architectural firms and a general firm to form “Architects and Engineers for the City of Boston” as the unit responsible for construction, which ran from 1963 to 1968.
The architects designed the City Hall divided into three sections, aesthetically and also according to use. The lowest part of the building, the brick-faced base, which is partially built into a hill, consists of four levels of city government departments, to which the public has extensive access. Brick largely runs through the exterior of this section, and it is joined with materials such as flagstone inside. The use of these terra cotta products relates to the building’s location on one of Boston’s original slopes, expressed in the brick-paved plaza, as well as Boston’s historic brick architecture in the adjacent Sears Cresct Block and Blackstone Block. building across Congress Street.
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The intermediate part of the City Hall houses the elected public officials: the Mayor, members of the City Council and the Council Chamber. The sheer scale and extension of these interior spaces from the outside, rather than being buried deep within the building, reveal important public functions to passers-by and aim to create a visual and symbolic connection between the city and its government. The effect is of a small city of sheltered concrete structures raised above the square: large forms housing important civic activities. The consoles are supported by exterior columns, spaced alternately at 14-foot-4-inch (4.37 m) and 28-foot-8-inch (8.74 m), which are reinforced with steel.
The upper floors contain city office space, which is used by civil servants not often visited by the public, such as the administrative and planning departments. The bureaucratic nature is reflected in the standardized window patterns, separated by precast concrete wings, with an operating plan typical of modern office buildings. (The later enclosure of much of this space into separate offices contributed to the arrangement problems of those floors.)
The upper part of the brick base was designed as a raised courtyard connecting the fourth floor of the city hall with the square. Safety concerns led city officials in the early years to block the entrance to the courtyard and exterior stairs to Congress Street and the plaza. The yard is occasionally opened for events (such as the 1986 Boston Celtics championship celebration). After the September 11 attacks in 2001, security was further increased. The northern trans, facing the square, was
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