AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects

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Macallen Building Condominiums

This photo shows a view from the west, with the building serving as a gateway to the neighborhood.
Photo credit: John Horner, John Horner Photography


  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Climate Region: 5A: Cool - Humid
  • Building type(s): Multi-unit residential, Retail
  • New construction
  • 350,000 ft2 (32,500 m2)
  • Project scope: a single building
  • Urban setting
  • Completed April 2007
  • Rating: U.S. Green Building Council LEED-NC, v.2/v.2.1--Level: Gold (41 Points)

The Macallen Building, a 140-unit condominium building in South Boston, was designed to incorporate green design as a way of marketing a green lifestyle while at the same time increasing revenue from the project. Located in a primarily industrial area among highways, train and bus routes, and an international airport, the site presented challenges for the project team tackling air and noise pollution, addressing the urban heat-island effect, and creating local green space.

The green building features include innovative technologies that will save over 600,000 gallons of water annually while consuming 30% less electricity than a conventional building. This dedication to sustainable initiatives produces many benefits for everyone involved in the project: developer, architects, engineers, and residents alike.

This project was chosen as an AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten Green Project for 2008. It was submitted by Burt Hill with Office dA in Boston, Massachusetts. Additional project team members are listed on the "Process" screen.

Environmental Aspects

This LEED Gold project has a sloped green roof that controls stormwater drainage, filters pollutants and carbon dioxide out of the air, reduces heating and cooling loads, reduces the project's contribution to the urban heat-island effect, and provides an ecosystem for wildlife. A 20,000-ft2 outdoor terrace incorporated into the building provides similar benefits as the green roof. In addition, a covered garage was integrated into the building to reduce overall square footage and contribution to the urban heat-island effect and stormwater runoff.

The building is well insulated and features several energy-saving technologies, including heat-recovery ventilation and water-source heat pumps. No potable water is used for irrigation on the site. Instead, rainwater and air-conditioner condensate are collected and stored for use. In addition, the project was awarded a LEED innovation point for the use of a system that treats cooling tower blowdown water without the use of chemicals for use in irrigation.

Owner & Occupancy

  • Owned by Pappas Properties, Inc., Corporation, for-profit
  • Occupants: Individual(s)
  • Typically occupied by 210 people, 168 hours per person per week; and 100 visitors per week, 4 hours per visitor per week


Integrated team, Design charrette, Green framework, Simulation, Green specifications, Transportation benefits, Wildlife habitat, Stormwater management, Water harvesting, Efficient fixtures and appliances, Efficient irrigation, Drought-tolerant landscaping, Massing and orientation, Insulation levels, Glazing, Airtightness, HVAC, Lighting control and daylight harvesting, Efficient lighting, Adaptable design, Durability, Benign materials, Recycled materials, Local materials, Certified wood, Connection to outdoors, Daylighting, Ventilation effectiveness, Moisture control, Thermal comfort, Low-emitting materials

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Last updated: 4/22/2008

Our thanks to the ENERGY STAR program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and to the U.S. Department of Energy, and to BuildingGreen, Inc. for hosting the submission and judging forms.

For more information about the AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects, contact AIA/COTE. For help on how to use this Web site, contact .

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