GREENING BOSTON CITY HALL
Boston City Hall is at the heart of our city & government center.
It has many problems, including its wasteful energy use. We started to envision a sustainable design for the building at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Our Green City Team with Henry MacLean AIA, Franziska Amacher FAIA, Gerry Ives, Architect & Mark Kelley PE to continue the work.
Our proposed sustainable strategies:
A new envelope connecting the now exposed to weather upper part of the building to the base, by linking the Towers & the Atrium with an added story and new roof. This enables a new Heat Recovery ventilation system using the stack effect.
Set back this enclosure is respectful of the historic facade design. Openings in the base adds more transparency.
Carbon neutral explorations & improved space efficiency by adding over 130,000 square foot of usable & leasable space within City Hall. Enclosing open space also significantly reduces the Carbon footprint of the building.
Envelope improvements, green roofs, localized personalized conditioning & improved day lighting from opened up floor plates in atria reduce energy.
Design for healthy interiors with green materials & improved air circulation. Adding color with Art and wood finishes.
More openness & accessibility of the building through program changes: By changing garages to commercial spaces in the base along Congress Street. - by adding openings in exterior walls - through clearer circulation paths informing people how to use the building as a workplace and as a Civic Center,
We calculated that these strategies save the city one million dollars per year. We presented our strategies to the Boston City Council.
The Boston Greenfest is a yearly event for over ten years on Boston City Hall Plaza and welcomes 50,000 visitors with 200 exhibitors and 60 live performances. It is an educational festival that engages the divers community of the Boston area to celebrate the many new ways we can create a better world by greening our life styles, neighborhoods, and communities.
Franziska helped the 'Foundation for a Green Future' conceive its' goals, themes and form during the first 5 years. She also designed the layout of tents and exhibits over the existing site to make the festival inviting.
News Organization CNet's Office Renovation
An entire slab of a high rise is taken up by CNet. Because offices at CNet were small perimeter offices and conference rooms each with their own windows, the sea of cubicles in the middle behind high partitions got little or no daylight. There was practically no space to interact.
With a very limited budget, we changed the front entrance to a large glass door and partition, added social space near the entrance and proposed to remove one quarter of the partitions for a more living room type environment to encourage employees to interact in this setting. To give the interior work area, access to daylight., the doors to all private offices along the perimeter were replaced with glass doors.
Therapy Office at the Overlooking Conservation Land
This small building was transformed from a storage shed to a professional office. The building lacked the connection to its most therapeutic views.
We designed a sequence of spaces to that leads the patient from the entrance through an "introverted" waiting space with a skylight through a deep protective bookshelves wall into the light filled therapy room with its wonderful views of ever changing nature.
Harvesting solar heat is one of the green strategies with which we have designed.
Our projects include:
Passive solar heat gain via building design
Sun rooms, green houses,
Solar siphon panels
Thermal solar panels for domestic hot water and for hydronic space heating
Electricity generation via photovoltaic panels
Hybrid thermal and photovoltaic solar panels
Planning and Design of the “International Children’s Peace Garden”, urban agriculture at the Ford School, 2007.
We worked with a middle school in Lynn, MA to transform an asphalted school yard into a garden paradise. The transformed yard is a wonderful tool for children to learn about botany, math, healthy diets and let them produce award winning vegetables. We are currently working with another group inspired by this; a similar community garden was started in a nearby park for community gardens that promotes community among neighbors.
This neighborhood park had fallen into disrepair and was unsafe. Families have taken back this park from drug dealers to neighbors who are immigrants from all over the world. They plant and grow food together and share knowledge about growing and sharing food from various cultures and learn how to be Americans.
We helped them in planning the garden layout and playgrounds.