Learn more about the businesses, organizations, and individuals nominated for the 2017 Mayor’s Greenovate Award nominees in the Sustainable Mobility category.
Energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives are critical to meeting Boston’s GHG reduction goals. Whether it’s a single-family home, a tripledecker, or a large building downtown — every action matters. As residents and businesses continue to take advantage of incentives from our utility partners, voluntary commitments and leadership above and beyond will be what inspires others to take action and drive the greatest reductions.
You can vote for your favorite Greenovate Award nominees now through April 7th. Votes will determine the top 3 finalists, and the winner will be announced live at Greenovate’s Earth Day Party on April 19th — be sure to save the date and stay tuned for more details. Vote for Greenovate Award winners
Grey Lee – Downtown
Grey has worked for the U.S. Green Building Council MA Chapter for nearly five years where he has worked with building professionals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He is involved in the cooperative economic movement, co-managing a small residential group house and supporting similar organizations in the area. He is committed to leading at the juncture of the building industry and social change. He is in the pursuit to build organizational capacity and literacy of design sciences to enable any given citizen, any school board, any politician and especially any real estate owner to demand superior buildings, with their associated social benefits, for their communities.
Second Church in Dorchester – Dorchester
Members of Second Church in Dorchester and other community leaders launched Codman Square Goes Solar, an initiative focused on expanding access to solar to low-moderate income homeowners. As part of the 2016 Boston Interfaith Community Solar Project, Second Church in Dorchester recently installed a solar array on their historic church building. Through this program, anyone with a qualifying roof can participate as a solar host for no cost, and receive electricity savings. The coalition is seeking additional homeowners and property owners to sign-up to host solar through the Codman Square Goes Solar initiative and or participate in the Community Solar initiative where additional panels can be added to the church roof for the benefit of the community.
Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts – Downtown
Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts has invested over $2 million dollars into green infrastructure improvements on over 100 Episcopal churches in eastern Massachusetts, educing greenhouse gas emissions by over 50% at some churches. The improvements have ranged from low-flow faucet aerators to installing new HVAC systems. The majority of these projects have been carried about by the help of hundreds of volunteers, engaging the community while improving energy efficiency across buildings.
The InterContinental Hotel in Boston – Downtown
The InterContinental Hotel in Boston has worked to increase their energy efficiency by installing LED light bulbs, a more efficient kitchen exhaust fan, and kitchen hood sensors. Within guest rooms the hotel replaced shower heads with low flow shower heads and installed new aerators.
Stephanie Horowitz – Downtown
Stephanie Horowitz AIA, a Boston resident, co-founded ZeroEnergy Design, a custom green architecture firm focused exclusively on high performance homes and buildings. For the last decade, the firm has targeted at least 50% better energy performance than required by code for all projects. Under her leadership ZED has consistently both exceeded the firm’s energy goal and achieved beautiful design, garnering multiple awards including Best of Boston Home 2017 – Best Sustainable Architect. The average energy reduction of the firm’s design projects during 2016 was 84% according to AIA2030 metrics. Many of the firm’s projects produce as much clean energy annually as they consume (net zero), and several even produce more energy each year (net positive). To learn more about ZED visit their website: www.ZeroEnergy.com
WegoWise – Beacon Hill
WegoWise is a leading, Boston-based energy software company providing utility tracking, benchmarking, and building analytics to multifamily and commercial buildings. WegoWise ensures energy efficiency and sustainability by improving a property’s environmental, social, financial, and governance performance. Properties achieve environmental sustainability while lowering costs, making smarter capital investments, and increasing asset value by uniquely benchmarking buildings against themselves, their portfolio, and their peers. WegoWise provides comprehensive, accurate, and reliable building analytics that lead to better energy and environmental decisions, benefiting investors, property owners, and tenants. Learn more about WegoWise here.
USGBC Residential Green Building Committee – Downtown
USGBC Residential Green Building Committee is a diverse group of individuals from the building industry that brainstorms ways to improve building energy efficiency. The group hosts events such as lectures and building tours while also moving forward a clean energy agenda through energy incentive permitting and advocating for a “green listing” section in the MLS real estate listings.
Friends of Post Office Square – Downtown
In 2016, Friends of Post Office Square entered into a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement with MIT and Boston Medical Center, to purchase 100% of the output from a solar farm in North Carolina. Friends of Post Office Square not only now offsets 100% of its electricity with renewable energy, but is notably the smallest utility-scale PPA offtaker in the US! By aggregating with larger users, Post Office Square shows Main Street, mom and pops and other small users that anyone can get into the large scale renewable energy arena and make a difference.
Boston Public Library – Citywide
Recent capital improvements to three of library’s iconic buildings have yielded nearly $50,000 in annual utility savings for the lifetime of the installed improvements. The improvements will also eliminate over 140 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year, which is equivalent to removing more than 40 cars from the road for a year.
Billy Perry – East Boston
Billy Perry has led his family of four (and four pets) in reducing their household electricity consumption by 50% over the past year, while also switching to 100% renewable/green energy. Billy’s exemplary model of how to reduce consumption has inspired many friends, neighbors, and other community members. He has instilled responsible behavior in his children by incentivizing them for their electricity reductions — they get a financial cut of the savings! Besides conscious living, this has also caused healthy competition among the children. Through his goal-oriented, outspoken, and transparent approach, Billy has enabled people to act. He takes a clear stance against the consumption of fossil fuels, and pushes us all to learn from his example through creative incentives to change behavior.
NB Development – Brighton
NB Development completed new headquarters building in 2016 that is Platinum LEED certified. NB Development Group is hoping to create a health and wellness neighborhood in the Boston Landing area, where they will continue these endeavors through constructing a new rink for the Bruins, a boutique hotel, retail and restaurant outlets, and a track and field complex, all following green building practices. Jim Halliday, managing director of NB Development, drove this message home, in saying, “This designation is in keeping with not only the mission of New Balance, but also as the initial flagship project of Boston Landing, it highlights the spirit and energy we envision for this newly emerging district and ongoing commitment to our neighborhood.”
New Balance’s building secured LEED Platinum certification due to their excellence in the areas of energy efficient design, water use reduction, sustainable site selection and development, responsible materials selection and waste management, and enhanced indoor environmental quality.
The Langham, Boston – Downtown
The Langham, Boston, a historic building has undergone energy efficiency upgrades throughout the building. The 318 guestroom hotel invested in a number of innovative technologies and upgrades to become the first hotel in North America to be EarthCheck Gold certified. Some of the upgrades include replacing windows with tinted glass, installing light sensors, replacing the kitchen hood and exhaust fans, and installing a ChargePoint charging station for electric cars among other upgrades. As a result of these many combined efforts, we have been able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4.6kg CO2 –e per guest night, which is equivalent to taking 721 small cars off the road each year. We continue to innovate and make improvements to help the property to be a leader in sustainability practices.
The Gas Leaks Allies – Citywide
The Gas Leaks Allies achieved real success in 2016 in our campaign to fix gas leaks by mounting a creative, sustained campaign pressing utilities to accelerate repairs.
The Problem. Boston’s underground gas pipes were laid in the 1800s and are among the oldest and leakiest in the US. The leaked gas is methane – 86x more potent than carbon dioxide in its first 20 years in the atmosphere. Not only is the gas a powerful climate-disrupter, it also kills trees, causes respiratory problems, and can explode. By the utilities’ own estimates, Boston had nearly 1,500 leaks in 2015.
Who We Are. In 2015, the Gas Leaks Allies coalition was launched – including representatives from Mothers Out Front (convener and chair), Clean Water Action, Sierra Club, BCAN, HEET, BU professor Nathan Phillips, Conservation Law Foundation, Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Friends of the Public Garden, Green Justice Coalition, Community Labor United and 10 other groups. The group has met every other week for two years to design and implement a focused gas leaks campaign, with each organization bringing complementary skills including community engagement know-how, legal and policy expertise, scientific knowledge, and connections with key constituencies like labor.
What We Did. We built community awareness in a variety of creative ways: in addition to offering gas leaks slideshow presentations and writing letters-to-the-editor, we held a birthday party for Boston’s oldest leak, invited people on gas leaks “safaris,” organized leak-tagging events that engaged hundreds of people (including youth), and coordinated a twitter-storm targeting the utilities for their inaction on high-volume “super-emitter” leaks. We also engaged politically. We met with 11 of Boston’s 13 City Councilors and with their help, drafted and shepherded a gas leaks ordinance through the council. At the two public hearings for the ordinance, we turned out over 100 supporters, and organized effective testimony. We also pressed for stronger state legislation on gas leaks, working with legislators and their staff and attending and testifying at public hearings organized by the Departments of Environmental Protection and Public Utilities.
Our Accomplishments. These efforts resulted in several key successes in 2016:
- Passage of an energy omnibus bill including language requiring utilities to fix not only explosive leaks, but those that have a significant environmental impact. Governor Baker also issued an executive order on climate change that specifically included gas leaks.
- Enactment of a new City of Boston gas leaks ordinance requiring expedited, better-coordinated and safer gas leaks repair.
- Agreement by National Grid, Eversource, and Columbia Gas to work with us on a study of how best to identify super-emitters so that they can be targeted for repair. The study includes testing new technology to accurately measure methane emissions and sharing results nationally.
Kimberly Le – Roslindale
Kimberly is the Manager of Network Partnerships at Boston based EnergySage. She is also the Chair of the Residential Green Building Committee at the USGBC Massachusetts chapter. While she has grown EnergySage to a network of over 425 installers in 33 states, and as Chair of her committee has significantly raised awareness of the benefits of green building through education and outreach activities, it is her intangibles that cause Kimberly to stand out from the crowd.
Skanska USA – South Boston
Across the nation and in Boston, Skanska is staunchly committed to the triple bottom line of environmental sustainability, looking at the social, economic and environmental aspects of a given project.
Each of Skanska’s buildings: Adds value to the public realm; Incorporates sophisticated, pioneering systems that decrease energy costs and improve employee productivity, health and happiness; and, respects the environment. Skanska develops all its buildings to LEED® Gold certification or above.
Skanska’s sustainable outlook is prominently evidenced through its creation of Boston’s Most Sustainable Block in The Seaport. Comprised of 101 Seaport, a 17-story, 440,000-square-foot office building with LEED Platinum certification that enabled anchor tenant PwC to decrease its ecological footprint by 12 percent due to efficient floor-plate design; 121 Seaport, a 17-story, 400,000-square-foot, Class-A office building targeting LEED Platinum certification with a unique elliptical design that will enhance the area’s architecture and reduce solar heat gain when completed in 2018; and, Watermark Seaport, a 346-unit luxury loft and tower building with LEED Gold certification.
See here for a photo: https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2017/01/31/seaport/VV8WKLkkrgaJVIfncm5AkN/story.html
Each building on Skanska’s block allows tenants to save significantly on water and energy costs while respecting the environment. The buildings also encourage people to become engaged in sustainability with lobby dashboards for monitoring energy and water use.
A few examples…
101 Seaport features the city’s first large-scale, commercial, triple-glazed floor-to-ceiling windows that conserve energy /provide superior occupant comfort. The tower boasts Boston’s first active chilled beam system, which Skanska created. Other features include waste water reuse technologies and a rainwater reclamation system that yields an approximately 40 percent potable water reduction, as well as sophisticated finishes made from reclaimed wood from Boston Harbor’s salvaged piers and locally sourced stone.
121 Seaport is as eye-catching as it is energy efficient. The building’s elliptical shape requires 10 percent less skin when compared to conventional buildings; reduces solar exposure decreasing energy usage by 15 percent, and decreases the effects of wind loads by 40 percent. 121 Seaport’s elevated ceilings and soft edges produce a distinct identity. High ceiling heights also allow more sunlight to reach nearby public spaces and parks.
Watermark Seaport’s achieves a 25 percent reduction in energy from baseline; a 30 percent reduction in water use from baseline; and a 25 percent reduction in GHG emissions.
Skanska understands that the buildings it creates have a purpose beyond the confines of their own walls. As part of Skanska’s work in Seaport, the company will deliver a 70-foot-wide, tree-lined retail corridor dubbed “Harbor Way” that will run between 101 Seaport and 121 Seaport.
Dennis Carlberg – Fenway/Kenmore
Dennis Carlberg was hired as BU’s first Director of Sustainability to help establish its sustainability program, and reduce the University’s environmental footprint by integrating sustainability in education, research, and operations. During his tenure, Dennis has played a leading role on the City’s Green Ribbon Commission’s (GRC) Higher Education Working Group, and is chair of BU’s Climate Action Plan Energy Working Group and Energy Efficiency Steering Committee.
BU is one of the largest property owners and energy consumers in the city – Dennis’ leadership has helped BU reduce its GHG 27% since the 2006, and has helped qualify BU for the Mayor’s Carbon Cup.
Dennis also co-chairs the Climate Resilience Committee at the Urban Land Institute-Boston, serves on the Climate Ready Boston Infrastructure Advisory Group, the Massachusetts Statewide Resilience Master Plan Technical Advisory Group, and the Museum of Science Environmental Sustainability Committee.
Through Dennis’ leadership, Boston University was awarded ‘Sustainable Food Leadership’ (2012) and ‘Climate Preparedness and Resiliency’ (2015) Greenovate Awards.