Design, Environment, and Resiliency

Environment & Sustainability Commitments

  • Resiliency: The site will be designed to address current and future flood risk. Should funding allow, the building will strive to be a community resiliency hub by providing reliable backup power in the case of a power outage.
  • Environmentally Positive: The building and site will be designed with as many carbon sequestrating, and regenerative materials as possible, with the aim to minimize embodied carbon. Demolished building materials will be reused where feasible. New building materials will be specified that reduce life cycle greenhouse gas emission. The landscaping will be designed using approaches that allow for carbon sequestration in the plants and soil.
  • Low Energy Building Design: The building will be designed and built to achieve Passive House (PHIUS+) certification and striving to be Net Zero energy use or carbon neutral. The aim is to provide on-site renewable energy generation.
  • Healthy and Human Centered Design: The site and building will be designed to protect abutting properties, connect the residents and the public to Collins Cove and maximize community open space and. It will be universally accessible. Material selection will also focus on healthier materials and indoor air quality.

Climate Resiliency

The building will be well above the 2070 projections of 13.5-14.5 feet above sea level, with the lobby level at 15 feet above sea level, and the apartments starting at 22 feet above sea level. As the building will be Passive House designed and extremely energy efficient, residents will be able to stay in their apartments during storms and temperatures in the building should stay at safe levels even during power outages. Additionally, at 11 feet above sea level, the new Leefort Terrace basement garage level will be above current flood levels of 10 feet. In larger flooding events, cars may need to be temporarily relocated offsite.

The design team evaluated several well regarded databases and modelling tools to come up with the future projections, and chose the most conservative estimates as the basis of design. The Massachusetts Coast Flood Risk Model (MC-FRM) projects sea level rise for 2070 to rise 4.2-ft, equivalent to elevation 14.2 feet above sea level.  Further studies by the Woods Hole Group for the inundation depths during the projected 2070 1% return period (100-year storm event) project flooding at the project site to approximately elevation 14.5 feet.  A separate analysis based on the MA Resilience Design Tool outputs project the 2070 1% return period flood elevation (100-year
storm event) to be 13.5 feet.