Sustainability

Davis Square Architects, Inc. is committed to incorporating sustainable features in all of our developments. During the conceptual design phase, we facilitate “green charrettes” to identify and assess achievable sustainable options. Once a building has been occupied, our firm- working with our engineers and other green consultants- conducts post-construction testing, commissioning, and energy performance studies on a number of projects. The results have shown that relatively low initial costs for many green features can result in surprisingly rapid payback periods.

Davis Square Architects is currently a "green" consultant to the Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development, the Massachusetts Technology Council, Enterprise Foundation's Green Communities Program, and the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation.  Fifteen members of our staff are LEED Accredited Professionals.

Sustainable Accomplishments

  • Linden Street, Somerville, MA: The use of damp-spray cellulose and Icynene insulation allows this environmentally-friendly neighborhood to use 43% less energy.
  • Brunswick-Holborn & Columbia Wood Apartments, Dorchester, MA: All ten renovated buildings received the highest Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score from Energy Star Homes, indicating 50-70% improvements in efficiency.
  • Trolley Square, Cambridge, MA: Storm water retention tanks installed beneath the corner park reduce the flow of storm water into the City's sewer system. Clean storm water from the tanks is used to irrigate plantings in the central plaza. Trolley Square also includes a 45 kilowatt photovoltaic array.
  • Columbia Terrace Apartments, Cambridge, MA and Talbot Bernard Family & Senior Housing, Dorchester, MA: Demolition and construction debris was salvaged for other uses, including landscaping.
  • Hope House, Roxbury, MA: Geo-thermal wells linked to a rooftop photovoltaic array provide efficient heating and cooling to this 35,000 square foot recovery home for men.

"Green" Success

Our environmentally-responsible designs have received recognition from the American Institute of Architects, Boston Society of Architects, Enterprise Foundation, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Design, Office for Commonwealth Development, Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, Sierra Club, Environmental Design + Construction magazine, Home Depot Foundation, Multi-Family Executive Magazine, and numerous other prestigious organizations and publications.

Our projects have been honored for excellence in smart growth, sustainable design, urban brownfield development, energy efficiency, and overall project design. For a complete list, see our Awards page.

Sustainable Design Services

Davis Square Architects provides the following services to ensure sustainability:

  • Green Screen evaluates programming plans to determine the most promising green opportunities on a particular site or building
  • Green Charrette is a meeting during the conceptual design phase where stakeholders brainstorm ideas for energy and resource efficiency and generate goals and development strategies to accomplish them
  • Capital Needs Assessment focuses on energy saving opportunities, sustainable improvements, and simple payback analysis
  • LEED Documentation Services ensures fulfillment of LEED certification requirements
  • Life Cycle Analysis assesses long-term cost/payback of sustainable features so that programming goals can be prioritized
  • Partnerships with LEED-Accredited consultants, clerks, and contractors ensure that each project will have an effective “green team”
  • Commissioning of building envelope and building systems confirms that design specifications have been met in the completed project
  • Post-Occupancy Assessment of actual energy usage/savings provides ongoing data for future design refinements
  • Sustainable Funding Consultation assists owners in successfully seeking targeted financial support