The Clarion, a new residential community, is located in the culturally vibrant neighborhood of Grove Hall and Roxbury in downtown Boston. From the outside, it looks just like any other new, chic apartment building, but there’s more to this building than meets the eye. The Clarion, built by The Community Builders, is LEED Certified Gold. The Center for EcoTechnology guided the certification process; let’s take a look at what that entails.
What is LEED?
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is an internationally recognized green building certification system. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, buildings and construction together account for 39% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions (Global Status Report). Finding ways to lower that percentage as much as possible is something we can all do in our homes. The Center for EcoTechnology administers energy audits for existing homes that need help saving energy through Mass Save and HELPS programs, and our High-Performance Building team can help new construction and major remodels be as energy efficient as possible.
LEED certification is one way we do that, and it focuses on key areas of sustainability: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
There are two parts to LEED certification: the level of certification and the type of certification. The level of certification is determined by a point system where each of the key focus areas is associated with actions that can be taken to earn points. The levels are as follows:
- Platinum – 80+ points earned
- Gold – 60-79 points earned
- Silver – 50-59 points earned
- Green – 40-49 points earned
The other piece of LEED certification is the type of certification awarded. There are many different stages of construction and types of construction, and there is a LEED guide for all of them.
- Building Design and Construction
- Interior Design and Construction
- Building Operations and Management
- Neighborhood Development
- Cities and Communities
- LEED Recertification
- LEED Zero
The Clarion’s LEED Story
The Clarion received Gold status. Some of the project’s most sustainable features include:
Indoor Environmental Quality
While incorporating all LEED required measures of indoor air quality, the development of The Clarion also included an enhanced ventilation system and a design that minimizes entry of vehicle exhaust into the building. The LEED required measures include ventilation, combustion venting, air filtering, non-smoking policies, and compartmentalization.
Location and Transport
The Clarion was built while taking environmental impact into account. It was constructed on land that was previously developed and is in a high-density area with a dense street network, easy access to community resources, public transit, and open space. It was awarded an extra point for being a very compact development.
Energy and Atmosphere
The energy efficiency measures taken by the developer were extensive, including a robust building envelope which includes insulating all of the walls between the indoor living space and the outside, making sure that the windows are highly-efficient, the insulation is extensive, and there are no gaps or holes anywhere to let air in or out of the house. The builders also installed mechanical equipment that was at least 15% more efficient than required by code. Measures to reduce energy use while heating water included very high efficiency equipment, insulated water pipes, and low-flow water fixtures. Ventilation energy use was addressed with high-efficiency ventilators that provide fresh air with greatly reduced energy consumption.
Interested in Building to LEED Standards?
If you would like your new building to be LEED certified, we are here to help! CET helps building and design professionals design and build homes and multifamily buildings that meet today’s cutting edge standards for performance.
Contact us to get started today! Call 888-452-8805 or use our Contact Form.