Tocci Building Cos. transformed the nearly 150-year-old, 239,000 sf Abbot Mill in Westford, Mass. into a 131-unit residential tower. The project made use of recycled materials from the site, and now features a roof covered by 40,000 sf of solar panels capable of generating 331KW of electricity. It uses numerous techniques to limit heat and cooling loss including sealing and insulating each unit. "Virtual design and construction and BIM technology enabled us to meet the owner’s sustainability requirements, while giving him design flexibility for his tenants," said Laura Handler, Tocci’s director of virtual design and construction.
A number of features of the original Victorian building were restored or replicated. For example, boarded-up saw-tooth skylights, originally constructed to draw natural light into interior spaces for mill workers, were unveiled to allow light to flood common areas and apartment units