flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

Behnisch Architekten unveils design for energy-positive building in Boston

Behnisch Architekten unveils design for energy-positive building in Boston

The multi-use building for Artists For Humanity that is slated to be the largest energy positive commercial building in New England.


By Behnisch Architekten | November 25, 2014
Rendering courtesy Behnisch Architekten
Rendering courtesy Behnisch Architekten

Behnisch Architekten has unveiled the first image of the EpiCenter Expansion, a new multi-use building for Artists For Humanity (AFH). AFH is a not-for-profit organization that bridges economic, racial, and social divisions by providing under-resourced youth with the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in art and design.

The expansion is slated to be the largest energy positive (E+) commercial building in New England, perhaps the East Coast, because it will generate more energy than it uses. The building opens in November 2016.

The expansion represents a joint commitment by Behnisch Architekten and AFH to build a pioneering, sustainable building that gives energy back to the grid. AFH’s existing EpiCenter, completed in 2004, was Boston’s first LEED Platinum building.

The new multi-story facility will rise in Boston’s burgeoning Innovation District on a former parking lot adjacent to the existing EpiCenter that was donated by neighbor Procter & Gamble. The expansion adds 63,500 sf for ongoing and future programming to the existing 23,500-sf. 

The building’s façade will optimize daylighting, maximize thermal performance, and contribute to the energy production that is required of an E+ building. Large loft-like floors will allow flexibility so the AFH can accommodate diverse programs as it grows. The building’s height and transparency will also allow the community and passersby to see the work and activities taking place within.

Shortly after completing the EpiCenter, AFH reached space capacity, and current youth demand for its program exceeds available space. When the new EpiCenter is finished, it will have three times more space, expanding AFH’s capabilities and visibility in the Innovation District, as well as greater Boston.

The larger facility will accommodate more youth artists, expanded galleries, a community studio, and a maker’s studio that will enhance audience engagement. A retail store and a neighborhood café will open onto a new 1.5-acre public park. The existing space will be updated.

AFH’s Executive/Artistic Director Susan Rodgerson said that AFH chose Behnisch because “the goals of our organization and their experience align so well. This building cements our organizational sustainability and creates a flagship building for our growing programs. We were impressed by Behnisch Architekten’s experience in sustainability, and they also bring a fresh eye to design. We’re excited to embark on this project together.”

Robert Matthew Noblett, AIA, NCARB, Partner-in-Charge of Behnisch Architekten’s Boston office said, “The AFH project is a unique building type with a distinct social mission. This is where our firm excels. It is an opportunity for us to point well-designed architecture with an overt environmental agenda at a youthful audience that may not often be exposed to it. We’re excited that AFH is willing to explore building concepts that push the boundaries of what a sustainable urban building can be, and to create a building that is an integral part of their overall educational mission.”

The project team includes Transsolar (climate engineer), Buro Happold (MEP engineer), and Knippers Helbig (structural engineer).

Related Stories

Multifamily Housing | Aug 17, 2022

California strip mall goes multifamily residential

Tiny Tim Plaza started out as a gas station and a dozen or so stores. Now it’s a thriving mixed-use community, minus the gas station.

| Aug 17, 2022

Focusing on building envelope design and commissioning

Building envelope design is constantly evolving as new products and assemblies are developed.

| Aug 17, 2022

New York to deploy 30,000 window-sized electric heat pumps in city-owned apartments

New York officials recently announced the state and the city will invest $70 million to roll out 30,000 window-sized electric heat pumps in city-owned apartments.

| Aug 17, 2022

IBM’s former office buildings in Boca Raton turn into a modern tech campus

Built in 1968, the Boca Raton Innovation Campus (BRiC), at 1.7 million square feet, is the largest office campus in Florida.

| Aug 16, 2022

DOE funds 18 projects developing tech to enable buildings to store carbon

The Department of Energy announced $39 million in awards for 18 projects that are developing technologies to transform buildings into net carbon storage structures.

| Aug 16, 2022

Multifamily holds strong – for now

All leading indicators show that the multifamily sector is shrugging off rising interest rates, inflationary pressures and other economic challenges, and will continue to be a torrid market for design and construction firms for at least the rest of 2022.

| Aug 16, 2022

Cedars-Sinai Urgent Care Clinic’s high design for urgent care

The new Cedars-Sinai Los Feliz Urgent Care Clinic in Los Angeles plays against type, offering a stylized design to what are typically mundane, utilitarian buildings. 

| Aug 15, 2022

IF you build it, will they come? The problem of staff respite in healthcare facilities

Architects and designers have long argued for the value of respite spaces in healthcare facilities.

| Aug 15, 2022

Boston high-rise will be largest Passive House office building in the world

Winthrop Center, a new 691-foot tall, mixed-use tower in Boston was recently honored with the Passive House Trailblazer award.

Architects | Aug 12, 2022

Goettsch Partners names James Zheng, CEO, and Paul de Santis, Co-design Director

Global architecture firm Goettsch Partners (GP) announces that James Zheng, AIA, LEED AP, has been named CEO, and Paul De Santis, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, joins James Goettsch, FAIA, as co-design directors for the practice. As the primary partners in the firm, the three have worked closely together for more than 17 years. Goettsch will also continue to serve as chairman while Zheng now assumes the full CEO title as well as president.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category




halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021

 


Magazine Subscription
Subscribe

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe

Follow BD+C: