Boston enacts new climate resiliency rules for buildings

New policy is likely a first in the nation.

June 26, 2018 |

Boston has enacted new rules to help buildings withstand climate change.

The Boston Planning & Development Agency approved the new rules recently with the aims of helping to minimize flooding, keep the lights on in more buildings during power outages, and make it easier to upgrade street lights and other public works. Developments of 1.5 million sf or larger will need to assess installing an on-site power plant, and would have to build one if it’s financially feasible.

The largest developments will also have to consolidate all wiring for cable, Internet, and other telecom services into one underground tube to minimize disruption to streets and sidewalks during repairs. Any new development greater than 100,000 sf will have to retain more rainfall than currently required to help prevent runoff during storms from contributing to floods.

Developers of projects greater than 50,000 sf would need to install extra wiring and technology for smart traffic signals and street lights if the projects require new or improved signals or lights. The rules will undergo a two-year testing period.

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