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

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

Winthrop Center, 691-foot tall, mixed-use tower, has 812,000 sf of Passive House office space.

By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | August 15, 2022
Winthrop Center ext 1
Courtesy MP Boston.

Winthrop Center, a new 691-foot tall, mixed-use tower in Boston was recently honored with the Passive House Trailblazer award. Built to stringent Passive House standards, the structure’s 812,000 sf of office space will be the largest office built to those standards in the world when it is completed in 2023. The project models “the most energy efficient solution for large scale buildings” to date, according to a news release.

“Passive House is the route to zero operational carbon, which is why Winthrop Center is a globally important building,” said Craig Stevenson, Passive House Network board chair. The project “is paving the path for developers searching for more energy-efficient solutions and for cities and states trying to meet carbon reduction goals.”

A typical Class A building in Boston’s existing stock uses 150% more energy than Winthrop Center, and existing LEED Platinum buildings in Boston use 60% more energy than the building’s office space is projected to use. The project will also deliver 510,000 sf of residential space, including 317 luxury residences located in the center of Boston.

Winthrop Center will be the most energy efficient large-scale building ever built in a cold climate, the release says. It incorporates a well-insulated building façade, air-tight exterior envelope, and advanced energy recovery ventilation (ERV) system for the office space. “In addition to eliminating heating and cooling inefficiencies, this integrated system allows the building to deliver better managed and higher quality air, positively impacting employee health, productivity, and sense of well-being,” the release says.

The project is also projected to achieve WELL Gold certification and WIRED Platinum, the highest quality rating of a building’s infrastructure and Internet connections. Tenants and owners will be equipped with integrated touchless smart building solutions including a network of on-demand space and services. Features include touchless mobile access for elevators, entry and turnstiles, guest access, conference pod scheduling, pet amenities, parking, and food and beverage.

The ground floor will include a 24,000-sf gathering space called “The Connector” that will invite the public in for certain events. The building will include “a world-class fitness center, and top-tier amenities” through a 25,000-sf common area known as “The Collective.”

The structure will feature plentiful natural light with 10-foot-high windows and a limited column structural design with unobstructed sight lines. The office space will provide a flexible and adaptable environment with distinctive floorplans. Tenants will be able to access privacy and adjacent collaboration in different wings of each floor, while staying connected to common and community spaces.

On the building team:
Owner and/or developer: MP Boston
Design architect: Handel Architects
Architect of record: Handel Architects
MEP engineer: WSP, Boston Office
Structural engineer: DESimone Engineering
General contractor/construction manager: Suffolk Construction

Winthrop Center ext 2
Courtesy MP Boston.
Winthrop Center ext 3
Courtesy MP Boston.


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