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2015 AIA COTE Top 10: E+ 226-232 HIGHLAND STREET

Interface Studio Architects, Urbanica Design


7,883 sq. feet

Construction Cost


Certifications and Designations

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Project Description


These super-insulated and tightly sealed townhouses produce more energy than they consume, providing a prototypical model for energy-positive housing development through public-private partnerships. The first project completed under the City of Boston’s E+ Green Building Program, the homes are certified LEED-H Platinum, with HERS ratings between -6 and -9. The highly-efficient envelope and ductless mini-split and HRV systems minimize loads, while solar PV and thermal panels on the roof produce renewable energy. The design treats energy performance and historic context simultaneously, inverting the traditional townhome’s vertical bay to register the triple-height internal circulation zone on the façade.


High-performance market-rate housing that seems to have been inspired by Passive House Standard design strategies. It is an elegantly designed, modest-scale project that fits well within the community. This net-zero project with super-insulated walls clearly pays attention to minimizing air infiltration and reducing energy usage in order to reduce the sizing of the renewables. It is done in a way that the entire photovoltaic array is nicely integrated into the architecture and does not dominate the building's look and feel. This project incorporates passive solar and solar electric systems. An example of both high performance and high style.


  • Estimated % of occupants using public transit/cycling/walking: 75%
  • Daylighting at levels that allow lights to be off before nightfall: 87%
  • Lighting power density (watts per square-foot): 0.42 watts/sf
  • Outdoor views: 91%
  • Total EUI (kBtu per square-foot per year): 16
  • Net EUI (kBtu per square-foot per year): 0
  • Percent Reduction from National Median EUI for Building Type: 73%
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