Boston’s Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building has achieved a LEED Gold rating from the US Green Building Council (USGBC). With this certification, the team of Mecanoo Architecten and Sasaki Associates has not only met, but exceeded the City of Boston’s requirement that the building was to track a minimum of LEED Silver. There are many factors that contribute to the overall sustainable strategy for the Bolling Building.
Its location, adjacent to the busiest bus station in Boston, enables users of the building to utilise public transit to instead of relying on cars. The design of the Bolling Building is sensitive to the environmental impact of filling a tight urban site with hardscape. Two-thirds of the roofs are vegetated, allowing for less storm water runoff from the site, reducing overflow into the City's sewer system during storms.
Architectural and engineering decisions were highly informed by a desire for a responsible and sustainable design. Forty percent of the exterior walls are glazed, allowing ample light into the floor plans and providing panoramic views of the surrounding neighbourhood, and downtown Boston. The interior design was specified with locally-sourced materials and those with recycled content whenever possible. The Bolling Building has also been designed to adapt to future changes in use with designated ‘shell space’ that future tenants can fit-out themselves.
The mechanical system employs the use of chilled beams, a water/air system that uses less energy than the traditional all-air system to heat, cool, and maintain proper indoor air quality. Daylight sensors dim the lights during daytime hours when natural light is at optimal levels for working. The plumbing fixtures in the building are low-flow models that use less potable water. All of these design moves help to reduce the building's energy usage by over 20 percent.