|Each year, the MBTA makes major capital improvements to its stations, facilities, bridges and rights of way to try to keep these assets in a state of good repair.
As part of the planning and design of those projects, the MBTA has incorporated sustainable design principles into these projects. Using the leadership for environmental and energy design (LEED) as guidance, these design standards & principles focus on energy and water conservation, use of recycled and sustainable materials and other elements result in new facilities that not only have a smaller environmental footprint, but also often cost less to operate becuase they consume less water & energy.
Orient Heights Station
Recently the renovation of the Orient Heights Station was completed to make the station more accessible for persons with disabilities. The renovation also included numerous environmental and sustainable features. This station now has energy efficient heating equipment, high efficiency windows, machine-room less elevators, lighting control systems, low-flow water fixtures, LEED-certified benches and finishes, solid surface countertops and tile in the Train Operations Building, sustainable harvested hardwoods, and paints that do not include volatile organic compounds. There will be solar panels on the roof that will provide 20% of the station’s needs. In addition there will be a green roof on the train operations side of the station that will help cool the building and utilize rainwater discharge.
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General maintenance of buildings at the MBTA is an on-going process. For example, the Transit Police headquarters' roof was failing and needed to be replaced because it was beginning to leak.
The MBTA chose a roof system that combined a proven track record of success at industrial facilities along with sustainable design and construction characteristics that made economic sense.
The roof membranes contain over 20% recycled content and the adhesive used contains no VOC’s. Volatile Organic Compounds could have short- and long-term adverse health effects and the MBTA discourages the use of products that contain VOC’s. The color and reflective finish minimizes roof top temperatures and reduces electricity used for cooling the building. The consistency of the reflective cover also helps assist with storm water run off and to get water/snow off the building. In addition a percentage of the old insulation was recycled through a vendor in Worcester.
Hingham Intermodal Center
By the end of this year, the MBTA will award a contract for the construction of the new Hingham Intermodal Center to be located in the historic Hingham Shipyard. The project has been many years in the making because of land issues and the requirement of the demolition of a building on the
The MBTA committed to building an efficient, modern structure with a number of sustainable features included in the design. The initial goal was to achieve LEED Silver level qualifications. That goal was not only met, but the eventual design and construction meets LEED Gold standards.
The center was designed to include large open spaces with plenty of natural light. The building includes a number of environmental elements addressing valuable resources such as water and energy, a green roof that helps control storm water discharge and keeps the facility cooler in the summer. All restrooms have low flow plumbing and the landscaping selected requires no outdoor irrigation. As with all new MBTA construction work the paints, adhesives, and sealants do not contain any volatile organic compounds (VOC).
One of the more environmentally friendly aspects of the project is the efficient design of a multi-zone HVAC system. The demand controlled ventilation system will include a geothermal heat exchange that will help offset some of the energy required for heating and cooling. Geothermal heat exchange takes advantage of the natural subterranean temperatures that exist beneath a structure, and therefore save energy costs to heat and cool the building.
This 8,400 square foot Intermodal Center will include major open spaces, modern efficiencies, and environmentally friendly features that will allow the public to enjoying the historic shipyard and travel to Boston from a beautiful destination.
The facility will be the terminal for MBTA ferries that run from Hingham to Downtown Boston. The ferry terminal is being developed in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) which will use the ferry terminal to provide its service to the Boston Harbor Islands. For further information on this project, click here.
Assembly Square Station
The Assembly Square Station project will construct a new Orange Line station at the eastern edge of the Assembly Square redevelopment in Somerville. This new station will support Assembly Row, a new 50 acre site that will have 1.75 million square feet of office space, 880,000 of retail, 2,100 units of housing, and a 200-room hotel. When completed, this area will be the largest new transit oriented development project in the region.
The station will include energy efficient heating equipment, high efficiency glazing, machine-room less elevators, lighting control systems, low-flow water fixtures, and paints that do not include volitile organic compounds. The orientation and layout of the station has a small footprint and maximizes day lighting with the use of glazing which helps cut back on energy consumption. Lastly, the MBTA is building a green roof on the platform canopy to pre-treat storm water runoff before entering the on-site drainage system. For further information on this project, click here.