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Sustainable Design

More from Sustainability

Learn more about sustainability programs at the MBTA.

All MBTA station and facility updates are designed to reduce the carbon footprint of the system. Additionally, all construction work is guided by Leadership and Environmental Energy Design (LEED) standards.

Over the course of new station construction and structural changes, thousands of tons of soil may be excavated. All soil is tested and sampled to ensure it’s not contaminated, and at least 10% of it is reused onsite to reduce the amount of waste transported to landfills.

Construction Projects

Government Center 

The redesigned Government Center reopened in March 2016. All excavated materials were responsibly disposed of or reused in other projects. 

The completed station features:

  • LED lighting in the station and on the plaza
  • On-demand multi-ventilation system that uses 60% less electricity than a traditional system
  • Terrazzo flooring, which is manufactured sustainably with recycled materials
  • A green roof that collects rainwater that can be used to maintain landscaping on the plaza

Hingham Ferry Terminal

The design and construction of new Hingham Ferry Terminal, located in the historic Hingham Shipyard, meets LEED Gold standards. 

The 8,400-square-foot facility features:

  • A green roof to stabilize temperatures and responsibly manage rainwater and snowmelt
  • A multi-zone HVAC system to reduce and offset the costs of heating and cooling
  • Outdoor landscaping that doesn’t require an irrigation system
  • Low-flow water fixtures and non-VOC paints and sealants

Assembly Station 

In 2014, Assembly Station opened on the Orange Line, adjacent to Assembly Square. 

The MBTA’s first station since 1987, the site was carefully chosen for transit-oriented development to combine living, shopping, jobs, and transit near one central location.

The finished station includes:

  • Window and ventilation design that uses sunlight to warm the station in cold weather and shade to keep the station cool in the summer
  • A green roof that stabilizes the station temperature, reduces the heat island effect, and filters and drains rain and snowmelt
  • Electric traction elevators that don’t require machine rooms
  • Efficient lighting, low-flow water fixtures, non-VOC paint, and locally sourced building materials

Orient Heights Station

Orients Height Station, located on the Blue Line, was recently updated for accessibility and efficiency. 

Updates include:

  • A new heating system and windows that reduce electricity use
  • Efficient lighting and water fixtures
  • Electric traction elevators that don’t require a machine room
  • Responsibly sourced sustainable hardwoods, non-VOC paint, and LEED-certified benches
  • A light-colored green roof for temperature control and stormwater drainage and management
  • Solar panels that provide 20% of the station’s energy

Transit Police Headquarters

When the roof at Transit Police headquarters 
began to leak, the MBTA chose a replacement 
with a smaller carbon footprint that also helps
manage runoff from rainwater and snowmelt.

The new roof is made with 20% renewable
materials and features a reflective finish to
keep the building cooler in warmer months to
reduce electricity use. The materials from the
old roof were recycled through a local vendor.