Thursday, December 31, 2009

Carpenters Center catches Globe's eye

The Boston Globe and today featured a story about the Carpenters Center being built by the New England Regional Council of Carpenters.
Motorists stuck on the Southeast Expressway soon will have something besides radios and cellphones to grab their attention: trainees learning carpentry at the new Carpenters Center in Dorchester.

The striking $19 million, 75,000-square-foot home of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters is being readied for a Feb. 1 opening on the edge of the expressway. At drivers’ eye level, and less than 30 feet from the southbound travel lane, will be oversize windows that look in on the training center for area carpenters.
The entire story can be read here

Monday, December 28, 2009

Carpenters Going Green: Point Breakdown Category 3- Energy and Atmosphere

8 Points

1. Optimize Energy Performance Exceed the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers ASHRAE 90.1 Energy Standard by 10.5%
2. Optimize Energy Performance Exceed ASHRAE 90.1 by 14%
3. Optimize Energy Performance Exceed ASHRAE 90.1 by 17.5%
4. Optimize Energy Performance Exceed ASHRAE 90.1 by 21%
5. Optimize Energy Performance Exceed ASHRAE 90.1 by 24.5%
6. Optimize Energy Performance Exceed ASHRAE 90.1 by 28%
7. Optimize Energy Performance Exceed ASHRAE 90.1 by 31.5%

The Carpenters Center was modeled in order to predict how much the design of the building would save money in energy use per year. Comparing it to a typical building using the ASHRAE 90.1-2004 Energy Standard, the project uses 31.5% less energy then a typical building

8. Enhanced Refrigerant Management - all HVAC units for this project are specified to use R-410a refrigerant, and therefore do not use either Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or Hydrofluorocarbons (HCFC) refrigerants.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Then and now

February 2009

December 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Carpenters Going Green: Point Breakdown Category 2- Water Efficiency

3 Points Attained

1.Water Efficient Landscaping – The project is required to reduce water consumption by 50%. The planting plan at the Carpenters Center involves using native trees, shrubs, and groundcovers that have low water needs. The plan reduces potable water consumption by 73.5%.

2.Water Use Reduction – 20% Reduction from baseline water use

3.Water Use Reduction – 30% Reduction from baseline water use. The Carpenters Center has low-flow toilets, low-flow urinals, and low-flow faucets with sensors throughout the building.

A similar building with an occupancy of 200 persons using conventional fixtures and water closets uses 478,400 gallons of potable water per year. This project will only use 294,320 gallons per year – a 38% savings per year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Carpenters Going Green: Point Breakdown Category 1- Sustainable Sites

8 Points Attained

1. Site Selection - the site was formerly developed and consists entirely of an existing building and paving.

2. Development Density and Community Connectivity - a dense urban site. Within a .5 mile radius of the building’s main entrance there are at least 2 zones that can be designated as residential zones and many basic services within pedestrian access. Basic services include retail, grocery, banks, restaurants, places of worship, schools and a fire station.

3. Public Transportation Access - located .4 miles from Andrews Station and .3 miles from JFK/UMass. MBTA bus stop in front of building.

4. Bicycle Storage and Changing Rooms -providing covered and secured bicycle storage for a minimum of 5% of the peak building users. The bike racks are located in bike storage room on Level 1 of the garage. One showering facility is required for the 167 occupents - located on level 2 of building.

5. Low-Emission & Fuel Efficient Vehicles - providing preferred parking spaces for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles for 5% of the total parking capacity. Spaces will be signed for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles and will be close to main entrance.

6. Stormwater Design – the project will capture and treat 90% of the average annual rainfall and remove 80% of total suspended solids. There are five 8’ diameter drywells surrounded in crushed stone that will act as a retention system with capacity for infiltration.

7. Heat Island Effect – Non-Roof - 50% of the site hardscape (roads, sidewalks, courtyards and parking lots) have a Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) of at least 29. 63.9% of the project’s hardscape meets that minimum by using a light grey concrete (parking garage deck).

8. Heat Island Effect – Roof - A white high albedo roof for the entire surface – Carlisle SynTec’s Sure-weld TPO white membrane roofing. The roof has a Solar Reflectance Index of 110, which exceeds minimum requirement of SRI 78.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Carpenters Center Going Green

The green building movement arose out of the desire for more energy efficient and environmentally friendly building practices. It is a way to minimize both resource consumption and the impact building has on the environment. Green construction methods can be integrated into buildings at any stage, from design and construction, to renovation and demolition.

Green design and building practices significantly reduce or eliminate negative environmental impacts and create sustainable buildings. The most common standard for building green is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The LEED Green Building Rating System, developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), is a nationally accepted standard for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. According to the USGBC website there are 35,000 projects currently participating in the LEED system, comprising over 4.5 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 91 countries.

LEED for New Construction is a rating system where building projects earn points for satisfying criteria designed to address specific environmental impacts inherent in the design, construction, operations and management of a building.

These points are grouped into six environmental categories:
1. Sustainable Sites, 14 point maximum
2. Water Efficiency, 5 point maximum
3. Energy and Atmosphere, 17 point maximum
4. Materials and Resources, 13 point maximum
5. Indoor Environmental Quality, 15 point maximum
6. Innovation & Design Process, 5 point maximum.

Points are achieved by meeting or exceeding specified requirements in each category. LEED for New Construction ratings are then awarded according to the following scale: Certified, 26-32 points; Silver, 33-38 points; Gold, 39-51 points; Platinum, 52-69 points.

Upon completion, the Carpenters Center will be on target to qualify for LEED Certified status, aiming to receive all 32 of the 26-32 points required.

In the coming weeks, the point breakdown for the certification of the Carpenters Center will be outlined in this blog.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Exterior Systems 90% complete

The process of installing exterior panels is 90% complete. The final sections, which will be completed in the coming weeks, include the Alucobond paneling located at the loading dock and a section of panels at the northern most part of the building.

Crews have finished installing the cedar accents on the exterior of the building. They are now installing cedar in the main lobby pavilion. These accents will be found in the area adjacent to the main stairs and on the terrace, adjacent to the pavilion.

Facts about the cedar being installed at the Carpenters Center (as previously posted)

  • The western red cedar has a custom tongue and groove shape, giving it a unique appearance and stronger interlocking connection than typical tongue and groove products.
  • The cedar is from 100 year old trees and has roughly 15 rings per inch, making it a long-lasting product with an expected lifetime of 50 years.
  • The cedar sealant is a water-soluble silicone based water-proofer that is less harsh on the environment than oil based products and emits no VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).

Friday, December 4, 2009

Crews are busy completing work on third floor

Painting, with the exception of the final coat and touch ups, which will both happen after the flooring is installed, is complete on the third floor. Ceiling installation is also complete on the third floor, the lights have also been installed.

The third floor bathrooms are nearly complete. Floorlayers working for SMR Flooring have completed the installation of slate tile on the floors and ceramic tile on the wet walls. Plumbers with E.M. Duggan have installed the toilets.

All of the case work and cabinetry on third floor is complete. This installation, along with the wood paneling was done by carpenters working for Archer Corp. Both the case work/cabinetry and the wood paneling were manufactured by Millwork One in Providence, RI. The paneling was installed in the hallway off the reception area, inside the large conference room and break room and along the hallway near the conference room at the southeast corner of the building.

All interior glass has been measured and will be installed in the coming weeks.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Green area renamed

The Carpenters Union worked in conjunction with neighbors in the area to spruce up the pedestrian cut-though located on the corner of Dorchester Ave. and Howell Street.

The park has been renamed Paul’s Triangle in memory of long time Howell Street resident and community advocate Paul Markilis. Mr. Markilis’ family still resides on the street.

The neighborhood surrounding the park and the Carpenters Center is known as the ‘Polish Triangle.’ In this area, Dorchester Avenue, Boston Street and Columbia road converge, literally, into a triangle that extends out into South Boston.

The triangular design of the pergola built by the Carpenters Union is part of an effort to brand the Polish Triangle neighborhood.

Desmond Rohan, neighbor and member of the McCormick Civic Association, which is involved in various beautification efforts throughout the community, including Paul’s Triangle, recently thanked the Carpenters Union saying, “Your efforts will certainly make it possible to continue improving the area and without your support we would not have made the progress we have to date.”

The McCormack Civic Association, through the support of local merchants and businesses, recently hung wreaths for the holiday season along Dorchester Ave. To learn more about this group, visit their website at

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


As of November 30th, construction of the Carpenters Center is 88% complete!