Make it ultra-sustainable. That was the mission when CBT set out to design The Harvey, one of the first LEED Platinum multifamily projects in the midrise division in the Boston region. The six-story, 177-unit residential building in Charlestown’s Hood Park was completed in fall 2019, and efforts from top architects and sustainability experts made this green housing development just that.
“Some of the biggest challenges this project presented were ultimately what made it so special,” says Ellen Perko, associate principal at CBT. “The public approval process and the developer’s push for an ultra-sustainable building drove us to think outside the box when designing The Harvey. In line with the vision of the developer, Catamount Management Co., we approached sustainability broadly and were resolved not to simply tick the standard boxes to achieve an environmentally conscious building, but went above and beyond to create something meaningful and beautiful.”
CBT also worked closely with nonprofit group New Ecology to develop a design that could meet those LEED Platinum standards. The project itself represents an important phase in Hood Park’s evolution from its origins as an industrial plant to a state-of-the-art research park and now a modern mixed-use development.
With 195,000 gross square feet of residential space and parking plus 12,500 gross square feet of retail space, The Harvey is set to make its presence known. Perko says it’s deeply connected to the community, given its convenient access to transportation (plus 184 bike parking spots) and local amenities like retail and dining destinations.
Inside The Harvey, sustainability meets luxury and convenience with amenities like a rideshare lounge, flexible meeting room, package concierge and secure package room, interior dog wash and private exterior dog run areas, fitness center, EV charging stations, and the list goes on. In a large, leafy courtyard residents have their choice of gas grills, a gas-fired fire pit, and plenty of comfortable seating for nice days outside.
Sustainably speaking, The Harvey’s HVAC system was installed with tenants’ health and energy efficiency in mind. The building was also designed with solar panel roof hookups, providing an option for solar power in the future. Throughout the design process, CBT and the project team focused on recommending products and systems that save water and energy as well as maintain good air quality—from low VOCs to sustainable sourcing like FSC woods. Light plays an important role in this project, too, as The Harvey has floor to ceiling windows in each unit that flood each living space with natural light.
“With every project, we strive for timeless, long-lasting design,” Perko says. “If someone looks at a building CBT designed and is unsure whether it was completed one, five, or 10 years ago, we consider that a success.” She says the firm’s commitment to teamwork and collaboration makes that possible by incorporating multiple perspectives in every project. “This was especially important when designing The Harvey, which was designed to serve as a long-lasting pillar of the Hood Park community and pave the way for future development. Our goal is never to chase the latest trend or fad but to instead think about both the present and future uses of a development to create something that will remain both relevant and welcoming for generations of tenants to come.”
For the 12,000-gross-square-foot outdoor amenity deck (where tenants can even plant their own herbs and flowers), CBT and the design team incorporated yellow as the focal point for the color palette, providing a cheerful space for tenants outdoors. The color is visible from nearby streets and even a major highway. “We think it’s a beautiful reminder of The Harvey’s impact on Hood Park,” Perko says.
Designed to emulate the scale and proportion of the existing industrial structures along Rutherford Avenue in Charlestown, the building is clad in terra-cotta–colored rainscreen panels with protruding metal and glass bays. The west wing of the building provides a calm, loft-like counterbalance to the north and east wings.
“The terra-cotta rainscreen panels are a nod to an earlier phase of the design,” Perko says. “We really liked the look and feel of the terra-cotta and wanted to incorporate a similar design element into the project even if the material itself was not used. The rainscreen panels were our way of achieving that original look.”
Project: The Harvey Location: Boston Completion: Fall 2019 Size: 207,500 square feet Architect: CBT Contractor: Lee Kennedy & Co. Civil Engineer: SMMA Geotechnical Engineer: Haley & Aldrich Developer: Catamount Management Co. Sustainability: New Ecology Landscape Architect: SMMA