Forbes Park in Chelsea, MA is an historic remnant of the industrial revolution. But, as we know, the industrial revolution is thankfully slowly being replaced with the green revolution, and Forbes Park is being brought into that movement, and the 21st century, with a green restoration plan.
Urban Design & Development is restoring the building and the land around it with their “hybrid homes” design, turning the building into fancy, energy-saving lofts. First off, a 240 foot tall wind turbine provides the bulk of the electricity needed for the complex to power all the energy star appliances, and their shared fleet of EVs. Should the power start to be used up, there will be “Forbes Orbes” letting the residents know that they need to cut back a little on energy use. I want a Forbes Orb in my neighborhood!
Rainwater will be harvested, and will go towards both the complex’s water needs, and to restoring the costal grasslands and marshes that are native to the area. The interior set up will be done in such a way as to eliminate the need for air conditioning, thanks to lots of breezeways. And any demoed materials will be reused, with less than 20% going to the dump.
This project is extra cool because it underscores that green building is not all that difficult when people stop to plan it out. Unfortunately it also underscores that green living on this level is still for the well-off. Prices for lofts start around $205,000, which in this market is pretty pricey. I’m really interested to know how the prices on these places will alter, if at all, as they become more commonplace. With Colorado, Victoria, and other communities world-wide greening up housing, we should have plenty of fodder for analysis soon.
written by john, August 22, 2008
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