Project's Summary

The Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance (MAHA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting affordable housing and providing support to first-time homebuyers. In line with their mission, MAHA enlisted the expertise of Studio G Architects to design a sustainable building to house their administrative offices, classrooms, and meeting spaces.

The design of the building incorporates a wide range of environmentally sensitive systems and strategies. From the initial siting to the selection of materials, every detail was carefully considered. The building is oriented in a way that maximizes its passive solar potential and supports a 12kW photovoltaic array. This not only reduces the reliance on traditional energy sources but also allows for the generation of clean, renewable energy.

One of the key features of the building's design is its open layout, which encourages cross-ventilation. This helps to naturally cool the interior spaces, reducing the need for artificial cooling systems. Additionally, north-facing clerestory windows were strategically placed to introduce ample natural light, creating a bright and welcoming environment.

In line with their commitment to creating a healthy work environment, low- or no-VOC emitting materials were used throughout the building. VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are chemicals that can be released into the air and have been linked to various health issues. By avoiding the use of these materials, MAHA ensures that their staff and visitors can enjoy a space that promotes well-being.

To further conserve natural resources, the building incorporates low-flow plumbing fixtures and energy-efficient lighting and mechanical systems. These measures not only reduce water and energy consumption but also contribute to cost savings in the long run. In fact, the project was designed using LEED criteria, a globally recognized green building certification system.

Located in an up-and-coming neighborhood, the building also sets an example of transit-oriented development. It is conveniently situated near two subway stops, encouraging the use of public transportation and reducing reliance on private vehicles. This further aligns with MAHA's commitment to sustainability and creating communities that are accessible to all.

In conclusion, the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance's new building, designed by Studio G Architects, showcases the organization's dedication to both affordable housing and sustainable design. By incorporating a variety of environmentally sensitive systems and strategies, the building not only reduces its environmental impact but also provides a healthy and efficient work environment. With its LEED certification and transit-oriented development, this project serves as a model for future sustainable construction endeavors.

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