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The green side

If you build it green, they will come

By Christie Matheson
October 8, 2008
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Green building is a ubiquitous design buzz phrase but that doesn't mean green buildings are ubiquitous around Boston. And the ones that are here generally don't have a lime-colored exterior to tip you off. Here's where to see a few stellar local examples of eco-friendly construction.

Boston Children's Museum: Among many other green features, this LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-gold-certified building has a green roof, which provides insulation and is part of a storm-water management system that has eliminated 92 percent of the museum's runoff into Fort Point Channel. Look for energy efficient lighting and water-saving mechanisms in the restrooms and pick up CFLs for your home at the Recycle Shop. 300 Congress St., Boston. www.bostonkids.org

46 Blackstone St.: The renovation of this former power station earned it platinum LEED certification. The historic building was updated with such modern amenities as geothermal heat pumps, windows positioned to maximize daylight, built-in sensors on electric lights, and low-flow bathroom fixtures that have reduced water use by 45 percent. Harvard University, Cambridge. www.greencampus.harvard.edu

Project Hope: Though built with limited resources, the headquarters for this nonprofit organization, whose mission is to help families "move up and out of poverty," achieved silver LEED certification by using recycled building materials and passive cooling strategies (such as window overhangs) and diverting its construction waste from landfills. 550 Dudley St., Roxbury . www.projecthope.org

Artists for Humanity EpiCenter: Another platinum LEED-certified project, the home of this nonprofit organization (which provides underserved teens with employment in the arts) features a 49-kilowatt roof-mounted photovoltaic array that provides solar energy. The building also utilizes salvaged building materials and passive heating, cooling, and lighting strategies. 100 West Second St., Boston. www.afhboston.com

Green tip: Learn more about green buildings at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo Nov. 19-21 at the Boston Convention and Exposition Center. www.greenbuildexpo.org

Christie Matheson is the author of "Green Chic: Saving the Earth in Style." Send questions to globegreenside@yahoo.com.

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