The Sustainability Subcommittee of the Concord-Carlisle Building Committee met this week to review the best ways to build environmentally-friendly technology into the proposed new school on the existing Walden Street property.
Subcommittee Chairman Peter Nobile, a former member of Concord’s Green Team and an architect by trade, said the “charrette,” or exchange of ideas, was aimed at keeping all stakeholders in Concord and Carlisle up to speed.
“The goal is to have a working session between the design team, the Building Committee, and other interested parties (including representatives from Town departments) to discuss sustainable design strategies and particulars on the project,” said Nobile after the meeting. “We are continually evaluating the project and pushing to make this building and site more and more nontoxic and energy, water and resource efficient.”
Nobile said the subcommittee’s overall goal is to act as “gatekeeper” for the Building Committee. “We are most useful in both championing particular issues or strategies, as well as in translating the compromises that are inevitable on a project this large. Sustainable design is very much about tradeoffs, and our subcommittee is right in the middle of those discussions.”
He said the design will incorporate sustainability as often as possible. “Part of the way we'll do that is to have spaces full of fresh air and daylight; to design systems that balance energy efficiency with operational requirements; and to focus less on particular techologies and more on the overall balance between building program, community needs, energy and water limitations and, of course costs,” he said.
The project is a partnership with the state’s school building authority. The MSBA will choose the final design and chip in a percentage of the cost, which could amount to more than 30 percent of the $89 million total. The towns of Concord and Carlisle will share the cost on a proportional basis.
“The MSBA is cautiously supportive, but because they are a state agency balancing the needs and budgets of many communities there is only so much risk they can take on design strategies that they are unfamiliar with. Again, our design team has been an excellent source of support in working through these things with the MSBA,” said Nobile. The MSBA is due for a final recommendation on the project in early August.
The web site is www.cchsbuilding.org.
Betsy Levinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.