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Why We Care About Thoughtful, Sustainable Design And The Footprint We Leave

In 2014 Mayor Marty Walsh released a Climate Action Plan to ensure the city is prepared for the impacts of climate change. This plan outlines an approach to cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 25% citywide by 2020 and by 80% for city operations. At RODE, we stand behind the Mayor’s Action Plan and are focused on how our work can improve the communities around us, spatially and environmentally. We find value in applying our design knowledge to create energy efficient buildings with low carbon footprints and contributing to the collective effort throughout Boston to address climate change and the threat it poses.

One of RODE’s core approaches to sustainable development centers on adaptive reuse, the renovation and repurposing of pre-existing structures. Rather than promoting the wasteful processes of demolition and new construction, RODE seeks to find inspiration in existing buildings’ unique characteristics. One such example is JM Lofts, an apartment community and recent RODE project, which is located in the heart of downtown Haverhill. Originally built in 1882, the project included the complete rehabilitation of the 20,000+ square foot building into ground floor retail and live/work space, and 18 one and two-bedroom lofts with an industrial aesthetic. This approach is more environmentally sound and utilizes existing materials that would otherwise have required production and shipment to the site. This method decreases the time needed to build the project, as well as the reliance on fossil fuels, and creates an aesthetic capital that can further enhance the design.

Climate change is a global concern that requires a collective response; however, it has varying levels of impact on each community. In pursuit of sustainable development in the Boston communities, RODE works to minimize environmental impact by making adaptive reuse an essential component of our development practice. We’d love to hear what others in the city are doing to positively affect climate change, drop us a note here.

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