See Green when you renew your resident parking permit

See Green when you renew your resident parking permit

Renewing your Cambridge parking permit? If you do it in person, you’ll be standing inside the oldest building ever to receive Gold LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Cambridge City Hall Annex, at 344 Broadway (where you go for parking permits, traffic tickets, and four other city departments: Community Development, Cambridge Arts Council, the Animal Commission, and the Conservation Commission) is the first municipal building in Massachusetts to receive LEED certification.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System™, is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

Based on strict scientific standards, LEED emphasizes state-of-the-art strategies for

  • sustainable site development
  • water savings
  • energy efficiency
  • materials selection
  • and indoor environmental quality.

Construction and Materials:

Did you know that 30% of all landfill waste in the US comes from the construction industry?

Consigli Construction recycled about 80 percent of the construction waste including brick, concrete, and wood. Brick and concrete were reused as paving material, wood waste was chipped for use as fuel in biomass power plants to produce electricity.

Over half the wood in the building was certified through the Forest Stewardship Council, meaning it came from certified forests practicing sustainable forestry.

Steel framing, carpeting and ceiling tiles were all made with recycled content; the carpeting is 100 percent recyclable (guaranteed not end up in a landfill or incinerator.)

Paints, adhesives, carpets and wood products all used low-emitting materials (related to volatile organic compounds.

Energy Efficiency:

The construction industry and buildings also consume 30% of all energy in the US. (By contrast, autos are about 5-6 %.)

Annex Sustainable design, or “green building”, integrates a building's effect on the environment -- energy consumption, the use of fresh water, daylight, and recycled materials -- into the normative design process. Where form and expression once took center stage, a building's relationship to its surroundings is an increasingly important element of the design process.

The new “green building” elements reduce energy consumption to about half that of a conventionally constructed building.

Cambridge received a Construction Assistance Grant of $337,500 from the Renewable Energy Trust Fund of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to help finance the renewable energy efficiency features which include:

Insulated windows and walls
“Low-e” double-glazed panes minimize heat loss and gain, since glazing not only reflects infrared radiation that causes heat gain, but reduces ultraviolet radiation that causes fading of fabrics.

Efficiency integrated, indirect lighting systems
Daylight and occupancy sensors minimize electricity demand. Lights automatically adjust artificial light output to daylight levels and shut down when rooms are unoccupied. System can be adjusted through individual computer terminals.

Maximized Daylighting
To reduce the need for lighting, most workspaces have a window; 90% have outside views. Skylights have been restored, and a lightwell between the third and fourth floors provides natural light.

Minimized heat absorption
The Energy Star rated roof is coated with a high reflectance/low emissivity material to minimize heat absorption, which will lower the demand for cooling in summer months.

No furnace or boiler
A ground source heat pump system (in three 1500 feet wells) supplies all heating and cooling needs.

Solar Power
A 28-killowatt roof-mounted photo voltaic (PV) solar panel creates about 10% of the building’s electricity. That will offset electricity provided by NStar, resulting in savings to the City.

LEED certifies via independent, third-party verification that a building project meets the highest green building and performance measures.


The Annex expected to receive a Silver LEED Rating but actually it received a Gold rating, the second highest rating given.

Originally built in 1871 as the Harvard School, the building had 900 students in 12 classrooms. In 1939 the city converted it to municipal use. It closed in 2000 after air quality testing revealed high mold levels, and reopened in February 2004 after this major renovation.

So renew your resident parking sticker in person and feel the Green!