Built a century ago as an economical way to provide workforce housing, the SCI team is using an integrated project delivery technique to repurpose the 4,395-square-foot ‘triple decker’ for today’s target market.

Worcester, Mass.-based Sustainable Comfort, Inc. (SCI) is conducting a deep energy retrofit of a “triple decker” building in the Bell Hill neighborhood of Worcester. This is the first project of its kind for SCI in Worcester.

Built a century ago in 1917 as an economical way to provide workforce housing, the SCI team is using an integrated project delivery technique to repurpose the 4,395-square-foot building for today’s target market and its next 100-year lifetime.

The 38 Stanton Street Deep Energy Retrofit project encompasses SCI’s new vision for the triple decker. Built to top-level green building standards that promote better indoor air quality, quieter interiors, and more economical operations, residents have their own urban oasis. The building has been pre-leased and residents will move in by early summer.

Using a Worcester-based construction crew and an executive team that came to Worcester for college and stayed, the SCI team is pursuing the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes Silver Certification and ENERGY STAR Certification on the 38 Stanton Street project.

Several factors that support the LEED for Homes Silver and ENERGY STAR Certifications include:

  • reuse of the existing building;
  • proximity to local amenities;
  • exterior rigid insulation to reduce energy consumption;
  • air sealed and insulated attic;
  • continuous ventilation;
  • low-flow water fixtures;
  • high-efficiency heating, cooling, and domestic hot water equipment;
  • new windows; and
  • air sealing to reduce the transfer of energy, moisture, odor, and pests between apartments.

The SCI team is currently working to purchase and rehabilitate other triple deckers in the surrounding neighborhoods. “We love the concept of coming full circle — people who went to college in Worcester, staying in Worcester, working in Worcester, and building businesses in Worcester. We want to support the new working class of Worcester and entice them to stay here,” said Albert LaValley, president of SCI.

Taylor Bearden, director of acquisitions for SCI, said, “We’re refreshing a most basic facet of the northeast’s urban landscape. The triple decker served a tremendous social purpose and has evolved over time to meet varying peoples’ needs over the past century. They house immigrant families, enable multi-generational home ownership, and contribute to good density in our inner-suburbs. The problem is this: Now they’re tired, and they no longer serve a clear purpose. We asked ourselves, ‘What is that purpose?’ 38 Stanton Street and the surrounding community project is our answer.”

The project team consists of LaValley acting as developer, Bearden as the project manager, Andrew Consigli as the architect, and Margo Valdes as the sustainability designer. The Worcester-based subcontractors on this project include HVAC Experts, Fanning Plumbing & Heating, and Spotlight Kitchen and Bath, Inc..

The SCI team plans to rehabilitate four more triple deckers in the same neighborhood and a nearby seven-unit building.

Information provided by Sustainable Comfort, Inc. (www.greenrater.com).