Launch Slideshow

Saint Polycarp

Saint Polycarp

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    Ed Wonsek

    Red horizontal trim on the ochre fiber-cement siding reflects the highway’s streaming aesthetic. Copper-panel bays wrap the corners.

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    Ed Wonsek

    Curtain walls on the stair towers offer residents views of the Mystic River and Boston skyline. The building also has a slow-rise elevator that uses no oil, and 95% of its components are recyclable.

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    Ed Wonsek

    The 24-unit building has three ground-level retail shops, including a grocery store. Timers and photo sensors control exterior lighting.

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    Ed Wonsek

    Pella Designer Series glass doors open up to balconies with Trex composite decking. Benches and blueberry bushes dot the landscape, where naturalized plantings eliminated the need for irrigation.

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    Ed Wonsek

    The building’s rear has a sheltered, village-like feel and faces a generous landscaped courtyard, formerly a church campus. Cable cross-bracing on the stainless-steel-and-fir pergola creates interesting shadow patterns.

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    Joel Howe

    Baths feature ceramic tile, 1.5-gpm showerheads, and dual-flush toilets without gaskets for leak-free operation. A continuously operating energy recovery ventilator on the roof replaces stale and humid air with fresh air in each bathroom.

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    Joel Howe

    Fine details such as lattice balconies tie in with the historic church campus.

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    Ed Wonsek

    A 53-kW PV system of two flat roof arrays and one rail-mounted array covers 46% of the standing-seam metal roof.

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    Ed Wonsek

    Flowering sedum blankets about 35% of the roof, a popular spot for local high school educational tours.

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Environmentally friendly buildings are the perfect antidote to environments that aren’t so friendly, as Saint Polycarp Village demonstrates. Situated next to an elevated interstate and a major intersection, the building envelope’s spray-foam insulation—5 ½ inches in the walls, 12 inches in the roof—deadens noise, and an intense filtration system reduces pollutants the traffic puts into the air. Add features such as triple-pane windows, a white roof with plants and photovoltaics covering 80% of its surface, and an energy recovery ventilator that continually refreshes the air in the corridors and baths, and you have quiet, comfortable quarters that beat energy code by 47%.

The macro moves were site-specific, too. Hugging the 3.5-acre parcel’s northern edge, the 24-unit building buffers a courtyard and exceeds open-space zoning by almost 300%. “Balconies face a peaceful area of this former church campus,” says architect Iric Rex, AIA. “The building fills a long-vacant gap in the urban fabric.”


PRODUCTS

 

Windows & Exterior Doors: Kawneer, Pella / Roofing: Firestone Building Products / Siding: James Hardie, Metecno / Framing: LP Building Products / Sheathing: Huber / Insulation: Icynene / Cabinetry: Armstrong / Countertops: Formica / Toilets: American Standard / Bath Showerhead: Niagara Conservation / Exterior Lighting: Kim Lighting / Paints & Stains: Benjamin Moore / Flooring & Carpeting: Flexco, Forbo, Johnsonite, Leggett & Platt, Shaw / Alternative Energy: SunPower / Elevator: Kone

 

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