In 2013, Union began working with MassDevelopment on a plan for a 70-acre site at the former Fort Devens military installation. Emerson Green, the new 170-unit neighborhood, features pedestrian-friendly streets, green space, easy access to recreational amenities, and a commitment to low-operational-carbon buildings. Union’s role as planner, architect, and member of the development team was key in balancing the design of the neighborhood with the goals of the local regulating authority and market realities.
This multifamily building sits in the heart of the Emerson Green neighborhood adjacent to the community green. It includes a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom plans that provide attainable, right-sized housing options for the Devens community.
The building was originally designed to be built at an off-site factory using panelized modular construction. The units had to be repeatable, efficient, and meet the factory dimensional standards while creating a building that was accessible, gracious, and suited to the neighborhood vernacular.
There are a number of sustainable features incorporated into the building including advanced framing and air sealing details, all-electric heating and hot water, and solar arrays on the roof and parking canopy structures. The on-site renewable power generation helps deliver a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rating in the low single digits. The building also aims to meet the Energy Star for Multifamily and Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Homes standards.