Two developers have filed plans with the BPDA for a seven-story, 34-unit apartment on what is now a parking lot off East Lenox Street, near Washington Street.
Boston Real Estate Collaborative of the South End and D2 Development of Roxbury, which have spent the past ten years rehabbing empty or "failing" buildings in the area, plan a building with columns, beams and floors built with "cross laminated timber," which they say would shorten construction time, reduce the building's carbon footprint and allow for more energy-efficient units. Most recently mid-sized residential buildings in Boston have consisted of wood framing atop a concrete base, or "podium."
While CLT is a wood-based material, it has greater fire resistance properties than steel or concrete due to the char effect that allows it to maintain its structural integrity, versus simply failing. This coupled with increased seismic tolerance results in a building that is overall better looking, and safer.
They say they will couple this with more efficient HVAC systems and appliances and rooftop solar panels. Also:
The design seeks to be a holistic representation and manifestation of its sustainable vision, a future case study as an urban low-carbon Passive House multifamily development.
"Passive House" is a design goal, normally for single-family homes, in which the design, coupled with high-efficiency heating and ventilating systems, dramatically reduces theb building's need for outside energy for heating and cooling.
The units would consist of studios, 6 one-bedroom units, 10 two-bedroom apartments and 14 three bedroom units. Four of the units would be rented to people making no more than 70% of the area median income.
The building would have eight parking spaces in an indoor garage.
11 East Lenox St. small-project review application (10.3M PDF).