Beauty meets brawn at Boston mixed-use residence
In the past 20 years, Boston’s population has grown faster than the construction industry has been able to keep up. Finding a place to live is not easy, and affording ownership costs is even harder, with a cost of living that is almost 40% above the U.S. average. Available rental units are likewise rare – especially downtown – which is why local developers Urban Spaces LLC decided it would behoove them (and the community) to transform the two-story building at 1047 Commonwealth Avenue into a 6-story, mixed-use building. The plan was to create 180 studio apartments for graduate students and young professionals.
In order to make the most out of this investment, Urban Spaces prioritized three things:
- An attractive exterior. They wanted the building to be a welcome addition to the neighborhood, as well as a space that was desirable to tenants in a competitive market.
- Energy efficiency. Bitter-cold Boston winters can be a killer for operating costs, so it was important that the building be leak free to keep conditioned air inside.
- Durability. The developers wanted high-quality materials that would offer long service lives, and keep maintenance and repairs at bay as long as possible.
To help them realize all three goals, the developers brought onto the project the award-winning architectural firm Neshamkin French.
Addressing the aesthetic design of the building, the Neshamkin French team chose black open-joint cladding for the exterior for a sleek, modern look. Because joints were intentionally left open, the wall system behind the TRESPA® panels needed a barrier to protect it from what will be decades of wind, moisture, and UV radiation. Since the weather barrier – which is also black – is partially exposed, open-joint cladding also requires a barrier that can provide extreme water and vapor protection.
Neshamkin French specified DELTA®-FASSADE S, designed specifically for the demands of open-joint cladding. With the highest UV rating of any barrier, DELTA®-FASSADE S is highly vapor permeable and extremely tear resistant. As a high-quality and durable weather barrier that won’t break down, DELTA®-FASSADE S also contributes heavily to Urban Space’s other two priorities.
At the end of the project, the 1047 Commonwealth Avenue remodel was a huge success. It boasts a beautiful black-on-black façade that is both chic and durable. Better yet, all 180 units were filled as soon as the building was completed. Thanks to a temporary contract with Boston University – whose dorms are under construction – 1047 Commonwealth Avenue is currently serving as student housing. After the two-year term, ending in 2018, Urban Spaces will return the building to market-rate housing.
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