Green Life Science

150 Second Street Awarded LEED – CS Platinum – designed by Elkus Manfredi, Landscape Architecture by Copley Wolff Design Group


150 Second Street in Cambridge – Photography by © Jeff Adams

 Designed By Elkus Manfredi Architects

Cambridge, MA—The new three-story research laboratory building located at 150 Second Street in Cambridge has been awarded LEED-CS v3 Platinum Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). According to Chris Schaffner of The Green Engineer, 150 Second Street is the first commercial lab project certified Platinum under LEED v3 in New England.

Elkus Manfredi Architects provided core and shell design services for the 108,000sf facility in Cambridge’s Kendall Square. Developed by Skanska USA Commercial Development, the building is currently 85 percent leased.

The building features several sustainability strategies, including a heat recovery loop, extensive solar control and daylighting controls, and an innovative structural design that uses steel trusses to reduce the building’s weight and cost. High-performance HVAC systems produce more than 30 % energy cost savings over a baseline reference. An extensive community-based planning process guided the selection of materials, building massing, and ample green space, resulting in optimum contextual design within the surrounding neighborhood.

The building’s diverse palette features glass, metal, and glass fiber-reinforced cementitious panels to break down the mass into three discrete volumes. The entry court at the corner of Second and Bent Streets acts as an exterior “room” defined by the building façade, paving, and low walls, all interspersed with abundant greenscaping.

Landscape architects Copley Wolff Design Group developed a sustainable landscape design that contributed to this award, which  included

  • Sustainable IEP benches
  • Drought tolerant plantings
  • Rain gardens to collect storm water

In addition, Copley Wolff provided streetscape treatments by lining adjacent sidewalks with Honey Locust and Red Maple trees.

Other project Team members included: Skanska USA Commercial Development (client), WSP Group (MEP/FP), The Green Engineer (sustainability), Nitsch Engineering (civil), McNamara/Salvia (structural), RDK Engineers (commissioning). Lerch Bates (vertical transportation), Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (building enclosure), LAM Partners (lighting), Hughes Associates (code), and Skanska USA Building (construction manager).


Foundation Medicine, Inc., a molecular information company that uses genomic analysis to help doctors identify targeted cancer treatments for patients, currently occupies approximately half the building. bluebird bio, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on transforming the lives of patients with severe genetic and orphan diseases using gene therapy, will occupy the third floor beginning in January 2014.