Cambridge, MA – Callahan Construction Managers announced the groundbreaking of Squirrelwood Apartments, a 12-building, 88-unit affordable housing development owned by Just-A-Start Corporation.
Callahan and Davis Square Architects were tasked to renovate the 10 existing buildings and execute the design and construction of two new infill buildings, along with an addition to an existing building. The new construction will target Energy Star and Passive House standards.
” Just-A-Start is proud to work alongside its partners to preserve the affordability of these homes and create more access to secure housing in this community,” said Deborah Ruhe, Just-A-Start executive director.
The Squirrelwood project consists of two existing affordable housing projects: Linwood Court and Squirrel Brand Apartments. Linwood Court includes eight buildings with 45 residential units that will undergo renovation.
Upgrades to existing units will include kitchen and bathroom remodels, new flooring and windows throughout, and updates to all exterior facades, including brick repointing, new siding, insulation, and roofing. Residents will be temporarily relocated to other units throughout the property while their homes are under construction.
The Squirrel Brand Company, a candy manufacturer founded in 1888 in Roxbury, moved its headquarters to 12 Boardman Street in Cambridge. The headquarters converted into 20 units of multi-family housing in 2000, is now known as Squirrel Brand Apartments. The building sits on the State Register of Historic Places and will be rehabbed to meet historic preservation standards. This building will remain occupied during construction and will require close coordination for the selective interior renovations planned in addition to the exterior work.
The two new infill buildings, along with the addition, are currently under construction and will offer an additional 23 units to the development. The largest infill building will be built to Passive House building standards, ensuring maximum energy efficiency and resident comfort.
Passive House construction adheres to five building-science principals: continuous insulation throughout the entire envelope without thermal bridging, an airtight building envelope preventing loss of conditioned air and infiltration of outside air, high-performance windows and doors that manage solar energy for maximized heating and minimized overheating during cooling seasons, energy recovery ventilation, and a minimal space conditioning system. The other infill construction will meet Energy Star standards.
The redevelopment of Squirrelwood will take place in multiple phases and includes a variety of challenges. Current residents will remain at the property during the renovations, requiring precise logistics and timing for execution.
“With a wide range of units to accommodate families of all sizes and a variety of income levels, the Squirrelwood project is an important step in Just-A-Start’s mission to offer quality, inclusive housing to Cambridge residents,” said Rhue.