Columbia Teams with Architerra to Complete Zero Net Energy Building

F&W-Exterior Entry


Westborough, MA – The new Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Field Headquarters, the state’s first publicly owned office building designed for zero net energy performance, is fulfilling years of planning for the commonwealth’s clean energy future.

The three-story, 45,000sf building in Westborough serves as the field headquarters for the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and also the main location for the Office of Fishing and Boating Access, two divisions of the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game. The building was designed to demonstrate practical sustainable design and renewable energy systems as well as to support DFG’s many educational initiatives, regulatory processes, and public services.

Built by Columbia Construction Company, this solar-powered building was designed by an integrated design team led by Architerra of Boston, with Van Zelm Engineers, Solar Design Associates, Souza True,Towers Golde, and Green International.


F&W-Exterior Garden

Exterior garden

The new facility reflects the commonwealth’s commitment to stewardship and leadership in conservation and management of the environment. The high-performance building, targeting LEED Platinum, is designed to achieve zero net energy through exceptional energy conservation provided by real-time energy performance tracking, structural insulated panels, triple-glazed windows, mechanically assisted natural ventilation, light emitting diode (LED) lighting, together with renewable energy provided by rooftop solar photovoltaics. The high-performance mechanical system includes a direct outside air system, closed-loop geothermal system, energy recovery, and radiant panels.

The building is oriented to optimize production from the rooftop photovoltaic array while minimizing heating and cooling energy use. LEED modeling results forecast that the building may reduce actual energy cost by 50%.

The building will be open to the public year-round and is geared towards becoming a venue for environmental education. It will house over 120 MassWildlife biologists and environmental reviewers, and be shared by the information and education program staff as well. It will also provide office space for the Department of Fish and Game and its Office of Fishing and Boating Access staff who maintain over 275 fishing and boating public access facilities statewide. Flexible by design, program areas include offices, classrooms, meeting rooms, a library, GIS laboratory, and a wet lab for research.