Northborough, MA – Integrated architecture and engineering firm EDM announced that a groundbreaking was recently held for the new Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) Surplus Properties Facility, a 7,450sf office/vehicle building and 4,000sf storage building located in Northborough.
“We started with an assessment of DCAMM’s current site in Lancaster, Mass., which featured an array of century-old buildings that the client was eager to bring into the 21st century. We wanted to determine what they needed, and how we could use this property in the master plan. We then got involved in schematic design and started heading in the direction of building an entirely new facility that brought all of the current spaces together,” said Tim Widman, architect at EDM. “The more we dove into the details, the more the client wanted to make something as durable, low-maintenance, and efficient as it could possibly be. With the goal of creating a maintenance hub for the state, we started challenging how this building could function completely on its own, unaffected by what was happening in the community around it.”
The sustainably driven decisions included using a wooden frame for both buildings, as it’s not only a naturally regenerating material, but also one that has inherent thermal qualities. In addition, the building won’t be powered by fossil fuels; it will be sustained by a photovoltaic array and a ground-source, closed-loop geothermal heating and cooling system.
“As discussions and planning progressed, we wanted to create an exemplary building that would become the standard for all buildings that came after. So, we layered in multiple ways of looking at sustainability, not only in terms of embodied carbon and energy use, but from a standpoint of saving time, money, and human equity in the future. Things like ease of maintenance, durability, and longevity became some of the other critical weights that went into every decision,” said Widman.
While applying LEED on the office side of the building was fairly simple, doing the same for a garage posed another unique challenge. It not only involved careful planning by the design teams on the project, but also having conversations with the employees who work there to encourage new behaviors.
The facility is targeted for LEED Gold, LEED Net Zero, and Passive House certification.