Green Alley Project Honored with a 2014 Mayor’s Greenovate Boston Award

8th Annual Greenovate Boston Community Summit

Green Alley Project, Alley #444, between Boylston Street and Newbury Street

Green Alley Project, Alley #444, between Boylston Street and Newbury Street

The Boston Architectural College (BAC) is pleased to announce the College's Green Alley Project was presented a 2014 Greenovate Boston Award by Mayor Martin J. Walsh at the 8th Annual Greenovate Boston Community Summit on May 31, 2014.

The BAC Green Alley project, constructed in 2013 with assistance from Halvorson Design Partnership, INC, converted Back Bay's Public Alley #444, between the BAC's campus buildings on Boylston and Newbury Streets, to capture stormwater runoff and recharge groundwater, two environmental challenges facing the city of Boston. Since it's opening in October 2013, the Green Alley has captured almost 100% of the stormwater and filtered and infiltrated it into the groundwater system of the Back Bay.

Permeable paving allows water to percolate downward into the earth below rather than be conveyed across a paved surface to the Charles River via a conventional storm sewer. Both permeable asphalt and permeable unit paver systems were installed over a large common gravel bed designed to collect, store, and drain rain water from the alley surfaces and two BAC rooftops. Below ground, designers and construction managers on the project had to work around many existing utilities, including the infrastructure of the recently installed geothermal wells. The longer-term vision for the Green Alley effort includes the connection of the geothermal well system to serve the College's core buildings and lead the BAC toward a net zero campus energy goal.

"This Green Alley is the kind of asset that rejuvenates our neighborhoods and infrastructure, is highly innovative, and is essential to the long-term sustainability of our city," said BAC President Ted Landsmark.

The 8th Annual Greenovate Summit was a one-day event that empowered the Boston community to address climate change and provide direct input into the 2014 Climate Action Plan Update to make Boston the greenest and most climate-prepared city in the US. It concluded with Mayor Martin J. Walsh presenting the Greenovate Boston Awards, which recognized Boston's sustainability leaders who are helping reach the City's goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.

The BAC Green Alley project demonstrates that immediate and long-term environmental challenges facing the city of Boston can be met through public/private partnerships between experts and institutions. Its success extends beyond the intelligent beautification of a single area. It is a replicable design with potentially far-reaching effects.