Health & the Environment
Besides Home Rule, Incentive Zoning is another tool municipalities use to require buildings to be constructed climate-wise and above the minimum state code.
MA AGO decision on Brookline zoning bylaw 2017 discussed LEED requirements. Brookline Emerald Island Special District Zoning bylaw proposal.
What is Overlay District in Massachusetts:
"An Overlay District is a type of land use zoning district that "lies" on top of the existing zoning and potentially covers many underlying districts or portions thereof. "
"Overlay Districts are specified by statute and can be established with either optional or mandatory requirements upon the underlying land."
Commercial: under 8.3. OVERLAY DISTRICTS Master Planned Development (MPD), on page 389:
Somerville's incentive zoning bylaw language for commercial zones:
a. Sustainable Development
i. Laboratory buildings must be LEED Platinum certifiable.
ii. All other building types must meet the following:
iii. All new principal building types must include a green roof, photovoltaic (PV) devices, or both for 100% of the roof area not occupied by building systems equipment or required outdoor amenity spaces."
(Somerville is a city, whose zoning bylaw is not subject to Attorney General Office's approval. However both cities and towns must comply with state building code and Somerville zoning bylaw has not been challenged since its establishment in 2019).
Alexandria Real Estate presented Life Sciences & Sustainability at Boston Society of Architects in April 2021. (See slides 25 & 26 re clean heat.)
Moderna leases Hybrid lab at 325 Binney - “As part of Moderna’s commitment to sustainability, the high-performance building ... is designed to be the most sustainable commercial lab building in Cambridge. ”
Info on Building Electrification (Clean Heat)
Watch this inspirational 3-minute video
MacArthur Genius Award winner Saul Griffith explains why we need to electrify everything and how we can do it while saving money for everyone.
Boston's presentation on building emission reduction
Do heat pumps work in extreme cold weathers?
Here is a MrCool video explaining how it works!
(The example in the video is a ducted, central heat pump, which works very similarly as a ductless, mini split.)