Cambridge City Hall Annex: Cambridge, MA

Old Is New Again



Dan Gair/Blind Dog Photo, Inc.

When restored and reopened in 1899 following a fire, the press heralded the building as an example of innovation in ventilation, circulation and daylighting. Today, Cambridge City Hall Annex is again a showcase and sends the message that sustainable design is achievable and makes economic sense in historic preservation and municipal projects. The renovated annex became the oldest building certified under the USGBC LEED® for New Construction (NC) program in 2005, earning the Gold rating. Above-grade windows in the previously uninhabitable cellar regain lost space. Old photographs and original architectural drawings from 1899 guided the restoration of the building. Photovoltaic panels, mounted on a flat surface, are not visible from the ground. The renovation benefited from skylights in the original design. The annex houses many of the city's public offices and the Arts Council's art gallery. After the building opened, commissioning reduced electricity consumption by 40%. High performance thermal-glazed windows with intermediate mullions match the original building and meet the state energy code.

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