Boston to get prefab CLT housing prototype this year

A start-up from MIT and Harvard, Generate, has partnered with Boston’s boutique sustainable builder, Placetailor, to build a five-storey Cross-Laminated-Timber (CLT) residential scheme in the city’s historic Lower Roxbury district.

Comprised of 14 residential units and a co-working space on the ground floor, the demonstration project will try and show the benefits of prefabricated, kit-of-parts building for Passive House – net-zero energy, and net-zero carbon – housing in Boston.

UK-headquartered engineer BuroHappold is the structural engineer.

The project received zoning approval in September 2019 and construction is expected to begin in June 2020.

Generate won the 2018 Wood Innovation Grant from the US Forest Service, and has been developing a catalogue of kit-of-parts engineered wood.

Placetailor has a decade’s worth of experience in Passive House buildings.

The building system features a CLT rooftop canopy for solar panels, and prefabricated modular bathroom pods.

By reducing interior framing and by speeding up the exterior envelope construction, this prototype of Generate’s Model-C building system should be finished by the end of the year, Generate told GCR.

Image: Render of the finished scheme, by Forbes Massie Studio

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