Phase II of the YWCA of Western Massachusetts opened its doors to provide housing that serves to transition women from domestic violence shelters to longer-term living facilities. The $5.5 million, 32,000 square foot LEED Silver certified project harbors 21 apartments and eight congregate housing units within its walls. This project was part of the larger Campus of Hope $13 million initiative that was started more than 10 years ago for which Dietz & Company Architects was the master planner. Dietz & Company Architects also designed the first phase of this campus: a 60,000 square foot building that includes administrative offices, meeting and classrooms as well as an on-site shelter.
According to Mary Reardon Johnson, the YWCA’s executive director, “What a wonderful treat to be able to provide a “new home” for 28 families! As anticipated, we filled our new facility within the first month it was open. It is both beautiful and efficient. Once again, working with an architectural firm that patiently listened to us to design and deliver the building we wanted makes all the difference! Our new facility is an exceptional example of maximizing resources, paying attention to detail and honoring those who will use it.”
Several factors that will support the LEED for Homes Silver Certification include: super-insulated walls and airtight construction, efficient mechanical systems that include roof-mounted photovoltaic panels for electricity, sustainable site design and the use of green construction materials. A healthy indoor environment, pollution reduction and lower utility/maintenance costs are also key elements of this certification. This highly efficient building is expected to reduce water and energy consumption by 20 to 30 percent over typical code compliant construction.
N.L. Construction was the general contractor for the project and Spec’s Design Group was the interior designer. The engineers for this project included: Robert Hall Consulting Engineers (mechanical and electrical), Tighe & Bond (civil) and Barry Engineers & Constructors (structural). The Berkshire Design Group provided landscape architecture services.