Our industry has recently seen a major push nationwide for more sustainable building design and construction, and Boston has jumped aboard the green train with its creation of the Allston Green District. A seven-building complex spanning two blocks, the District was created in response to Boston’s adoption of Green Building Zoning in 2007, which called for reduced emissions, increased sustainability, and all buildings more than 50,000 square feet to meet specific LEED standards. It consists of three retrofitted apartment buildings, an updated retail space, and three new, high-profile residential projects.

I was particularly impressed with the first of these projects, The Element, which was designed by The Architectural Team Inc., a Chelsea, Mass.-based architectural design and master planning firm specializing in sustainable design and urban revitalization. This five-story, 100-unit building is the embodiment of sustainable housing, complete with bicycle racks, electric car charging stations, energy-efficient lighting and appliances, low-VOC paint, and a hydration station where tenants can fill reusable water bottles. Residents are also required to sign a Green Tenant Declaration. For all this, The Element has achieved LEED Gold Certification.

Additionally, The Element boasts a multipurpose clubhouse, a movie theatre, parking spaces, a carwash station and — most notable of all — a 3,000-square-foot roof deck made entirely of synthetic grass, where residents can enjoy a lounge area, sound system, grilling equipment, free yoga classes and dramatic city views. It’s no wonder that the building is already at full capacity.

For more on The Element’s sustainable features, unique design elements and upscale amenities, you can view the full article — which includes inserts of my interview with The Architectural Team’s Senior Project Manager Jim Podesky — at www.arwarchitect.com. Enjoy!