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Department of Neighborhood Development
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Green Affordable Housing at DND
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About the Program
Green Building
Department of Neighborhood Development Standards

  1. LEED Silver
  3. DND Design Guidelines

Training Sessions

Current Green DND Projects
Other funding sources
NYU Journal of Legislation and Public Policy Articles
Helpful links

In January of 2007, Mayor Menino made Boston the first major city in the nation to require adherence to the US Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified standard as part of the private development review process when the City's Zoning Commission adopted a new Green Building article into the Zoning Code.  DND has since 'greened' its affordable housing program, recognizing that developments in our neighborhoods should reflect the benefits of green building. In an effort to promote energy efficiency, green building techniques, and healthy homes strategies, DND has adopted new design standards which require developers to adhere to a level of LEED Silver. 

The City of Boston’s Green Affordable Housing Program is working to develop affordable housing that:

  • Results in low maintenance and energy costs for renters and homeowners through the use of green technologies and materials.
  • Promotes the health and well-being of residents.
  • Minimizes the environmental impacts of development by conserving water, energy, and other resources, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Green Building
Green Building involves a comprehensive, integrated approach to constructing and renovating buildings that prioritizes human health and environmental protection, energy performance, aesthetics, comfort, and performance.

  • Green design can positively influence indoor air quality and occupant health, reduce depletion of natural resources, stimulate demand for environmentally responsible building materials, and help reduce global warming by reducing carbon emissions. 
  • Green building benefits building occupants, the environment, and the Massachusetts economy. 

Green and energy efficiency standards are now part of The Department of Neighborhood Development Design Guidelines
The Department of Neighborhood Development now requires that development projects meet both the LEED Silver Standard and the Energy Star Standard. Information regarding these two standards is detailed below.
DND Design Standards

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a nationally recognized benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance buildings.  DND has chosen LEED Silver as the foundation for the City’s new affordable housing design standard.   The LEED system promotes a whole building approach to sustainability by measuring performance in five key areas:  sustainable sites, water conservation, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

Depending on the size, a project must either meet the LEED-Homes or LEED-New Construction Silver standards. DND will assist the project team in determining the appropriate rating system. Like the City’s new Article 80 requirements, homes must be LEED certifiable (as opposed to certified). 

Information about LEED is available on the United States Green Building Council website:  and the LEED-Homes and LEED-New Construction rating systems can be downloaded at:

Energy Star
DND requires that affordable housing developments meet the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR for Qualified Homes standard, or its equivalent. The ENERGY STAR standard applies only to new construction (or total gut rehab) three stories in height and below. Guidelines for other building types are discussed below.

New Buildings Three Stories and Under

When responding to DND proposals, developers are required to submit a letter from the ENERGY STAR program stating that they qualify for ENERGY STAR and are enrolled in the program. View specific guidance for the ENERGY STAR standards here. Financial and technical assistance may be available for projects pursuing the ENERGY STAR designation. Please contact:
Sara DeCotis, ENERGY STAR Program Coordinator
ICF International
(781) 676.4053

Buildings Four Stories and Over

For buildings four stories and above, DND requires that buildings exceed the ASHRAE 90.1-2004 standard by at least 20%, when modeled according to the standard’s Appendix G. When applying for DND funds, developers must discuss their strategy for meeting this requirement, and demonstrate that they are working with a qualified energy modeler. Please contact DND for more information.

Existing Buildings
There is currently no national ENERGY STAR standard for existing buildings. Energy performance review for developments proposing to renovate existing buildings will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Please contact DND for more information. 

Training Sessions
The Green Affordable Housing Program offered three specialized training sessions on Integrated Design, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, and Indoor Air Quality. Materials from those training sessions are available below.

Integrated Design Training Session

Integrated Design (pdf format)

Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Training Sessions

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Training Session- Introduction (pdf format)

New Construction with Nstar (pdf format)

Mid/High Rise New Construction (pdf format)

KeySpan Energy Delivery (pdf format)

Renewable Energy Traning -- MTC (pdf format)

New Homes with Energy Star   (pdf format) 

Indoor Air Quality Training Sessions

Buidling Healthy Housing  (pdf format) 

Asthma and Housing: What's the Evidence? What Can We Do?  (pdf format)

Further Information
Questions regarding the Green Affordable Housing Program should be directed to John Feuerbach, Sr. Development Officer, DND at 617-635-0353or by email at:

Additional DND Green Affordable Housing pages:
Current Green DND Projects
Other funding sources
Helpful links


City Calendar
City Calendar See a listing of upcoming events sponsored by the Department of Neighborhood Development.
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