Geothermal Network Project To Benefit Boston Public Housing

A pilot program seeks to be a model for electrifying groups of buildings or entire neighborhoods.

1 minute read

February 13, 2024, 6:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Google street view of brick three-story public housing buildings in Dorchester, MA.

The Boston Housing Authority's Franklin Field apartments will be the site of the city's first geothermal network. | Google Maps / Street View

A geothermal energy project in Boston will connect seven federal public housing buildings to a networked geothermal grid, the first in the city and the second such project in Massachusetts. “The networked geothermal system, which includes ground-source heat pumps, will replace an aging gas boiler loop that serves 129 units at the Franklin Field Apartments. The system will provide in-unit cooling, meaning residents will no longer have to purchase window air conditioning units to stay comfortable during hot days.”

As Ysabelle Kempe explains in Utility Dive, “Networked geothermal uses underground pipes to heat and cool buildings in a highly efficient manner by pulling heat from the ground in the winter and transferring indoor heat to the ground to cool buildings in the summer.”

The approach of electrifying groups of buildings aims to streamline the process of decarbonization, rather than relying on individual homes and buildings switching out individual appliances. In addition to lowering greenhouse gas emissions, electric appliances also benefit public health by limiting harmful indoor air pollutants.

Monday, February 12, 2024 in Utility Dive

Ornate, tan stone capitol building with a gold dome roof and low-rise city buildings in the background.

States Are Banning Guaranteed Income Programs

Four states now have laws in place that prevent cities and counties from creating or continuing guaranteed income programs, and several more have tried or are trying.

May 23, 2024 - Bloomberg CityLab

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21, 2024 - The Architect's Newspaper

Close-up of electric stove range with front burners red-hot.

California Cities Suspend Natural Gas Bans Following Court Ruling

A Ninth Circuit court ruling forced Berkeley to reverse its ban on natural gas in new buildings, prompting other cities to suspend their own efforts to promote all-electric buildings.

May 28, 2024 - East Bay Times

Aerial view of downtown Auburn, Indiana on a clear, sunny day.

Study: Indiana Regional Planning Project Pays Off

The Regional Cities Initiative funded economic development projects and capacity building to help local agencies collaborate more effectively to promote growth.

25 minutes ago - Ball State University

Colorful vacant, boarded-up two-story rowhouses in East Baltimore, Maryland.

States Move to Limit ‘Squatters’ Rights’

A wave of new legislation targets people who reside illegally in properties they don’t own.

1 hour ago - Smart Cities Dive

BART heavy rail train on elevated track pulling into Concord, CA station with cloudy sky and trees in background.

Bay Area Transit Projects Awarded $18 Million

The funding supports eight ‘near-term’ projects slated for completion within the next one to three years.

May 29 - Contra Costa Herald

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.