PAGE 3September 14, 2011
This fall, Suolk Universi-ty was able to celebrate a newsuccess as its Modern Theatreresidence hall received anLEED Silver Rating as a cred-it to its ecologically soundstructure and maintenance.LEED (Leadership in En-ergy and Environmental De-sign) works in aliation withthe U.S. Green Building Coun-cil to promote improvementsmade towards more environ-mentally sustainable facilities.“Throughout the pro-cess of designing and con-structing [the Modern The-atre residence building],Suolk worked with itspartners to incorporate sus-tainable building practices,”said Erica Maison, Suf-folk University’s campussustainability coordinator.Located in Boston’s theaterdistrict on Washington Street,the Modern Theatre buildingincludes a student residencehall, theater and a gallery.Maison said some ofthe building’s recent im-provements include en-hanced energy and watereciency, material reuseand high indoor air quality.The building features
Modern Theatre receives LEED certification
several environmental ele-ments that were considered by LEED when present-ing the Silver designation;among them was a restoredhistoric façade of the origi-nal Modern Theatre, whichwas formerly a movie house.The building also nowfeatures a reective whiteroof, constructed to lessen theneed for air conditioning dur-ing the year’s warmer months.Occupancy sensors were add-ed to the building’s dormitoryrooms, programmed to turno lights, as well as the heat-ing and cooling systems whenstudents are not in the rooms.Another highlight isthe building’s urban loca-tion which is convenient topublic transportation, aswell as on-site bicycle stor-age to facilitate access toalternative transportation.Water eciency was an-other remarkable elementconsidered by the LEED, andwas achieved through low-ow plumbing. The building’senergy eciency resulted incost savings of 20 percent.“We worked with ourteam to ensure recyclingfor more than 75 percentof all waste generated dur-ing demolition and con-struction,” Maison said.Throughout the construc-tion process while making therenovations, more than 81per-cent of the waste generated inthe production was divert-ed from recycled products.Maison added that resi-dents of the building are ableto contribute to the building’ssustainability by helping tominimize the environmen-tal impact of the building.They do so by reducing wasteand by taking advantageof the convenient recycling bins located on each oor.While the building’s resi-dents are able to do their part,lots of maintenance is done behind the scenes as well, inorder to uphold an environ-mentally friendly operation.The building’s cleaning com-pany contributes to healthyindoor air quality by engagingin green cleaning practices.Also highly involved inthe Modern Theatre proj-ect wereGordon King, thesenior director of facilitiesplanning and management,project architect Adrian Leb-ue, and Green BuildingConsultant Colleen Soden.As Maison and the re-mainder of the commiee areexcited to have earned such anaward, the acknowledgmentsreceived by this particularThe post oce locatedin the Massachuses StateHouse has recently come indanger of being shut down.The location serves many en-tities besides the State Houseincluding Suolk students,the McCormack Building, lo-cal businesses, and the sur-rounding neighborhood.The State House location is just one of many possiblelocations that are in dan-ger of being closed as theUnited States Postal Serivcecontinues to downsize.The demise of the StateHouse post oce would cre-ate considerable convenienceissues as the next closest oneis at least a half mile away.News of the closing has set oan unfavorable reaction as lo-cal residents have petitionedtheir Congressman to keepthe location open. And thenews is not siing well withone Suolk student. DannyNucci, a Suolk senior ma- joring in American History,was not very pleased with thesituation. “Where am I go-ing to buy my stamps? Thiscreates a giant hassle also ifI have to send out anything,say for instance, a book thatI have sold on Amazon.”Most of the post oces being shut down in Massa-chuses are located in ur- ban areas. 3,653 local oces, branches and stations werestudied by the postal service.43 of those oces were locat-ed in Massachuses. Of the43, ve locations in Bostonwere designated for a possibleshut down. The locations inBoston on the chopping blockinclude oces in Dorchesterneighborhoods of UphamsCorner and Grove Hall, MIT’s branch in Cambridge, and lo-cations at Boston College andTus University. The poten-tial closing of the oce in theState House comes becauseof the expense of having a lo-cation for just one building.In a prepared statementdated July of this year Post-master General Patrick Do-nahoe explained why somany locations are beingclosed. “Today, more than 35percent of the Postal Service’sretail revenue comes from ex-panded access locations suchas drug stores, oce supplystores, retail chains, self-ser-vice kiosks, ATMS and usps.com, open 24/7. Our custom-er’s habits have made it clearthat they no longer require aphysical post oce to conductmost of their postal business.”Many of the locations will be replaced by Village Postoces where postal serviceswill be oered in local stores,libraries and government of-ces. Donahue went on to ex-plain in his statement that theimpact these new locationswill have. “By working withthird-party retailers, we’recreating easier, more con-venient access to our prod-ucts and services when andwhere customers want them.The Village Post Oce willoer another way for us tomeet our customer’s needs.”It is not guaranteed thatif a post oce comes underreview that it will be immedi-ately shut down. In January,the USPS announced it wasreviewing 1,400 oces to beclosed. Of those, 280 were shutdown and 200 remained open.When an oce is selected forreview, the people served by that oce have 60 daysto le their comments. If theoce is closed, the decisionwill be able to be appealedto the independent PostalRegulatory Commission.Most of the sales withinthe post oce with the sell-ing of stamps, which o-cials say can easily be trans-ferred to the new VillagePost Oces. But that stilldoes not quell everyone’sconcerns, including Nucci.“Like I said, where am I go-ing to buy my stamps now?”
State House post office, shut down?
project don’t end there. Thedevelopments have earnedthe building the Paul E. Tson-gas Award from PreservationMassachuses. It will receivethe American Institute of Ar-chitects New England DesignAward on October 15, andthe Boston Preservation Alli-ance will honor the ModernTheatre developments onOctober 5, with a Preserva-tion Achievement award.
Photo courtesy of Erica Mattison
"Where am I going to buy my stamps? This createsa giant hassle also if I have to send out anything say for instance a book I have sold on Amazon."