Green Newton was featured in the Boston Globe last week in an article about the new Northland development now underway on Needham Street in Newton Upper Falls. The 800-unit apartment complex built by Northland will be the largest “passive house” residential project in the country. We hope it will lead by example in Newton and beyond.

Passive house design principles include energy conserving features such as continuous insulation, specialized windows, and ventilation systems. Early in the planning process for this project, Green Newton’s Building Standards Committee approached Northland with the suggestion to use passive house standards. Shortly thereafter, the group was pleasantly surprised by Northland’s eagerness to learn about it with a commitment to make the entire development energy-efficient. Green Newton chair Dan Ruben was quoted in the article as saying, “It’s to the credit of Northland that we made a proposal to them in a way they’ve never built before.”

Northland Newton will be all-electric. Because of its passive house design it’s estimated that energy utility costs will be 50 to 70 percent lower than average. Subscribers of the Boston Globe can read the full article here.


See these other recent articles promoting local and statewide decarbonization policies:

More Massachusetts cities seek to ban gas, citing lack of diversity in pilot and urgency of climate crisis, A state pilot program that allows 10 communities to enact prohibitions on gas hookups should be expanded to allow more cities and towns to participate, advocates say. Energy News Network, August 3, by Sarah Shemkus. “Climate activists, legislators, and municipal leaders in Massachusetts are pushing a bill that would give any town or city the option to ban new fossil fuel hookups. State law currently allows just 10 communities to enact these prohibitions, but advocates argue the climate crisis is too urgent for this piecemeal approach.

 “All-electric homes are cheaper to build than fossil fuel residences, Report from home builders, MIT, and Wentworth reaches misleading conclusions,” Commonwealth Magazine, August 5, by Massachusetts Representative Lindsay Sbdosa and Lisa Cunningham, Co-founder of Zero Carbon MA.   

State must electrify new construction in every community to meet climate change goals. “Until every Massachusetts community has the opportunity to build all-electric new construction, the state will be locking in the health, economic, and climate disparities for decades to come.”  Commonwealth Magazine, August 5, by Lisa Cunningham, Co-founder of Zero Carbon MA and Kannan Thiruvengadam, director of Eastie Farm and vice president of the executive committee of Sierra Club Massachusetts.

Artificial turf replacement sparks PFAS concerns in Newton, ‘This is acres of plastic’: Environmentalists concerned over artificial turf replacement at Newton high school, By Sarah Raza Globe Correspondent, August 3, 2023. For updates on Better Action Now on Artificial Turf go to the site: Artificial Turf? Listen To The Experts. Don’t Ignore The Warnings and sign up for the Facebook group: