Mass. to host first US net zero transit center

By Lisa Gibson | May 10, 2012

Boston, Mass., is on the path to having the nation's first net zero transit center, using a combination of solar, geothermal and biomass energy.

The newly dedicated John W. Olver Transit Center will house the Franklin Regional Transit Authority and the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, according to project engineer Arup. It will also serve as an Amtrak station with the completion of the Knowledge Corridor Rail project in about two years.

“We are excited to bring net zero energy design to this landmark project in Massachusetts,” said Mark Walsh-Cook, Arup project director and member of the Massachusetts Zero Net Energy Advisory Committee.

The facility is equipped with a 750,000 Btu wood pellet boiler, a solar wall that preheats fresh air by as much as 15 degrees Fahrenheit during peak winter sun, and a second-stage ground source heat pump. The structure will be cooled with an active chilled beam system. Arup also used daylight modeling to determine optimal placement of windows, windows above eye level and skylights.