GE Innovation Point Campus

Sustainability StatisticsSustainability Statistics Close DetailsMore Details

GE Innovation Point Campus

Sustainability StatisticsSustainability Statistics Close DetailsMore Details

GE Innovation Point Campus

Sustainability StatisticsSustainability Statistics Close DetailsMore Details

GE Innovation Point Campus

Sustainability StatisticsSustainability Statistics Close DetailsMore Details

GE Innovation Point Campus

Sustainability StatisticsSustainability Statistics Close DetailsMore Details

GE Innovation Point Campus

Sustainability StatisticsSustainability Statistics Close DetailsMore Details

GE Innovation Point Campus

Sustainability StatisticsSustainability Statistics Close DetailsMore Details

GE Innovation Point Campus

Sustainability StatisticsSustainability Statistics Close DetailsMore Details

GE Innovation Point Campus

Sustainability Statistics

Land

  • The new headquarters is part new construction and part adaptive reuse. Two brick and beam former candy manufacturing buildings, built in 1902 and 1907, were reimagined for this office space.      
  • Floodplain function was a primary driver to the design of the site. The elevation of the buildings are set 4.5 feet above the existing grade, guided by the predicted sea level rise elevation for 2075 as determined by NOAA and FM Global.
  • Erosion control strategies are implemented on site in case of a major event. The existing wall protects the barrier between coast and land.  The design placed geotextiles to stabilize soils and hardy plants selected for root stability within the site to support the design being covered in water during an event.

Planting

  • 112 trees planted. The design required 96 trees to be planted between the water and the building to mitigate the wind concerns from the adjacent bay. Not only is wind a concern along the harbor walk, but the landscaped space positioned between two buildings, could experience a wind tunnel effect. Swamp White Oak and Tupelo were chosen because of their salt tolerance and wind resilience. The BRA (Boston Redevelopment Authority) required the wind gust velocity to not exceed 31 mph for more than one percent of the time. To give perspective, winds must be less than 12 mph for comfortable sitting. 
  • 100% native and adaptive plants on site.
  • Plants by the water’s edge are salt tolerant and chosen to recover after a storm incident. These plants include: Seaside Golden Rod, Little Bluestem, Northern Sea Oats, Pennsylvania Sedge, Sweet Pepper Bush, Sweet Fern, Mt. Airy Fothergilla, Winterberry, Juniper Bayberry, Meadow Sweet, Sumac and Viburnum.
  • The existing buildings roof tops were planted with Witch Hazel and Pennsylvania Sedge with Allium. The new tower’s roof was planted with Staghorn Sumac, Tufted Hair Grass and Sweet Fern and the balconies are planted with Juniper and Tufted Hair Grass.
  • Reference communities were considered when choosing plants. The team categorized these plants as Upland Slope, Coastal Bank, Low Lands and Woodland Plaza.
  • The soil profile was considered during plant selection. Lite top intensive soil on the roof.
  • The project minimizes pesticide and fertilizer use, by using resilient perennial plants that require minimal maintenance.
  • Plants are allowed to go to seed/flower life.
  • The project avoids annual planting.
  • Honey is made on the twelfth floor roof. Bee specialists install, maintain and monitor the activity of the bees in the hive. 

Water

  • Stormwater is captured and reused for 100% landscape irrigation on the ground plane.
  • The site design mitigates runoff, collecting 2,300 cubic feet of water in rain gardens and 35,000 gallons in a harvesting tank. 4,600 cubic feet of water is also captured in infiltration chambers underground, pushing water through a field of gravel allowing for greater surface area, filtration and greater infiltration rates. During extreme precipitation events, the overflow discharges to the BWSC system.
  • Green roofs are installed to reduce the heat island effect, absorb storm water and providing enjoyment to the company’s users. The green roofs are intensive, with soil weight ranging from 55-93 pounds per cubic foot from application to full saturation. The existing buildings do not have trees on the roof due to historic guidelines, however they are shaded 40% of the time by the new tower which is 7 stories taller. The new tower is shaded 90% of the time by a canopy. The tower’s roof was designed to be very active and hold up to 500 people. The existing building’s roof tops were designed for more intimate gatherings of less than 50 people.
  • Trees have the potential for intercepting 56,000 gallons of water which is the equivalent to the water usage for 5,600 American residents for one day *
  • The design reduces outdoor water use through plant selection and drip irrigation.
  • A land mitigation strategy allows the site to flood, while keeping the buildings first floor and up dry. The existing building was adapted to have the current first floor as the basement and the second floor as the new first floor. This lifted the elevation of the ground plane above the predicted sea level rise elevation. 

Carbon, Energy + Air

  • The project uses regional materials, including granite blocks from a nearby quarry. 
  • The project reduces light pollution by limiting up light. Light fixtures along the harbor walk were reused. The light fixtures on the street match the City of Boston standard, blending with the context. All new fixtures are minimal, down lighting planting and lighting the base of the benches and handrails.
  • The planting strategy reduces temperatures in urban areas.
  • Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke was minimized with prohibited smoking on site.

Economics

  • Minimal maintenance was considered in the design, with a small lawn and perennial planting. 
  • Job and volunteer opportunities were created on site.

Waste

  • Sustainability in material manufacturing was supported with FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified deck material.
  • Benches are being created from wood beams removed during the structural updates of the existing buildings. They are also expecting to uncover granite during the excavation process for the new tower. If so, the plan is to use this granite for a feature wall in the landscape. If not, granite will be acquired from a local quarry.
  • All materials removed during the demolition process were sorted and placed in separate containers for recycling. 

Social

  • The project supports alternative modes of transportation through company culture, which encourages walking from the nearest train station or biking from home. There is no surface parking on site and only thirteen below grade spaces. 
  • The project provides optimum site accessibility, safety, and wayfinding.
  • The project provides benefits beyond its own footprint, enhancing the Boston harbor walk.  
  • The project was part of a larger catalyst for development in this area of Boston.
  • 100% of the site and 75% of the ground floor interior space was made public. Outdoor amenities, a café, museum and co-working space are all available for public access. 

* The tree average for water interception is 500 gallons. American’s use an average of 100 gallons of water per day (EPA’s water trivia facts)

**120 pounds of CO2 per tree annually (This number is based on an average from the National Tree Benefits Calculator) One car produces an average of 8,320 pounds of CO2 per year. Each vehicle drives an average of 11,318 miles per year. (The Code of Federal Regulations - 40 CFR 600.113)

GE Innovation Point Campus

The new 2.7-acre GE campus in Boston is located on the edge of Fort Point Channel in the City’s Seaport District. The site of the campus, named Innovation Point, is part of a complex that once housed New England Confectionary Co. (NECCO). This project will serve as a catalyst for the execution of the 100 Acres Master Plan and as a benchmark for future waterfront and public realm development in the area. 

The new three-building campus will include two renovated five-story brick warehouses, a 12-story tower designed by Gensler, and various public spaces. The campus will include the Museum which will display the inspirational evolution of GE’s past, present, and future; a Community Work Lounge; a casual restaurant space; and a pedestrian-only plaza that will serve as the life center of the campus and an activity hub for employees and public users.

The campus features 1.5 acres of public outdoor space, which includes an expanded harborwalk, creative seating areas, waterfront overlooks, and a flexible lawn for temporary uses or just relaxation. A series of steps and accessible paths from the harborwalk to the plaza provide connectivity and access, drawing people to the site and the interior spaces which will be developed with public engagement in mind. The functional landscaping design will mitigate sea level rise and manage rainwater, while simultaneously showcasing sustainable innovation and creating an active and appealing public waterfront. There is also a large rooftop garden and several roof terraces which incorporate environmental systems to capture and reuse stormwater.

The new GE campus project aims to create a more sustainable, active, and connected environment that both activates and integrates into the surrounding Fort Point area.

PROJECT INFORMATION
Location:
Boston, MA 
Team: Gensler, VHB, LeMessurier, RDK, WJE, Paladino, Haley & Aldric
Rendering Credit: Gensler