Press release submitted by MassDevelopment
MassDevelopment and the Devens Enterprise Commission (DEC) are pleased to announce that the U.S. Green Building Council has recognized Devens, Massachusetts as a LEED Certified Community. LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities are internationally recognized urban sustainability rating systems that help advance healthy, green, and economically strong cities and communities.
In December 2017, Devens was awarded a 4-STAR Community Rating for national leadership in sustainability through the renowned STAR Community Rating System. Last week, the U.S. Green Building Council announced that the STAR Community Rating System will be fully integrated into its LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities certification programs, and that it will align these programs with STAR’s key performance goals. Devens is one of the 75 STAR certified cities and communities that have now transferred into the family of LEED for Cities and Communities.
“Since day one, MassDevelopment has worked closely with the Devens Enterprise Commission, our legislative partners, and the surrounding communities to create an attractive, sustainable, 21st century community in the heart of north-central Massachusetts,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “We were proud to see Devens be awarded a 4-STAR Community Rating, and are thrilled to see that accomplishment translate into LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.”
“In our efforts to transform the former Fort Devens, the Devens Enterprise Commission and our state partner, MassDevelopment, have worked hard to create a national model for successful, sustainable redevelopment of a former military base – and this third party certification brings great credit to our work,” said Devens Enterprise Commission Chairman William P. Marshall. “Devens is excited to continue to lead by example in Massachusetts by continuing to implement, monitor, track and prioritize actions that will further the sustainable redevelopment goals of the Devens Reuse Plan and make Devens an even better place to live, work, learn and play.”
“We are helping cities develop responsible, sustainable and specific plans for energy, water, waste, transportation and many other factors that contribute to raising the standard of living for all people around the world,” said U.S. Green Building Council President & CEO Mahesh Ramanujam. “Devens is to be congratulated for its commitment to ensuring a place where people, nature and businesses can all thrive.”
Located in north-central Massachusetts and managed by MassDevelopment, Devens is home to more than 400 residents and a varied mix of businesses, government organizations, and nonprofits employing more than 5,000 people. Created by statute in 1993 to support business growth and attract economic development opportunities in the region, the 4,400-acre site features fast-track permitting and other incentives for businesses. The former military installation is recognized today as a national model for sustainable military base redevelopment. Along with its business tenants, the Devens community also includes more than 2,100 acres of recreation and open space, private residences, schools, and a network of human and social services providers.
One of the U.S. Green Building Council’s rating systems, LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND), is aimed at inspiring and helping create more sustainable, well-connected neighborhoods. MassDevelopment and the Devens Enterprise Commission, which already implemented smart growth concepts during the redevelopment of Devens, further took steps to employ LEED ND principles as well. In 2013, Devens Enterprise Commission approved new regulations modeled on Low-Impact Development and LEED ND sustainable development concepts, which have fostered more compact, energy efficient, and smart development within Devens. Additionally, the Devens Enterprise Commission used a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) to improve and compare the new regulations against conventional regulations and better understand how policies and regulations can influence community health and sustainable development.
Emerson Green, a 124-unit, net-zero energy possible community, is currently under construction in Devens near Grant Road and was planned consistent with LEED ND principles.
The Devens Enterprise Commission is the regulatory and permitting authority for redevelopment of the Devens Regional Enterprise Zone. Its role is to administer and enforce the reuse plan, by-laws, regulations and sustainability vision within the Devens Regional Enterprise Zone.
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2018, MassDevelopment financed or managed 384 projects generating investment of more than $4.1 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,994 jobs and build or rehabilitate 830 housing units.