A new lease of life for a historic building
The North Bennet Street School (NBSS) in Boston’s historic North End, has been in continuous operation since 1881.
It is world-renowned for providing students with hands-on, practical courses across a range of trades, including carpentry, locksmithing and bookmaking.
Over the years, as both choice of program and enrollment numbers have increased, NBSS has fragmented across a number of sites throughout the city. Our client wanted to consolidate NBSS at its historic North End site.
To bring create enough space for consolidation, NBSS purchased the adjacent former police station in order to renovate both buildings and transform the old, cramped premises into an expansive 70,000ft2 facility complete with spacious workrooms, welcoming communal areas and a vast, light filled atrium that doubles as a lecture theater and exhibition space.
With extensive experience working within historic buildings, BuroHappold Engineering was able to create a cohesive MEP strategy with minimal visual or structural impact. We worked closely with the wider project team to integrate our service provision into the wider design, resulting in both time and interior space savings.
For example, we located the new energy efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems on the roof of the building, to maximize the available internal area and reduce potential noise disruption. To further improve the performance of the facility, we fitted energy recovery wheels on to these units so that the exhausted energy could be recouped and recycled back into the building.
This thoughtful and sustainable approach to engineering typifies our work. In this project, it allowed us to streamline services and incorporate a number of energy efficient strategies that saw the new NBSS facility achieve LEED Gold certification. In addition, our client and their students have a modern, comfortable and cohesive facility that provides them with an exceptional learning environment and a strong sense of community.
Services and approach
When we integrate our specialist teams around an approach, the benefits to the client multiply