Hamilton Community Center


The Lower Falls Community Center deep energy retrofit project has been a tremendous success.  This has been a tremendous team effort where collaboration has worked perfectly and delivered concrete results.  The City can expect energy savings in excess of 70%, even greater cost reduction in its operations and maintenance and a significant reduction of green house gas emissions from this building over the coming years and decades.  As this is the most used community center in the City, the benefits are clear: improved comfort with lower maintenance and operational costs for decades to come.

This project began with a $500,000 grant Rep. Khan was successful in securing with Senator Creem's support, from a Capital Bond Bill initiated by Governor Patrick in 2008. It became a large team effort and the project could not have succeeded without the help of the following people and groups:

  • Elected officials: Mayor Warren and his office for supporting this project as well as Representative Khan and Alderman Crossley for continued perseverance in turning this building into a model of efficiency and for securing significant funding for this project from a State Bond Bill, a State DOER Grant and the City.
  • Newton's Designer Review Committee, especially Jonathan Kantar for his commitment to high performing buildings, attention to detail, and continuing presence and support.  He contributed many hours of his time to perform site visits and blower door performance tests to help the team identify problem areas.
  • Parks and Recreation Department diligently represented at every meeting by Judy Dore
  • Dan Bradford and Tony Kirusis from KBA Architects
  • Site Supervisor Gary Sullivan from Seaver Construction as well as the project manager, Jo-Ann Darrigo
The project was completed in three phases.  The first phase installed a new roof with very high level insulation and light tubes to allow natural light into the corridors.  The second phase replaced an old, oil fired boiler and steam system with 96% efficient condensing boilers and a hot water system.  And the third phase, completed in August 2012, replaced outdated, single pane windows and uninsulated wall systems with triple pane fiberglass window system, insulated walls and soffits.  The third phase also insulated masonry walls with spray insulation.
This project will not only deliver possibly the most efficient building in Newton, but also has helped the Department use its details in other project.  For example, the boiler replacement at the Mason Rice Elementary School will use many of the lessons learned from this project to significantly reduce the consumption of energy, reduce the cost of operations and maintenance of the building and reduce green house gas emissions.