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Blackstone Office Renovation

Blackstone Office Renovation

The 46 Blackstone Street renovation unified three 19th-century masonry buildings into an environmentally sustainable workplace for Harvard University Operations Services (UOS). Blackstone was Harvard’s first LEED Platinum-certified building, and a model for environmental design on campus.

Harvard University Operations Services
Cambridge, MA
Completed: 2008 42,000 sf LEED Platinum
Photography by © Richard Mandelkorn Photography

A glazed 100′-long light slot joins the buildings, and a three-story skylit stairway allows light deep into the building. Over 90% of occupants now enjoy daylight, fresh air and views from operable windows. At the time of completion, it was the highest-scoring LEED renovation in the nation, and the oldest building to earn Platinum certification.

Energy-saving features include an innovative insulation system at the historic brick walls, a geothermal cooling system, and a heat recovery wheel. Energy-efficient, low-VOC equipment and materials were used throughout (including daylight sensors, occupant sensors, and an energy-efficient elevator). A landscaped courtyard, sculpted from earth excavated during construction, requires no irrigation; a bio-retention pond treats storm water runoff.


  • 2007 AGC MA, Build New England Merit Award
  • 2007 City of Cambridge, Go Green Award
  • 2007 Environmental Design & Construction, Excellence in Design Awards
  • 2007 BSA Honor Award for Sustainable Design
  • 2008 College Planning & Management, Green Design Award
  • 2008 Cambridge Historical Commission Preservation Award
  • 2008 AIA New England, Design Merit Award