Planned Boston Community Is Looking to Implement a Variety of Sustainability Measures to Address Different Needs
Combining elements of renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, local agriculture, and other resources, sustainable communities are aiming to provide utilities and other commodities in ways that promote a Triple Bottom Line.
There are a growing number of success cases for the integration of numerous sustainability technologies within communities. To help build these models everywhere, Team Gemini provides an assortment of options that helps serve resource-intensive needs. The aim is to support an intuitive infrastructure and Triple Bottom Line. Team Gemini developments cover important commodities like electricity, thermal energy, water, waste remediation, sustainable agriculture, and more.
Effectively handling resource supply and demand impacts communities in a variety of ways. Outsourcing the goods that locals require has an impact on the economic and environmental impacts of residents. So if one can sustainably produce utilities, food, and more, one gains a combination of benefits—from a reduced carbon footprint, to better economics, to more people getting engaged with local businesses. A planned community on the Boston South Shore envisions, and is pursuing, a variety of these scenarios.
Urban planners are faced with a welter of challenges from traffic management to air pollution. Where will the water come from for all those people? How will their waste products be disposed of? What about quality of life considerations and healthy living standards? Somewhere on that list, urban planners have to consider the impact their cities will have on the environment, as nations strive to meet the carbon reduction goals agreed to at the Paris climate accords in 2015.
An abandoned naval air station south of Boston, Massachusetts, is the site of an experiment in how to build the sustainable cities of the future.
Renewable energy will play a big role in providing electrical energy to the new city. Rooftop solar will be installed on most of Union Point’s downtown buildings and a solar farm will be constructed nearby. Grid-scale battery storage technology will be utilized as the costs decrease over time. “The project has come at a perfect time because a lot of the necessary technologies are becoming affordable and readily available,” Thomson says. The goal is to make Union Point a zero-emissions city by 2050, with solar and wind power being predominant in the energy mix.
Plans call for 4,000 residential units and 10 million square feet of commercial space. Rooftop farms will provide local restaurants with some of their produce. Beside green public spaces within the community, Union Point will be surrounded by 1,000 acres of green habitat with 50 miles of hiking and bike trails.
These practical solutions demonstrate benefits of modernizing a city’s infrastructure, which are applicable on smaller and larger scales. Not only do communities become more independent in terms of creating the resources they need locally, but they also foster a foundation that strengthens different regions’ abilities to cope with various effects of climate change.
Specific to Team Gemini’s offerings in supplying these resources, team members like 2G Energy (combined heat and power), Viessmann (thermal energy and more), ABB (microgrids and resource management and monitoring), and A3 (wastewater treatment and water conservation) contribute effective solutions. Beyond these, sustainable agriculture also comes into play, as food resources are critical for survival. Last but not least, the generation of bioproducts helps offset harmful effects of waste, turning a variety of feedstock into economic byproducts that can be applied for the benefit of the community—such as renewable energy, compost and fertilizer, biofuels, and more. These companies, among others, provide outstanding technology and service options to fulfill a variety of energy efficiency needs for countless industries.
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