May 6, 2021
Boston Business Journal
Amazon, WS pledge net-zero carbon at new Seaport office
Amazon.com Inc. has already promised to bring thousands of high-paying jobs to Boston’s Seaport District. Now, the tech giant is taking steps to stand out even further by planning to occupy the city’s largest net-zero carbon office.
Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and WS Development, the master developer of Boston’s Seaport Square, plan for the 630,000-square-foot office portion of the 17-story building at 1 Boston Wharf Road to achieve Net Carbon Zero status when complete in 2024. The plans come at a time when the city of Boston has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050 in an effort to curb emissions that contribute to climate change.
“We are proud to deliver a building for Amazon that we all hope will serve as a model for a more sustainable and verdant future for the city we love,” said Yanni Tsipis, senior vice President at WS Development, in a statement. “This commitment speaks directly to the city of Boston’s and the commonwealth’s carbon neutrality goals by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from this project by more than 90% below code requirements.”
The 630,000-square-foot office portion of the overall 707,000-square-foot building at 1 Boston Wharf Road will source its electric power from renewable sources — an effort that will eliminate the need for gas or other fossil fuel heating and hot-water systems, WS Development said. The retail spaces in the building, however, will have gas connections.
The building’s internal systems and its exterior envelope are “designed to be very high performance to minimize the amount of energy used by the building as part of the overall strategy to achieve net zero,” according to WS Development. The facility’s design team includes Henning Larsen Architects, Gensler and Buro Happold, with Turner Construction serving as general contractor.
Aiming for net zero adds what WS called a “meaningful hard-cost premium” to the overall construction cost, and both Amazon and WS collaborated on the effort, the developer said. The net-zero carbon approach will also improve the energy efficiency of the future Seaport Performing Arts Center, WS said.