Blue Hill Ave Mixed Use

Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston (HFHGB), in partnership with Adaptiv, were selected through an RFP from the City of Boston Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) to design, and construct, 3 mixed use buildings on, and abutting, Blue Hill Avenue in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Blue Hill Avenue is often referred to as a central spine of Boston and is known for being home to many immigrant populations with a large percentage of Caribbean and Cape Verdean residing in the area. The DND is interested in continuing to invest in this historical disinvested area by promoting a walkable business district, and increasing affordable housing.

HFHGB will be developing and constructing three mixed use buildings located at 978-982 Blue Hill Ave, 1085 Blue Hill Ave, and 3 Baird St. Together the projects will offer 12 Affordable Housing units (80% or less AMI income range), 2 commercial/retail spaces, and 1 office space. All three of the projects will be built to Passive House standards, and aim to be a leading example that mixed use buildings with affordable housing can be on the cutting edge of sustainability, and energy savings.

The developments aim to improve economic opportunity, business and residential affordability, diverse accessibility, and choice. The building’s design reflects the neighborhood’s character by maintaining the traditional 3 story walkup, providing setbacks on the upper stories and including vernacular material and form. 



    Habitat For Humanity Greater Boston


    Boston, Massachusetts


    In Progress

  • TYPE

    Housing, Social/Civic, Urban Development




    Habitat for Humanity, RDH Building Science, Bellalta 3 Design

Project Success Factors


The buildings will be designed to be Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) certified as a first step in energy conservation measures towards net zero/zero carbon.  Priority will be placed on eliminating thermal bridging in the building envelope, and incorporating passive system strategies. High efficiency systems will be utilized for space conditioning, ventilation, equipment and lighting.  Photovoltaic arrays are being proposed on the roof of both duplex buildings.  Priority is being given to maximum area and ideal orientation of PV arrays in the design of the massing of the buildings. All building systems will be electric and are to exceed the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Stretch Code requirements, and will contribute to the City of Boston’s 2050 carbon neutrality goals. 



Volunteer Engagement

Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston’s unique building model of using as much as 70% community volunteer labor on their projects brings together people of every ethnicity, gender, gender expression and belief. Community volunteers are exposed to team building, and team bonding opportunities, as the Habitat staff helps them master complex building projects. Volunteers work alongside the dedicated, and deserving homeowners, who will soon have their own special place to call home.  




Provide Access
Respect Context
Enhanced Response Capacity
Address Vulnerability

UN Sustainable Development Goals

GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities