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Emerson College Little Building

Boston, MA

    Project Overview

    Suffolk delivered the meticulous historic renovation of Emerson College’s Little Building.

    The Little Building was originally built as an office building in 1917 and was then converted to a dormitory and dining hall in 1995. The building façade consists of ornate cast stone on the Boylston and Tremont Street façades and brick masonry on the other two façades. A major component of the project scope included replacing the exterior façade with high performing architectural precast concrete. The existing conditions of this ornate façade were replicated using VDC and 3D Laser Scanning technologies to preserve the historic nature of the building. There was a 40 percent reduction of the project’s embodied carbon through reuse of 66 percent of the structure and envelope despite 100 years of deterioration. Major interior renovations included new common rooms, student social spaces, and updates to the 450-seat dining facility.

    The building increased from 238,955 to 275,900 square feet with the addition of a 13th floor located behind a 14-foot parapet. Additionally, the number of students the building can accommodate increased from 750 to 1,044 residential students. Extensive preconstruction planning was required to coordinate logistics on this busy urban site as well as complex phasing.

    Additional green features included: rainwater collection for reuse in flushing toilets to site runoff, which saved 665,000 gallons of potable water annually; 6,835,000 gallons of annual water savings, which equaled a 45.9 percent water-use reduction; and a Predicted Energy Use Intensity (pEUI) of 50 kBtu/sf that resulted in 29 percent energy cost savings.

    People’s Choice Award - Built Environment Plus, 2021 Green Building Showcase

    Boston Preservation Alliance, 2021 Preservation Award

    • Higher Education icon
      Sectors Higher Education
    • owner icon
      Owner Emerson College
    • architect icon
      Architect Elkus Manfredi Architects
    • square icon
      Square Feet 275,900
    • lead status icon
      LEED Status LEED Gold Certified