Blog – Green Building

Blog – Green Building

  • DEADLINE EXTENDED- Unified Plan — Your Thoughts On Wellesley’s Future

    As you know, the Town of Wellesley is currently preparing the Unified Plan, planning for our future. A draft is now available and they are looking for public input.

    Please take a look at the draft here, or read parts of it including the Sustainability Resilience, and Green Practices, the Mobility and Circulation (especially you bikers!), Public Health and Wellness, Natural Resources and Conservation chapters.

    Consider reviewing it, mindful of some of these general themes:

    -Climate resilience and mitigation -Renewable energy -GHG emission reduction and energy efficiency -Walkability -Pesticide reduction -Native plants and trees -Tree and open space protection -Waste and litter reduction

    They are looking for YOUR feedback to the plan. Please share it here.

    Remember, the goal is to identify the visions and priorities of Wellesley residents and set goals and priorities for issues ranging from land use planning, economic development, housing, transportation, and education, to Town government operations and finance.

    Creating a livable, innovative and fiscally-sound Wellesley in the future, is something we can all agree on.

  • TONIGHT: Wellesley’s Unified Plan Open House

    Swing by the Great Hall in Town Hall TONIGHT for the Unified Plan Open House between 7 & 9pm.

    Learn more about ideas for preserving and enhancing Wellesley’s environmental resources, natural and recreational open spaces. Other main topics include housing, town government, zoning, transportation and economic development. Share your ideas on these and other important sustainable issues facing Wellesley.

  • From Medicines to Building Materials, We Have Disposal Ideas


    With Fall in the air, you may be doing some housecleaning. Here are a few resources for you to dispose and share some small, medium and large items in your home. Have other ideas/suggestions. Please let us know.

    – PRESCRIPTIONS – Got medicines that you are not taking and/or are expired? Please dispose of them safely and properly by bringing them to the Wellesley Police Department’s drug take-back container.


    – PAINT? PAPER? – Sunday, Oct. 1 there is a Shredding Event at the RDF and Paint Collection Day is Sat., Oct. 7.


    – BUILDING MATERIALS – If you have a home improvement project on your fall agenda, you may end up with leftover building materials that are in good shape. If you don’t need it, but it can be reused, consider donating to the Reuse Center at Boston Building Resources (a 501(c)(3) charity) so someone else can use your item for home maintenance, repairs, or improvements.

    Cabinetry, appliances, windows, doors, bathroom fixtures, lumber, flooring, electrical, tools, hardware, tile … whether it’s gently used, a misorder, or you just bought too much, your unneeded items can help someone else improve their home.

    Keep good-quality materials out of the landfill Save on disposal fees Pick-up service available Fill out a materials donation offer form –  material and financial gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

  • See You Sunday 1-3pm

    Please join us for the next action meeting THIS SUNDAY, September 17th from 1-3 pm, upstairs in the loft at 161 Oakland Street.

    Never been before? No problem. Sustainable Wellesley gets together a few times a year to talk about issues happening in our community and what we can do to make a difference.

    Come meet State Senate candidate (and WHS teacher) Jackie Katz!

    Some topics include: – Renewable energy initiative overview – Learn what is happening on the local and state levels and what can we do

    – Wellesley’s own Green Awards Program

    – Big town projects – LED street lights/HHU/900 Worcester/Green Communities

    – Food and the environment

    Please email us at to let us know if you will be there, plus issues, concerns, ideas of your own.

    See you in Sunday! Snacks provided but please bring your own coffee, water, tea, etc.

  • 900 Worcester’s Ice Rinks, Swimming Pools and Playing Fields


    As may of us know, the Town of Wellesley approved a $3.8M purchase of the 7.85 acre property and started on plans to convert 900 Worcester Project into a recreation area featuring a pool, ice skating rinks, and playing fields.

    You can learn more from the Wellesley Townsman article, but highlights are that Wellesley Sports Center, LLC will develop “two NHL size hockey rinks, 10 lanes (25 yards) lengthwise to bulkhead, plus three lanes (25 yards) widthwise and a smaller (50′ x 25′) warm water teaching/therapy pool, an indoor 90′ x 150′ (suitable for 7v7 high school soccer) turf field, fitness area with physical therapy (4,800 sf) and strength and conditioning (6,600 sf).”

    This is exciting for many in town. However, we need to think about how this building can be built and run in a manor that will assist Wellesley to meet its goal to reduce its carbon footprint by 25%.

    Join a group of folks wanting to learn and share more on this mutual goal. Email to be connected to this team.

  • Come On. Time To Show Off

    leed house

    fireplaceYou are doing many things that others would love to learn about and emulate.


    Lets show them off on the 2nd Sustainable Wellesley Bike Tour. The goal of the tour is to bring the community together for a fun bike ride and educate people on eco friendly and sustainable options in our town.

    compostingOn the tour there will be multiple stops highlighting local homes, gardens and other buildings that contain sustainable features. Some of them will include successful composting areas, solar systems, rain water handling systems, geothermal, native gardens, incredible recycling stations, backyard chickens, bees and much more.

    If you are willing to participate in this event please email Andrew, a WHS secabinetsnior working on his senior project with Sustainable Wellesley at

  • Three Important Measures Now Up for Approval at Town Meeting!

    town hall

    With so much attention on issues of national importance – local issues can get lost in the shuffle. Wellesley Town Meeting opened Monday night and will soon be discussing three hyper-local issues that have a direct impact on sustainability and the fundamental character of our town — Articles 31, 32, and 40.

    If you are a Town Meeting Member, we strongly urge you to approve Articles 31, 32, and 40.

    If you aren’t a Town Meeting Member,  we urge you to call or email your Town Meeting Members today to ask them to vote in favor of these articles! (Wellesley has 8 precincts, each represented by 30 elected Town Meeting Members. To find out who your town meeting members are and how to contact them, click here.)

    Please Support Articles 31, 32, and 40 (scroll down for more detail on each):

    1. Solar Overlay Zoning Amendment, (Article 31), proposed by the Sustainable Energy Committee – This measure would make it possible for the state to install a solar array on the cloverleaf at Routes 9 and 128. (No current solar project is proposed.) Approval of the zoning overlay would allow Wellesley to apply to become an official “Green Community,” making the town eligible for state grants to improve energy efficiency and increase renewable energy use.

    1. Large House Review Amendment (Article 32), proposed by the Planning Board. This amendment would improve the accuracy and equitability of the current Large House Review by including garage and attic spaces in determining which houses are reviewed.

    1. Historic Preservation Demolition Delay/Review Bylaw, (Article 40), proposed by the Wellesley Historical Commission. This bylaw would allow a pause in advance of the demolition of a home built before 1949.

    Please contact your Town Meeting Member now and ask them to vote to approve Articles 31, 32, and 40 to preserve the sustainability and character of our town!

    Read on for more details….

    1. Solar Overlay Zoning Amendment, (Article 31), proposed by the Sustainable Energy Committee

    The Sustainable Energy Committee (SEC) is proposing an amendment to the Zoning Map and Bylaws for a future solar overlay. If approved, this amendment would allow the town to apply for the “Green Community” designation from MA Dept. of Energy Resources (DOER). As a Green Community, Wellesley would be eligible for grants and technical assistance to improve energy efficiencies and increase renewable energy in public buildings, facilities, and schools. Neighboring towns have won more than a million dollars in grants.

    In order to apply for the Green Community designation, towns must demonstrate that they have the potential to develop a large-scale solar installation. The proposed Solar Overlay Zoning Amendment would allow for potential future development of ground-mounted solar installation at the clover-leaf at Route 9 and 128, which is owned by the state Dept. of Transportation. (The DOT has no current plans to develop the site.)

    1. Large House Review Amendment (Article 32), proposed by the Planning Board.

    The “Large House Review” is a process approved by Special Town Meeting in 2007 that allows the Planning Board to invite input from neighbors, and to address whether a proposed house is compatible with the character of the neighborhood. Size thresholds are set for each zoning district — if a proposed house is larger than the threshold, it gets reviewed through Planning.  Currently, the calculation exempts garage and attic spaces, so builders design houses that fall just under the definition of “large,” but actually include large garages and potentially livable attic space.

    Article 32 calls for two relatively simple and reasonable changes that will make Large House Review more predictable and remove unintended consequences: Counting garage space as part of the “Total Living Area,” and counting attic space when the roof height allows at least 5’0” under it. This would result either in more houses coming through the Large House Review or in developers building houses that are somewhat smaller. Either way — Wellesley wins with houses that are more in keeping with the character of our town.

    1. Historic Preservation Demolition Delay/Review Bylaw, (Article 40), proposed by the Wellesley Historical Commission.

    One house is torn down every four days in Wellesley. There have been 859 teardowns since 2002, significantly more (pro rata) than neighboring towns. Teardowns are less environmentally friendly than renovations and it can take up to 80 years for energy-efficient new construction to overcome the negative environmental costs associated with the teardown-rebuild process. In addition, there’s an enormous environmental cost from new materials and associated transportation (e.g., asphalt shingles, lumber framing, insulation, paints, metals, carpeting, etc.), not to mention the clear-cutting of our mature canopy trees to make way for larger foundations, and the massive increase in landfill waste from home demolition.

    Currently 148 Massachusetts towns have demolition review bylaws and EVERY abutting town has a demolition review bylaw. We need to level the playing field and better manage the rampant pace of demolitions and developer-built construction in our town.

    This bylaw is a priority of Wellesley’s Comprehensive Plan (2007 – 2017) and is specifically recommended in Wellesley’s current Comprehensive Plan. It was crafted to provide a window of opportunity to protect our history and character and slow down the teardowns, which are actually on the rise.

    The Demolition Delay will allow for thoughtful discussion in the face of wanton destruction; allow neighbors to weigh in on a proposed demolition; offer a pause to consider; and encourage renovations and additions vs. complete teardowns.

  • Vote Tomorrow. Your Voter’s Guide W/ Candidates Views of Sustainability

    vote small

    With numerous contested races, it shows Wellesley residents are leaning in and are taking steps to make changes on the local level, regardless of what is happening in Washington.


    Wellesley voters are doing their research and getting ready to vote on Tuesday because they realize that local politics greatly affects their day-to-day lives. 


    Thus, we have asked all candidates, except the Moderator, to answer three questions about sustainability and how it relates to the work of that particular board.  

    Please share widely with your friends and neighbors — and please VOTE!


    Board of Selectmen – Click here. Board of Assessors – No response. Board of Health – Click here. Housing Authority – No response. Library Trustees – Click here. Natural Resources – Click here. Planning Board – Click here. Board of Public Works – Click here. Recreation Commission – No response. School Committee – Click here.



  • Meet the Library Board of Trustees Candidates


    Sustainable Wellesley continues its series of questions to candidates in regards sustainability, and how it relates to the important town positions they are running for.

    This week we are publishing the responses from the 2 candidates running for the Wellesley Library Board of Trustees. This board focuses on the general oversight of all library services and policies, assess the Library’s needs and its role in town, establishes policies and procedures and works in conjunction with the Library Director to prepare a budget.

    1. What is your track record on sustainability, including any particular interests and experience with sustainable ideas and initiatives? Ann-Mara Lanza I am a firm believer in the concept of “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” Growing up in Lincoln, Massachusetts, recycling has always been a part of my family practice. We are proud that we now live in a community that has a more comprehensive recycling program, and love our trips to the RDF. I borrow most of my reading material from the Wellesley Free Library, rather than buy books. I have turned my son into an avid thrift store shopper. We drive a Tesla. My particular interest is in saving this world for our children and their children.

    2. How do you see sustainability as a factor in the development of policy and strategic goals for the Wellesley Free Library system?

    Ann-Mara Lanza The library is, inherently, all about sustainability – the ultimate source of reusable materials. By providing materials (books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, newspapers, and more!) to borrow, we encourage residents to conserve the resources of our planet, rather than to purchase new. Today, the library lends items beyond what one might remember from their childhood. Recently, the library has expanded our “library of things” to enable residents to borrow items that they might only use once rather than purchase, like a character cake pan.

    The WFL is in the process of developing a new 5-year strategic plan. This plan will outline new initiatives for the Wellesley Free Library and new ways that the WFL can encourage residents to borrow.

    3. Please describe any new initiatives related to the environment that you think the Library should undertake.

    Ann-Mara Lanza The Wellesley Free Library is always ready to partner with other organizations in town to protect the environment.  Last year, working with the MLP, the Wellesley Free Library installed a solar powered charging station outside the main library building where residents can charge their cell phones.  We are also working with the Sustainable Energy Committee to expand our “library of things.”  As we create our strategic plan, we will continue to work with the community to develop programs and services that promote sustainability.

    Ann Rappaport I joined the grass roots organization SMART (Sustainable Management of Appropriate Resources and Technology) formed in 2006 to lobby for a ‘green’ high performance high school. Our group was very effective in advocating that the WHS School Building Committee incorporate sustainable design into the WHS project. We raised awareness of green school building practice in the US and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts through researching and writing white papers and presenting our findings in citizen speak before SBC/PBC. We also formed a ‘Green Team’ to compete at the 2007 and 2008 WEF spelling bees (Pamela Posey, Katie Smith Milway and I won the Bee both years). The new high school achieved 34-point MA-CHPS certification, necessary to receive reimbursement from the Massachusetts School Building Authority and the PBC added $1MM more in ‘green’ features to the project. WHS was ultimately awarded a Green Difference Award in the Outstanding Green School category.

    In 2007, I was asked to participate on an Ad Hoc Green Committee which produced a report to Town Meeting (see March 2008 Advisory Report, pp 125-127) in which we recommended the establishment of a “Green Ribbon Study Committee” charged with examining town energy usage and developing a Sustainable Energy Plan. (The GRSC ultimately led to the permanent Sustainable Energy Committee.) I was the Wellesley Advisory Committee Liaison to the SEC in 2012-2013 and participated in a WMLP pilot program to “peak smooth” my family’s energy usage; we got very used to doing laundry and running the dishwasher after 10 PM at night! As a Town Meeting Member for the past decade, I have supported all sustainability initiatives, including the formation of the SEC, stretch energy code, and recent plastic bag ban.

    On a personal level, I live in a house built in 1848 lacking standard modern conveniences like central air-conditioning. (Our family has discovered that the shade trees on our property help keep us cool in the summer.) My family composts, avoids non-organic lawn care and tries to reduce, reuse and recycle whenever possible.

    I recently attended a PBC meeting to speak as a former member of SMART to encourage the PBC and SEC to incorporate sustainable building guidelines into Wellesley’s current and future building projects. It was very encouraging to see so much support on both committees for this initiative. As a Library Trustee, I would continue to advocate for sustainability practice in building design, energy, resource and material conservation whenever possible. I was encouraged to read about the Library’s new “Library of Things,” whereby old games, puzzles, instruments, baking pans, etc. are offered for patrons to take home – a way to recycle items no longer used and/or to avoid having to purchase items that might only be used a few times. Most recently, the Library Trustees voted to support the town wide Integrated Pest Management policy promoted by the NRC. As a Library Trustee, I would encourage the Library to continue to work with SEC, NRC, and other groups in town which promote sustainability whenever possible; I believe the Library is, and should continue to be, a good neighbor which works collaboratively with other boards toward common goals that benefit our community and the greater good.

  • House Torn Down Every 3.8 Days in Wellesley


    Dear Sustainable Wellesley Readers,

    Does it seem like there are a lot of teardowns in Wellesley? It’s not your imagination – a Wellesley home is torn down every 3.8 days.
    Teardowns are not unique to Wellesley, but the pace of demolitions is greater than in any other town. This is because all neighboring towns as well as 150 towns across the Commonwealth have a Demolition Review Bylaw in place. Wellesley does not have this bylaw, so we are a very attractive town to developers. In 2015 alone there were 95 teardowns in our town. Compare that with 42 in 2007.
    Why should we care that our current housing stock is being torn down and replaced with large “speculative” McMansions built by developers? Here are just a few reasons:
    • loss of our mature trees and tree canopy due to clear-cutting of lots
    • loss of valuable topsoil due to regrading of landscapes
    • loss of sun, sightlines, and privacy due to towering houses
    • deeper basements mean ledge blasting and damage to nearby homes
    • more lot coverage means more polluted stormwater runoff and flooded neighbor basements
    • the original home’s materials, and the energy and resources used to build it, are wasted and sent to landfills
    • neighborhood character and economic diversity are lost
    • home values are decreased, as the remaining neighborhood properties are now worth only the value of the land and the glut of high-end supply is depressing values.
    What can be done to slow the teardowns?
    Our Historical Commission is proposing a Demolition Review Bylaw for Wellesley, which will put us on par with our peer communities and remove the target that exists on our town. It will be up for a vote at this spring’s Town Meeting.
    How would it work?
    The process would only review structures built prior to December 31, 1949, and the delay would only be triggered if the structure is deemed “preferably preserved” for its historical or architectural value. A public hearing would occur for these eligible structures and the Historical Commission would vote whether or not to delay demolition. If a delay is imposed, the Commission will encourage the owner to file a waiver to pursue an addition or renovation. (There are many lovely older homes in Wellesley that have been renovated to fit modern-day lifestyles.) However, if a compromise cannot be achieved after 12 months, the house can be torn down.
    Will a Demolition Review Bylaw hurt property values?
    The Historical Commission’s research shows that in recent years, towns with Demolition Review Bylaws have significantly outperformed Wellesley in property value appreciation.
    Want to learn more?
    View the Wellesley Historical Commission’s excellent presentations to the Advisory Committee [October 26, 2016] and the Planning Board [December 5, 2016].
    Here’s How to Act Now:
    1. Sign the online teardown petition at
    2. Attend upcoming Board of Selectmen meeting (January 17 @7pm at Town Hall), where the Historical Commission will be discussing this topic and seeking the Selectmen’s endorsement of the bylaw.
    3. Forward this message to your Wellesley friends and neighbors who care about the character and economic diversity of Wellesley and want to encourage smart, sustainable growth, and ask them to do the same.
    4. More to come – We will be in touch over the coming weeks with more information and with additional ways for you to consider supporting this effort.
    “Wellesley, the Beautiful” didn’t just happen – it was planned this way. Let’s not let it slip away home by home. Please join the Sustainable Wellesley leadership team and support the upcoming Demolition Review Bylaw.
    Best Regards,
    Jeff, Lise, Paul, Phyllis, Quentin and Scott
    Sustainable Wellesley Leadership Team
  • “Show up, Dive in, Stay at it”

    action group Wil Quentin Mary Lise

    And we did.

    A full house filled the art studio last Sunday night at Sustainable Wellesley’s 2017 Kick Off Event with mingling, food and drink, break out groups and of course, inspiration.

    action group selfieAfter a quick 2016 highlight recap — click here for an impressive view of all we accomplished last year — the more than 50 action group 2017party attenders broke out into action groups to discuss some projects for 2017 including:

    “Each topic discussed tonight impacts everyone in Wellesley – ‘sustainably-minded’ or not,” said one guest.

    “Being together and looking ahead at 2017 made this a valuable, fun evening,” said another empowered guest.

    One of these topics resonate with you?

    Simply send us a message and we will connect with folks leading the charge on the issues that matter most to you.

  • Check Out A Net Zero Home


    photo courtesy of ZeroEnergy Design

    Go behind the scenes to learn about the design and construction of a net zero energy home that will produce as much energy annually as it consumes.

    Architects ZeroEnergy Design, and contractors Auburndale Builders will explain how this home will achieve exceptional energy performance, healthy indoor air quality, superior thermal comfort, and long term durability.

    While the home is under construction, you will get the unique perspective of seeing the building and systems while the walls are still open for viewing, plus a short explanatory presentation by the experts.

    DATE:  January 18, 2017, Wednesday at 12PM

    LOCATION:  Newton MA (Address provided approximately a week before tour to confirmed attendees.)

    DETAILS:  Attendance is free.  RSVP required!

    Reserve your space by emailing with name & phone number.

  • Many Important Issues at the Planning Board Meeting TONIGHT

    town hallLots on Deck at the Planning Board Meeting TONIGHT

    Wellesley Town Hall, Great Hall, 6:30 pm

    The Wellesley Planning Board has a packed agenda tonight and a lot of sustainability-related issues will be discussed, including:

    • a proposal to require a delay for house demolitions,
    • a proposal to change how house size is calculated for projects that come under the “Large House Review” process (known cryptically as “LHR TLAG”)
    • a proposal for a bylaw amendment on outdoor lighting
    • a presentation by the Sustainable Energy Committee on gaining “Green Community” designation for Wellesley (which would allow the town to apply for state grants)

    Click to see the agenda here.

  • Piloting at WHS

    os3 Main

    In an effort to add more sustainabilty practices around the schools, the Wellesley Facilities Department is conducting a pilot project of the Tennant Orbio os3 Generator at Wellesley High School.

    The Orbio Multi-Surface Cleaner is certified as environmentally responsible by Green Seal, an independent, science-based standards developer. The multi-surface cleaner uses a dilution of a product that meets Green Seal Standard GS-37 based on effective performance, concentration of a product, minimized/recycled packaging, and protective limits on VOCs and human & environmental toxicity.

    This machine uses water, water softening tablets (salt), and an electrostatic charge to make a multi surface cleaner and disinfectant that can replace 3 to 4 of currently dispensed chemicals.

    Michael T. Santangelo, Custodial Services Manager, Facilities Maintenance Department for the Town of Wellesley, said “this easy and efficient means of making-your-own cleaners, also has the added benefits of no fuel used to deliver the product, and less cardboard and plastic packaging added into the waste stream.”

  • Inspiring Highlights From Wellesley Green Schools’ Summit


    More than 25 Town employees, committee directors, parents, teachers, and students gathered together last week to join their voices and have a roundtable discussion about all things sustainable at Wellesley Public Schools (Dana Hall too).

    The annual Green Schools Summit guest speaker was Eric Magers who has created an intriguing model at Manchester Essex High School where 120+ students are part of a green team course. He inspired many with his curriculum which:

    • promotes environmental literacy

    • encourages student service-learning projects

    • enriches students’ learning experience by developing 21st-century and e-STEAM skills

    • empowers students to take on personal environmental responsibility and civic accountability

    Mary Gard, of Wellesley Green Schools and Sustainable Wellesley, reminded folks that a few years ago school administrators, town officials, parents and teachers were discussing the creation of the new Wellesley High School. The first goal was to create a school with sustainable design features and technology that would support the Town’s energy goals while also creating a healthy learning environment for students and teachers. The second goal was to create a green community that would live and breathe in it. We now have a Massachusetts Certified High Performance School (status as defined by the Massachusetts School Building Authority), and its time to reach the second part of that goal and utilize the building we have paid for.

    What amazes folks the most at the Green School Summit is the vast amount of programing going on across the district and the cross pollination that occurs. Some highlights include:

    • Town boards working together to create building guidelines that help the town meet it’s carbon reduction goals

    • More waste reduction and food waste recovery are happening many thanks to the SEC, NRC and the Manager of Wellesley Food Service’s Provider, Whitsons.

    • Bates School is piloting an outdoor learning project, created scarecrows for Festival with reusable materials and are participating in the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge

    • Wellesley High School Evolution students are working on a variety of town community projects including aquaponics, solar and renewable energy, reusable bag and tree adoption initiatives

    • To promote using less single use plastics, Wellesley Green Schools offered loaner H20 pitchers for meetings and shared the Smart event guide

    • Sustainable Wellesley is encouraging HHU and the Town to choose a scenario that creates the least, long term negative environmental implications, and the greatest sustainable opportunities for our community

    • WMS has new science curriculum with interesting programing including:

      – 6th grade – 1/2 a year on energy including renewables

      – 7th grade – part of the ecology section they are doing a program with the Charles river watershed and Community Rowing Inc (CRI) doing water quality testing and looking at drain channels (leaks and all)

      – 8th grade – hydroponics in the newly renovated greenhouse

    • WHS has local plantings/landscaping

    • Sustainable Energy Committee will be re-launching Power to Choose

    • Schofield will have the Garbage is My Bag assembly coming up courtesy of the Wellesley RDF

    • Wellesley’s Department of Public Works is adding items the town can recycle and working on Waste Wise Wellesley Program

    • Hunnewell is enthusiasically re launching green team

    • Upham is working on recycling lunch trays

    • The Natural Resources Commission gave a bag ban update

    • Sprague School is  working on some no idling programs now and will do a survey of students and faculty to see what direction green team should head

    • Dana Hall is looking to coordinate with WPS on ideas and methodologies -working with Natural Resources Commission on some projects with green team and recently showed “Before the Flood” to very intrigued students.

    • Custodial Services now has a new piece of equipment that they are piloting at WHS which will pull even more chemicals out of the line, eliminate packaging and transportation (cost and waste!)

    • Present WHS students couldn’t make meeting but wrote in to say they are excited and eager to help raise awareness more

    For those unable to make the meeting, or interested in learning more, simply email us at We are here to help.

  • Editorial: How Wellesley Can Become Even More Sustainable

    teardownEditorial by Catherine Johnson

    We have been a Tree City USA for 34 years. We passed a plastic bag ban at 2016 Town Meeting. We are completing the requirements to become a Green Community by 2017. We continually strive to support alternate energy, recycle, and reduce our carbon footprint. We even have an Integrated Pest Management Policy for town-owned land.

    What else can we do? Well, a big part of our effort to make Wellesley truly sustainable remains offstage in the wings, unnoticed. We must start to spotlight residential housing: specifically, how do we manage the demolition of older houses and what are we building as their replacement? After all, approximately 20% of our nation’s landfills can be attributed to demolition debris. And replacing older, smaller houses with new large ones eliminates open space and mature tree canopy. And, in many cases, the new house is out of context with the surrounding homes, which is an affront to a basic principle of sustainability.

    We should all join in the discussion:

    1.) The Historical Commission has a subcommittee that is working to create a Demo Review Bylaw. This would review the potential demolition of older houses that add to the character and demographic fabric of Wellesley by promoting restoration and smart rehabilitation. Visit the Historical Commission’s website to read more. Consider signing the petition regarding tear downs and commenting on this issue.

    2.) The Planning Board has a working group studying Residential Housing. Its goal is to assess what we have right now and what we need to do to promote smart growth. Eventually, we can craft Zoning Bylaw changes that make how we build sustainable. This is a large discussion that will be folded into the town-wide Unified Plan scheduled to be in place by 2018. At present, the Large House Review (LHR) Bylaw controls mansionization in Wellesley. But does it work as intended? The board plans to hold a public forum in early October so it can hear from residents.

    More information on attendance and how to make your voices heard will follow.

  • SNEAK PEAK: A Solar Charging Station @ The Library


    Image, courtesy of Soofa

    Sustainable Wellesley folks are proud to let you know that starting this summer, you can use solar energy to charge your phone or electronic device when visiting the library.

    Thanks to a generous partnership with the Municipal Light Plant (MLP), the Wellesley Free Library is installing a Soofa solar-powered bench outside near the Children’s patio. All you have to do is simply plug your device’s cable into the Soofa Bench’s USB port and start charging.

    “The Library is the perfect place to bring technology, sustainability and service together,” said Jamie Jurgensen, Wellesley Free Library Director. “Our partnership with the MLP has created a unique opportunity for Wellesley residents to benefit from cutting edge technology in a tranquil setting,” Jurgensen said.

    Debra J. Healy, Assistant Director of the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant adds, “We are pleased to collaborate with Wellesley’s Free Library supporting sustainability. Libraries are pillars of community, where people and ideas come together,” Healy said.

    “We’re excited to be a part of that vision with Wellesley Free Library, sparking conversations on sustainability and innovation with the residents of Wellesley along the way” said Sandra Richter, co-founder and CEO of Soofa.

    The Soofa Bench was designed by a team of female engineers and designers from Harvard and MIT. The Soofa Bench was piloted with the City of Boston in 2014. Based on the product’s success, 100 Soofa Benches have been installed by early adopters in 7 states. Soofa Benches are made to endure New England weather and each bench has a solar panel that powers two USB ports that can charge a phone or other electronic device.

  • Wellesley’s Facilities Department Wins Award

    Facility Award 2016

    Town of Wellesley Facilities Department Wins Green Difference Awards at the State House

    Joseph F. McDonough, Facilities Director for the Town of Wellesley, and his team including Energy Manager, Allen Hebert and Custodial Services Manager Michael Santangelo accepted the Outstanding Green Community Hero Award at the 8th annual Green Difference Awards last week at the MA State House. State Representative Alice Peisch and State Representative Jay Barrows were on hand to recognize Wellesley’s team and other winners who have demonstrated outstanding environmental education, innovation, as well as leadership and service in schools and communities across the Commonwealth, the country and abroad.

    Wellesley won the award due to it’s commitment to green cleaning, as well as reducing energy use in the schools. The Town of Wellesley has a goal of reducing energy use 25% by 2020 using 2007 as the base year.

  • School & Sports Complex Meetings This Week


    Below are some town committee meetings where our presence would be ideal to stay abreast of what is happening in terms of sustainability. If you know of something else happening in town that we should be aware of, please let us know by emailing us here.

    Simply show up, let folks know you are there at citizens speak as part of Sustainable Wellesley, and email us about any sustainability focused topics/concerns/opportunities afterwards.

    1) 900 Worcester Committee – Sports Facility

    June 1st at 7 to 9 pm, Warren Building Room 216

    2)  TWO Hunewell Hardy and Upham School meetings this week:

    June 2nd at 7pm in Town Hall

    & June 9 at 3pm at Hunnewell School Library

    Find other events this week beyond politics on the Sustainable Wellesley Calendar here.

  • Sports Fans: This Wednesday, 7 pm: Meeting on New Athletic Center

    Marathon Sports Group

    Marathon Sports Group

    Excitement is building in Wellesley for a major new sports center at 900 Worcester Street (on the former site of St. James the Great church). The Town’s 900 Worcester Street Committee is considering plans for this large-scale facility, which will serve our community for at least the next 20 to 50 years.

    The committee meets again this Wednesday, May 25, at 7 pm at the Warren Building. Please attend, ask questions, and show support for a green building design with net zero energy use, and green construction. Click HERE to see a great example from Falmouth. 

    We want to make sure that this facility does not have a negative impact on the town-wide goal to reduce our carbon footprint by 25 percent below 2007 levels by 2020.

    Together, we can make this facility a model for our community and others by using state-of-the-art sustainable construction, design, lighting, and landscaping. We look forward to an impressive new facility that will have a positive impact on health and wellness, without a negative impact on our environment.

    Wellesley is already struggling to achieve our carbon reduction goal, and it is vital that we make sure this facility does not push that goal out of reach.

  • See Unique Sustainable Aspects on Kitchen & Home Tour

    Photo by Eric Barry

    Photo by Eric Barry

    Check out the Wellesley Kitchen and Homes Tour on Saturday, May 7th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm. This popular, annual fundraiser for the Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club (WHJWC) will show 6 houses on the Tour. Some of which have some unique sustainable building aspects you want to see and learn about.

    Don’t miss all the exquisite reclaimed wood (i.e. beams, barn doors) and granite that brings such character and a rustic, yet alluring, appeal to 100 Brook Street.  You may want to inquire with Riverstone Custom Builders how they got the HERS rating so low (30!). Is it the the cell foam insulation? The energy efficient HRV air exchanger? The high efficient HVAC system with nest “learning” t-stats? Learn how the homeowners are saving money on the electric bills with the solar panels.

    Advance tickets are $45; they’ll be $55 at the door. Proceeds will go to local charities and scholarships for Wellesley High School students. They can be purchased here or at the following retail locations:

    Wellesley: Roche Bros., Florijn Home, and Dayton Home Weston: Benoit Mizner Simon Needham: Home Trends Natick: Debsan the Decorating Store Framingham: Yale Appliance + Lighting

    Don’t forget its a fun tour do on a bicycle, or bring a friend and carpool.

  • Wellesley Water Supply

    News from Friends of Brookside reports that the Wellesley Country Club has applied to build a new 6-hole golf course in Wellesley’s Water Supply Protection District.
    The affected land in is in Wellesley’s aquifer protection zone, (Zone II), serving more than half of Wellesley’s wells. Friends of Brookside has been advocating for an organic approach for the new development, and also Audubon Golf Certification (to provide more checks and balances given it’s a sensitive water resource) and has yet to get a commitment from the Club.
    With solid citizen support, the Wellesley Zoning Board could require a tighter, certified turf management program for this new course.
    You may like to attend Wellesley’s first hearing this Thursday, January 21 at 7:30, Zoning Board of Appeals, Town Hall, Juliani Room.
  • Quick Survey For You

    guitars  folkdesign samplesSLF On Saturday, we had an amazing Sustainable Living Festival at Wellesley’s Municipal Light Plant. With electric cars, gardening ideas, kids activities, solar power information, stylish upcycled fashions, electric guitars, lectures, sustainable investing, a huge raffle and a lot more, folks were inspired and entertained. For all exhibitors, attendees, and those that did not get a chance to attend the Sustainable Living Festival, please take a few seconds (120 for those that attended – we timed it and 25 for those that didnt) to respond to our survey. This will allow us to give you really what you want next time.
    Attendees’ Survey: Exhibitors’ Survey: See all the photos here! Thank you to all of the wonderful exhibitors, presenters and raffle donors! We hope you made it, and if not see you next time. The Sustainable Wellesley Leadership Team, Quentin, Phyllis, Lise, Scott, Jeff, Alex
  • A Festival For You This Saturday

    SW Festival Banner (1)

    We are very excited to invite you to the Sustainable Living Festival this Saturday from 10- 3 at the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant – next to the Rt. 9 Fire Station.

    This Festival is for You. 

    There will be something for everyone including activities for the children, raffle items with lots of local goodies, ways to save money, exciting new technologies, interesting lectures, and movies. 

    Come and have fun and learn ways your Home, Family, Garden, Wardrobe, Car, Hobbies, Investments; basically everything you do, can easily be more sustainable. 

    Click HERE to Register in advance for a free organic tomato plant

    Click HERE to see list of presentations

    Click HERE to automatically add the Festival to your calendar

    Click HERE for directions and all the details

    Click HERE to join the event on Facebook – find out who else is going and share it with your friends

    Click HERE to Like Sustainable Wellesley on Facebook

  • Save Saturday May 16th For Sustainable Living Festival

    SLF header Please Save The Date Saturday, May 16 10-3pm at the MLP. SLF header date time localLots of great exhibitors are lined up for the Sustainable Living Festival. Stay tuned for specifics on Speaker Highlights, Workshops and bring your children so they can enjoy the Kids Zone. Look for great ideas and inspiration from experts in the following fields: SLF exhbitor LEED architects Farmers Clothing Designer Electric Car Dealers Non Toxic health care Gardening Composting Lawn Care Solar Lighting Home Improvements Responsible Investments  
  • EcoBoston Sustainable Living Event This Wednesday

    green city growers eco event Green City Growers invites you to EcoBoston Sustainable Living Event Wednesday, October 1, 6PM – 9PM Network with eco-minded professionals from the Boston area who are passionate about healthy, sustainable living while enjoying the water views from District Hall, Boston’s newest community space for collaboration and innovation. Be inspired. Discover new ideas. RSVP HERE
  • Solar Rebate Extended & Zero Cash Down Financing Available

    solar graphWellesley Municipal Light Plant’s (WMLP) board proudly announces the extension of its electrical solar installation rebate for Wellesley WMLP customers that sign up for solar before December 31, 2014, and install by June 30, 2015. “With a very impressive ROI, many Wellesley residents are investing in solar and we would like to see the successful program continue longer,” said Katharine Gibson, Chairman of the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant Board. “The solar rebate is a win-win program for our customers and the Light Plant. At a time when electricity prices are likely to rise, solar energy is a good option for many Wellesley households and it helps the Light Plant control peak demand, which is a significant driver of our costs,” Gibson reported. Wellesley’s More Power to Choose SOLAR initiative — supported by Wellesley’s Municipal Light Plant, sponsored by the Town of Wellesley Sustainable Energy Committee and run by a group of volunteers in Wellesley — offers a discounted price around 30% below the state average for solar panels. Residents and businesses are able to receive up to $2,100 rebate from the WMLP as well as a 30% Federal tax credit, and a $1,000 State tax credit. Wellesley’s discounted solar pricing is being offered by solar installer Astrum Solar. Astrum has now introduced a purchase finance option with zero cash down for the solar installation. This is superior to a leasing option as it allows the homeowner to retain more of the financial benefits of solar while paying for the installation over 20 years. In addition, Astrum will donate $100 of solar equipment to the Town for every contract signed. To date that comes to $5,500. WMLP’s rebate is provided from non-operating revenue and is estimated to provide the utility a 5 year payback. This is due to the fact that solar power reduces the “peak load” upon which a substantial and growing fixed charge is levied by the WMLP’s power suppliers. Lowering the peak load lowers the expense structure upon which rates are set and benefits all WMLP customers. To find out if your home is solar suitable and the financial returns its could mean for you, please go to and check the solar box, or call 617 983-8141. There are additional opportunities in the More Power to Choose Program, including a free thermal image to see where heat is escaping from your home, a no cost energy audit, requesting renewable energy for your home and more.
  • Wellesley More POWER TO CHOOSE Sun Program Reaches Full Discount Pricing

    P2C_SolarIconLast Chance to Take Advantage of Best Solar Pricing Residents in Wellesley have now reached a level of participation that provides everyone in the program the lowest price available. The town started the year with 8 homeowners generating electricity from solar and that number has now grown nearly 6 times as many to 48 private homes generating electricity from solar. Any residents who sign up before the August 31 deadline will now benefit from the best pricing for solar, a guaranteed installation before the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant solar rebate expires on December 31st and the ability to benefit from 2014 tax credits. With a very impressive return on investment for those who are “solar suitable”, 409 homeowners have registered to see if solar works for them and more than 35 have already signed installation contracts. As the Wellesley More POWER TO CHOOSE Sun Program approaches the registration deadline, these are the last few weeks to take advantage of this significantly discounted pricing. Watch it happen here. The More POWER TO CHOOSE program is coordinated by Wellesley volunteers and sponsored by the Town of Wellesley Sustainable Energy Committee. The solar portion of this program offers discounted group pricing from installer partner Astrum Solar along with a rebate from Wellesley’s Municipal Light Plant and generous state and federal incentives. This program is working to lower the carbon footprint of the Town of Wellesley and setting a standard for the future of our town. To reserve your no-obligation estimate visit today or call 617 963-8141. To connect with the local volunteers coordinating the campaign, email The overall More POWER TO CHOOSE program provides residents opportunities to meet their individual goals of personal responsibility and engagement. The program provides residents the opportunity to choose among the following options: · Free thermal image to see where your home is losing energy · No-cost in-home energy assessment to maximize efficiency and reduce waste · Advice on how to get started on following energy efficiency recommendations · A free home solar suitability analysis · Registration with Wellesley’s Municipal Light Plant to purchase 10% to 100% of electricity from renewable sources For more information go to or call 617 963-8141.
  • Residents Moving Quick to Sign Up For Solar in Time to Receive the WMLP Rebate & 2014 Tax Credits Before Expiration

    Learn More About Impressive ROI, Trendy, Successful Wellesley MORE Power to Choose SUN Program at Upcoming 3 Open Houses

    allegro solar photoResidents are moving quick to sign up for solar before the August 31 deadline. Signing up for solar before this date enables them to have their panels installed before the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant solar rebate expires on December 31st (panels need to be installed by that date) and in time to get 2014 tax credits. Reserve your no-obligation estimate by going to

    With a very impressive ROI, many Wellesley residents are investing in solar.

    “As new parents, it was important to us to create a healthy environment for our son,” said Jo Kaplan Lee, new solar owner and partner of Wellesley’s Allegro Photography. “The economics and ease of installing solar in Wellesley will allow us to sleep a little better at night knowing we are working to provide a healthier environment for our family, and our community,” Lee said proudly.

    The trendy, Wellesley MORE Power to Choose SUN program has been so successful this summer, there are many open houses to allow other residents to talk to installers and locals and see the installations happening live. Please put these open house dates in your calendar:

    Saturday, Aug 2: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm – 11 Stanford Road

    Saturday, Aug 9: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm – 9 Crown Ridge Road

    Wednesday, Aug 20: 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM – 12 Granite Street

    The 2014 state average solar costs are expected to increase based on new tariffs on some imported solar panels. For “solar suitable” homes, the financials under the current Wellesley discount combined with Federal, State and local incentives are very attractive at this moment in time. Also, the time-limited Wellesley solar price is around 30% below the state average*!

    The MORE Power to Choose program is run by Wellesley volunteers and sponsored by the Town of Wellesley Sustainable Energy Committee. The solar portion of this program offers discounted group pricing from installer partner Astrum Solar along with a rebate from Wellesley’s Municipal Light Plant and generous state and federal incentives. Find out how easy and affordable it is to install panels on your home and produce your own electricity. By going solar you help the environment and your community, while saving on your electric bills. This program is working to lower the carbon footprint of the Town of Wellesley and setting a standard for the future of our town.

    The overall MORE Power to Choose program provides residents opportunities to meet their individual goals of personal responsibility and engagement. Whether you are fully vested in living a green life or are interested in taking small initial steps, the More Power to Choose campaign allows residents to participate at their own pace.

    (* based on MassCEC data on installers and costs updated on 4-24-2014)

  • Missed the Solar Kick-Off Meeting? No Problem.

    Swing by the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant Open House this Saturday, May 17th from 11:00a.m.— 3:00p.m to learn more about Wellesley’s Solar Program. Experts will be on hand to provide details and let you know if your home is solar suitable.


    Family time on Saturday? Easy.

    Bring your children to the Firehouse Open House, then come next door to the cool, new, energy efficient Municipal Light building at 2 Municipal Way (455 Worcester Street, Route 9).  Get answers about Wellesley’s More POWER TO CHOOSE program which includes the group discount on solar installations. 

    This cost-saving, sustainability-oriented initiative will surprise you on the rate of return as well.

    Come find out more, or go to for information.

  • See Sustainable Elements on the Wellesley Kitchen Tour

    fireplaceThis Saturday, May 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., grab friends, neighbors and family to see first hand some unique, sustainable aspects on the Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club Kitchen Tour.

    Some folks are even biking the Tour this year!

    Some highlights in and around the kitchens in Wellesley are listed below but go see for yourself! 172 Hampshire Roadcabinets
    • Trex decking and railings made of composite materials -95% recycled wood and plastic. It will last longer, which means not needing additional wood for replacement and won’t require additional painting.
    • Wool carpeting (natural material, no chemicals or off-gassing)
    • Wood cabinets are made by Pennville, a family-owned, Indiana company committed to the principal that “while using wood, our greatest renewable resource, leave as small a footprint on our environment as possible.”
    • Islands are Superwhite Quartzite and Caesarstone. Quartz is a naturally abundant mineral and Caesarstone’s sustainability practices are listed here.
    77 Chesterton Road
    Reclaimed door from one of the oldest hardware stores in America.  Formerly the door to the storage room, now with a distressed finish to coordinate with the color of the study walls and hung  on an industrial type track.

    Reclaimed door from one of the oldest hardware stores in America. Formerly the door to the storage room, now with a distressed finish to coordinate with the color of the study walls and hung on an industrial type track.

    One of the owners of this home is a LEED certified builder (Riverstone Custom Builders, LLC) who is very focused on re-using and re-purposing and putting as little as possible into landfills. Behind the scenes of the beauty and comfort of this kitchen and home, the home is wrapped in closed cell foam and has a highly efficient air exchange with filters.  Some of the beautiful re-claimed materials used in this home, not only adds character to it, but is also a money saver. 80 Livingston Road
    • All flooring is from reclaimed wood. Specifically, the flooring in the family room that is from a tree in Cambridge that was being cut down by the city.  Instead of having it chipped, they turned it into flooring.
    • Geothermal heating system for heating and cooling
    • Structural insulated panels for the walls.
    Many of these, and other homes in Wellesley, are making efforts to make their homes more sustainable with spray in insulation –to achieve the highest level of r-factor, new windows, and LED lights that are 90% more efficient than incandescent. In addition, you will see on this tour and around town lots of low and no VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, dual flush toilets that save water, rain barrels, and much more. Why are they doing it? “It was incredibly important to me to make sustainable choices when it came to renovating our house and what I learned through the process is that it’s fairly easy to do,” said Jessica Stanton, homeowner on the kitchen tour. “We worked with an architect (Marshall McLean, MMA) and Paul Bevilacqua (Bevilacqua Builders) who were well versed in the area and were able to help us navigate this fairly easily. You realize given the amount of building that’s going on in Wellesley right now how much of an impact we all are having on our environment. Renovating an older home was important to me as an alternative to just tearing it down. We love the character of our house and knew we could do simple things that would reduce the environmental impact of our renovations,” Stanton said.

    Ticket prices are $30 when purchased in advance, and are $40 when purchased at the door. Buy tickets here. All proceeds benefit local charities and scholarship programs.

  • This Week’s Challenge Comes from EPA

    Energy_star_Lighting_GraphicThis week’s challenge is to get rid of all your remaining incandescent light bulbs and be part of an even BIGGER challenge from the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA is asking retailers to sell 20 million ENERGY STAR certified LEDs by Earth Day on April 22, 2014, AND help show customers how to save energy, save money and prevent climate change with their lighting choices. Here are 7 reasons GREAT reasons that the EPA suggests we change our bulbs to an ENERGY STAR certified LED: “1.)    Energy Savings: ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs use 70-90% less energy than a standard incandescent bulb. 2.)    Money Savings: A single ENERGY STAR certified LED can save more than $135 in electricity costs over its lifetime. 3.)    Affordability: The prices for ENERGY STAR certified LEDs are dropping big time—as low as $5 per bulb with in-store rebates. 4.)    Long Lasting: ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs now look and light more like traditional bulbs, but can last 25 times longer—over 20 years total with typical use. 5.)    Quality and Performance: An ENERGY STAR certified bulb will give you the best LED experience. Only bulbs with the ENERGY STAR are independently certified, undergoing extensive testing to assure that they perform as promised.  To earn the ENERGY STAR, these bulbs must demonstrate that they will meet consumer expectations by delivering on brightness and producing light in all directions. 6.)    Peace of Mind: ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs carry a three-year warranty. 7.)    Environmental Protection: By replacing 20 million traditional incandescent bulbs with ENERGY STAR certified LEDs, this country would save more than $118 million each year in energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to that of more than 150,000 vehicles” WANT SPECIFICS? feit lightblubOne Sustainable Wellesley member recommends the Feit Electric BR30 Flood lights. These 65W equivalent recessed ceiling LED light bulbs are available at many local retailers have a great color temperature, are instant on, dim well, and fit perfectly in standard recessed cans. They were $7.99/bulb after instant discount. We figure that is a 4.5 year payback, if one replaces incandescent and have them on just 30 – 45 minutes per day. Feel free to send us an email or message on Facebook with your recommendations!        
  • SOLAR COMING TO WELLESLEY! Hear more on March 26 7-8.30pm

    We Have The Opportunity To Be Part of Something Bigger: Solar

    AstrumSolar_PhotoForWellesleyWe want to make sure you know about the Town’s More POWER TO CHOOSE initiative, which would enable you to easily and affordably install solar panels. This program allows you to create your own clean, green energy while making a wise economic choice. Please join us to learn more & meet the installers at the: 


    Wednesday, March 26th

    7 pm – 8:30 pm

    Sprague School Cafeteria, 401 School Street

    The Town of Wellesley’s Sustainable Energy Committee is the sponsor of this program. Astrum Solar is Wellesley’s installer partner. To sign up for a free site evaluation, and to learn about a variety of energy efficiency options here in town, please go to IT’S EASY TO GET YOUR FREE SOLAR ASSESSMENT Call: 617.963.8141 or click: Questions?  Email CAN YOU AFFORD SOLAR? Right now, a combination of low solar panel prices and generous incentives makes solar power a compelling and surprisingly affordable, profitable and low-risk investment. This comes at a time when electricity costs throughout New England are projected to increase by 12% or more over the next few years. LOWER YOUR ELECTRICITY BILLS For homes with good sunlight, annual rates of return exceed 15% and payback can be as short as 5 years for a system that will produce power for 25 years or more. The tiered pricing structure means that the more Wellesley homeowners that sign up, the more the price decreases for everyone who participates in the program. In addition, homeowners can reduce their monthly electric bill from every kilowatt-hour produced. NOW IS THE TIME TO GO SOLAR. TOGETHER WELLESLEY. The first 10 customers to purchase solar panels will receive a $1,000 discount.  In addition, for every contract signed, Astrum Solar will donate $100 worth of solar equipment to our community.  Act now! The solar program ends July 31, 2014. More than 30 communities in Massachusetts have already participated in similar programs and Wellesley is one of 16 more – including Needham and Lexington – that are rolling them out this year.
  • Riverstone Custom Builders

    leedRiverstone Custom Builders, LLC is a locally owned business that builds high quality custom homes and renovations with a focus on sustainability and energy efficiency. The owner of Riverstone is Pete Holland who grew up in Wellesley and has maintained an interest in sustainability since college at University of Arizona where he implemented a recycling program with the fraternities and sororities on campus. Peter also served as an intern in 1991 & 1992 for Dr. William Rathje, world pioneer in the Garbology Project. Pete recalls Dr. Rathje being very familiar and impressed with the Wellesley recycle/trash facility. Pete comes from a diverse background of finance and real estate. 12 years ago he started Riverstone with a passion for building and renovating houses that would stand the test of time. In 2007, Pete received his certification as a LEED AP (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design – Accredited Professional). In 2008 Pete built one of the first LEED certified spec houses in Massachusetts at 22 Boulder Brook Road. Riverstone also recently completed a LEED certified custom home for a family at 15 Southgate Road in Wellesley. Riverstone continues to use sustainable and energy efficient techniques in all of their projects including extreme insulation packages, geo-thermal heating and cooling, recycled paper counter tops, recycled cork counter, as well as low and no VOC materials and other techniques. Another important element of the building process for Riverstone is to reuse as much as possible from the houses they tear down by donating the materials to area organizations. Currently the company has 2 homes under development for sale at 55 Beverly Road (a super insulated frame and high efficiency heat and cooling system) and 14 Lathrop Road (another super insulated frame that is heated and cooled by a geo-thermal heating and cooling system). That  is the fourth home in Wellesley that Riverstone has built with Geo heat & cooling. The system at 14 Lathrop road will have three wells 300 feet deep in a closed loop system that provide heating and cooling for the home. The geo system also provides extra heat energy that supplies about 50% of hot water in the home for free. To learn more on how Geo systems work click here. Riverstone’s web site is Feel free to contact Pete at or 617-504-0943.
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