Devens a LEED-certified community

November 20, 2018 : Worcester Business Journal, by Grant Welker

The community of Devens, with more than 5,000 workers, nearly 6 million square feet of space and 400 residents, has been named a LEED certified community, an environmentally friendly designation from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The designation, which was announced Monday by MassDevelopment, validates what the seven-square-mile community has done to be energy-efficient. Among the developments underway at Devens is Emerson Green, a 124-unit housing community designed to produce as much energy as it uses.

The Devens Enterprise Commission, the regulatory and permitting authority for Devens, approved regulations in 2013 to guide development to be energy-efficient.

The former military base opened during World War I and served local military operations and training until closing in 1996. The three towns making up the base – Ayer, Harvard and Shirley – voted to give the site to MassDevelopment, the state's economic development arm, to redevelop it as a business hub.

Devens includes major facilities for Bristol-Myers Squibb, Nypro, Quiet Logistics, Ryerson and Little Leaf Farms, among others. There are also two hotels, a Hilton Garden Inn and a SpringHill Suites, and more than 2,100 acres of recreation and open space.

Devens was previously named a 4-STAR community by the STAR Community Rating System. That system was folded into the more well-known Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification system by the U.S. Green Building Council, and Devens was one of 75 STAR-certified cities and communities to be integrated into the U.S. Green Building Council's system.