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The passive house that’s aggressively green

By Alice Dragoon Photo by Stephanie Arnett

This May, residents chosen from a lottery  of 2,600 applicants are scheduled to begin moving into 98 affordable housing units in the new Finch Cambridge building on Concord Avenue near Fresh Pond in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Designed by Boston’s Icon Architecture, the building features playful bay and corner windows to let in sunlight and allow cross-­ventilation, a lobby with a vaulted ceiling and an open staircase meant to entice people to forgo the elevators, and other thoughtful touches like sage-green accent walls and large floor tiles in the bathrooms to minimize the use of dirt-attracting grout. Its family-friendly laundry room is next to a large community space with a lounge, a kitchen area, and homework nooks—and both are sited on the top floor, with windows offering stunning views of Fresh Pond and access to a rooftop terrace that will have raised beds for gardening.