CNAHS believes that it is the responsibility of affordable housing developers to address environmental issues such as climate change, indoor air pollution and landfill shortages.


CNAHS actively works to reduce the carbon footprint of it 74 buildings through portfolio-wide retrofits and adding solar. Since 2008, CNAHS has reduced its carbon footprint by 21%, through 19 lighting retrofits, and 15 heating retrofits. CNAHS is also a leader in renewables with 9 photovoltaic electric systems and 4 solar thermal installations. CNAHS has 4 LEED Platinum buildings, including the first LEED Platinum gut rehab in Massachusetts. Portfolio wide, CNAHS has conducted water retrofits and tracks energy and water usage through Wegowise.         

Drawing on years of experience and creative thinking, CNAHS works to address environmental issues during the construction and renovation process so that families can enjoy healthy, energy efficient, and less expensive homes that help preserve our surrounding local environment and our planet.

New Construction

Putnam Green: Putnam Green is a signature smart growth development that took a vacant, underutilized brownfield and created 40 healthy, sustainable affordable apartments. The development is LEED for Homes Platinum and is a model of energy efficiency. Universal Design principles and visibility elements were incorporated in to the development to encourage people of all abilities to live in and visit the property.
>  For more information on Putnam Green

trolley Trolley Square: Trolley Square was completed in 2006. This development is comprised of 32 rental and eight homeownership units. The project utilized a number of green and energy efficiency measures including a 414 KW solar photovoltaic array. This property was the first development in the northeast to receive the Green Communities Award from the Enterprise Foundation.
>  For more information on Trolley Square
auburn2  Auburn Court Phase II: This property was recognized by the DEP for the energy conservation improvements installed, including thermal envelope measures, energy efficient light fixtures and appliances, a heat recovery system, and other efficient mechanical systems. All 60 units were certified as Energy Star Homes.


151–157 Allston Street: This six-unit apartment building was damaged in 2015 when a fire spread from a neighboring building. In the rehabilitation, CNAHS sought to get as close to a net zero building as possible on this small site. The walls and roof are super insulated and a smart air barrier has been installed making the building very energy efficient. Both a PV electric solar system and a solar thermal hot water system are installed to offset most of the electric and natural gas usage.
>  For more information on 151–157 Allston Street

95–97 Pine Street: This 12-unit property was renovated in 2010 to incorporate green features aimed at creating a building sustainable for the long term and fostering healthy indoor air quality for the benefit of the residents’ health.  95-97 Pine Street is LEED for Homes certified at the highest level of Platinum.  Starting with the reuse of an existing building and extending to the 50 photovoltatic solar panels and 8 solar thermal panels on its roof, Pine Street is an extremely green development. 
>  For more information on Pine Street building

58 Seventh Street: This six unit property was severely damaged by fire in March 2007.  CNAHSsaw this unfortunate event as an opportunity to renovate the property and achieve a significant reduction in energy consumption.  CNAHS aimed to have this building as close to a Zero Net Energy Home (ZEH) as possible.  Materials and systems that would decrease the energy use and carbon footprint of the building were carefully selected for use.  CNAHSalso pursued renewable energy and installed a 7 kilowatt PV system.  A separate solar array also provides domestic hot water to the building.

CAST-retrofit-signCAST: In 2004, CNAHS acquired and performed rehab work on CAST, a 42-unit building. The $2.5-million-dollar scope included new baths, kitchens, site, and common area improvements. The contractor implemented a Construction and Demolition Debris Waste Management Plan that recycled approximately 58% of C&D material at the site.

Several materials and products were installed that are safer for the environment. These materials provide a more healthy indoor air quality than conventional materials. Recognizing that the leading illness among children in the United States is asthma, HRI sought construction materials and cleaning products that did not release harmful chemicals.

Specifically CNAHSincorporated the following items:

  • Replacement of “conventional materials” such as vinyl treads in common areas with environmentally friendly materials such as rubber treads and marmoleum flooring.
  • Use of energy efficient lighting and appliances that reduced utility costs for the owner and residents.
  • Zero VOC paints.

CNAHS follows similar standards for “Green” rehab in all of its properties.


                                                                                                        9-19 Sacramento St.

resiliency and emergency preparedness planning

CNAHS aims to increase awareness of, planning for, and response to current, ongoing, and future climate change impacts – including water, heat, and snow – that impact the physical and social infrastructure of Homeowner’s Rehab Inc. (HRI) and Cambridge Neighborhood Apartments Housing Services (CNAHS) portfolio, our residents, and the surrounding community in the City of Cambridge. CNAHS is working to incorporate resiliency planning as part of the ongoing CNAHS Green initiative for new construction and preservation/rehabilitation of affordable housing, building operations and maintenance, and resident services. CNAHS looks to develop resiliency and emergency preparedness strategies that include hardening and adapting our portfolio, create redundant, or back-up, building systems, and implement operational and behavioral changes for our residents’ health and safety. The goal is to help our residents bounce back as quickly as possible from emergency or storm-related events.