Ultra-Efficient Apartment Buildings In Portland And Boston Are Part Of “Big Wave”

A new type of energy-efficient construction is drawing attention in the U.S. It’s called “passive housing” — residences built to achieve ultra-low energy use. It’s so efficient that developers can eliminate central heating systems altogether.

Imported from Germany, it’s been a boutique building style until recently, with eco-minded home owners making costly upfront investments to downsize their carbon footprints. But now, New England is joining a surge in large-scale passive housing development.

Bayside Anchor is a big, green, somewhat boxy-looking four-story building that overlooks a tidal cove in Portland, Maine.

Portland, Maine’s Bayside Anchor apartments.

Fred Bever


Bayside Anchor Brings New Support to Portland Neighborhood

Bayside Anchor Apartments is aptly named, bringing new stability to its Portland, Maine, neighborhood.

The 45-unit development delivers needed housing opportunities to the poorest census tract in the state and serves as the social hub for the area with large community spaces, a Head Start preschool program, and community policing offices on the ground floor.

“It’s a community resource center as well as mixed-income housing,” says Jay Waterman, development director at the Portland Housing Authority (PHA), which partnered with Avesta Housing to create the property.

AHF Announces 2017 Readers’ Choice Finalists

Affordable Housing Finance has selected 36 developments as finalists in its 13th annual Readers’ Choice Awards competition.

Competing in 10 categories, they represent some of the best affordable housing developments completed in 2016 and 2017. The finalists were selected based on their impact on their community, creative problem-solving, sustainable and inventive design, and innovative financing,

The finalists were chosen from 120 entries and are located in 15 states.

Christine Serlin

Affordable Housing Finance

Bayside’s ‘Anchor’ a drop in the sea of Portland’s housing needs

PORTLAND — Bayside Anchor was touted as a model of mixed-income, mixed-use housing at a grand opening June 7.

The 45-unit, four-story building at the corner of Boyd and East Oxford streets has 36 units of low-income housing and the new home of the Portland Community Policing Station.

“It is very much a blessing, I can’t understate what a gift it is” resident Timothy Leo said June 5.

David Harry

The Forecaster

South Portland’s west end may get affordable housing

SOUTH PORTLAND — More affordable housing is being planned in the city’s west end with the help of a city-backed loan.

A variety store owner is hoping to build a mixed-use building that would include some affordable housing on Westbrook Street, between the Redbank and Brickhill neighborhoods, by borrowing municipal funds.

The City Council on Monday unanimously authorized lending Quang Nguyen $86,000 from the city’s Revolving Loan Fund Program to purchase a vacant 0.25-acre lot at 600 Westbrook St.

Also Monday, councilors had the first reading of a housing ordinance that would require some developers to make allowances for affordable housing.

Melanie Sochan

The Forecaster

Portland’s Bayside Anchor housing development celebrates grand opening

The city of Portland celebrated the grand opening of the Bayside Anchor housing development on Wednesday.


New apartments open in Portland

PORTLAND (WGME) — New apartments are opening in Portland’s bayside neighborhood. Developers hope the new complex will help ease the housing crisis in the city.

The Bayside Anchor is officially open and plenty came out for the celebration Wednesday, including Portland’s Mayor Ethan Strimling.

Portland Housing Authority and Avesta Housing were the co-developers on the $7.8 million project.

The building has 45 units.

Nine are market rate units and 36 are affordable units. They are targeted towards individuals and families making between $23,000 and $49,000 a year.


Portland to unveil affordable, energy-efficient apartments

Officials will hold a grand opening celebration on Wednesday for Bayside Anchor, an energy-efficient, 45-unit affordable apartment building in Portland.

The Portland Housing Authority and Avesta Housing partnered to build the apartments in the city’s East Bayside neighborhood. It includes nine market-rate units and 36 affordable units, which are rented to families earning between $23,000 and $49,000 a year. It is fully occupied.

The ground floor will house a Head Start preschool program, Portland community policing and Portland Housing Authority offices.

The four-story, bright green building has solar panels on the flat rooftop and is the first multifamily building in the city to be certified as a Passive House by the Passive House Institute U.S., according to Avesta Housing. As a energy efficient Passive House, the building does not have a centralized heating system because it is highly insulated, airtight and well-ventilated.

Portland Press Herald

This Ultra-Efficient Portland Apartment Building Doesn’t Need Central Heating

Until recently, “passive housing” — residences built to achieve ultra-low energy use — has been kind of a boutique-y effort, with eco-minded homeowners making upfront investments to radically reduce their carbon footprint. But now, Maine is on the leading edge of a surge in its development, on a large scale.

Last fall, the nation’s biggest passive housing complex opened in Brewer. The 48-unit Village Center, as it’s called, meets strict energy efficiency standards set by a national institute. It’s one of just 36 such buildings in the country.

And now, the Bayside Anchor — a big, green, somewhat boxy looking four-story building near Portland’s Franklin Street artery — has joined the group.

Fred Bever

Maine Public

Affordable housing units to be unveiled in Portland

Avesta Housing will open 45 new housing units, including 36 earmarked for buyers with a household income of $23,000 to $49,000.

Bayside Anchor, built at a cost of $7.8 million at 81 E. Oxford St., will be a mixed-use passive-house building in the East Bayside neighborhood of Portland.

Avesta, a Portland nonprofit with 2,000 apartments in its portfolio, partnered with the Portland Housing Authority on the project, which will be unveiled on June 7.

“Bayside Anchor is a service hub for low-income residents in East Bayside, giving the project its name as a stabilizing ‘anchor’ for the community,” said PHA Executive Director Mark Adelson.

It is the PHA’s first new development in 45 years and a “first step in revitalizing our properties in this neighborhood,” Adelson added. PHA buildings house 6,500 residents, or 10% of the city’s population.