Savin Hill Apartments
Award of Merit 

Owner: Savin Hill Partners
Lead Design Firm: RODE Architects
General Contractor: Bald Hill Builders
Civil Engineer: Sherwood Consulting + Design
Structural Engineer: Goldstein/Milano 
MEP Engineer: Zade Associates LLC
Subcontractors: J Hockman Inc. (Sitework)

Building this $5.8-million project above a restaurant in a congested area of Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, the project team was the first to use an innovative noise mitigation technology invented in Massachusetts. 

Crews had to work on the 25,000-sq-ft, four-story, 14-unit mixed-use residential project within the constraints of a Boston infill. The site abutted Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) train tracks to the east, residential streets to the north and west, and a shopping street to the south. It was also across the street from a busy MBTA stop. 

To reduce noise, the team says it implemented Hush Frames, a wood vibration isolating structural connector. This was the first time that the wood vibration decoupling clip was used in New England. The clip uses a silicon breaker to achieve sound transmission class (STC) ratings not normally commercially available, the team says. It has been proven to provide 80% noise reduction.

Other noise mitigation tools included acoustically lined glass, resilient channels and other UL-rated assemblies that helped drive the STC rating up.

Due to the unexpected discovery of contaminated soils, the need to replace or upgrade utilities and a labor shortage, the project did not finish on schedule. Nonetheless, the team says it delivered a top-notch project that fell within the 30-day grace period under the contract.