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Building and Renovation Somerville Public Education Project

Project Details

Year: 2004
Location: Somerville
Project Manager: Vithal Deshpande
Partners: Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS), Somerville Health Department, Somerville Fire Department and Local Emergency Planning Committee.


The City of Somerville's Environmental Protection Office launched a public education effort to bring practical information on green building to their businesses, residents and local government officials. The City developed a Green Building Brochure and website, included information in their environmental services brochure, and held trainings to educate homeowners and contractors intending to build or remodel in the city. Their partner, MAPS, developed a Portuguese green building brochure and organized a translated green building training for homeowners. Additionally, the Environmental Protection Office worked with other city departments such as the Department of Inspectional Services and Office of Housing and Community Development to disseminate information during the construction and renovation permitting process.

Project Accomplishments

  •  Completed a newsletter style brochure in English and Portuguese explaining green building concepts, indoor air quality concerns, and energy conservation for distribution at public trainings, public locations and on the town website.
  •  Completed a one-page flyer in English and Portuguese providing Green Building Details. The English version of this flyer was mailed to each household as part of the City of Somerville Environmental Services Brochure.
  •  The Environmental Protection Office interviewed between 5-10 constructions contractors for their understanding of Green Building concepts.
  •  Conducted outreach about the project through the internet and local cable television.
  •  Developed information on green building for the town website.
  •  Held one Portuguese and two English public training presentations. While the English trainings were not well attended, subsequent information requests indicate a growing interest in the community and an opportunity for more public participation in the future.
  •  Subsequent to the workshops materials were mailed to local contractors and businesses related to construction.
  •  Developed a poster presentation on green building concepts for the state house event and future public meetings in future.

Next Steps

  •  Additional workshops were planned with Medford and Tufts University and the City was hoping to conduct outreach to businesses. A presentation was to be given to the Chamber of Commerce.
  •  Vithal Deshpande, the Project Manager was developing a project independent website for green building resources.

This page updated Friday July 20 2018
More Info

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