David Hall and Keith Moskow have been renovating, retrofitting, and upgrading multi-family homes in Newburyport, Massachusetts, for over 30 years. Their fathers began buying real estate together in the 1960s, and were active with Boston’s Conservation Law Foundation. The sons have carried on in a similar vein. They are responsible for Newburyport’s beloved Tannery Marketplace—the design of which informed some of the decisions on their latest venture, Hillside Center for Sustainable Living.
This project consists of 48 market-rate one-, two-, and three-bedroom rental units and a deeply affordable 10-room residence set on 4-1/2 acres. Hall and Moskow have approached the development using a fully integrated model, whereby they are not only the project developers but also the architects, builders, and long-term owners. They even manage the leasing of units in order to build the community as they envision it. “The people who are going to live here need to get the big-picture idea,” Hall says. “If they don’t, it’s all for naught.”
They describe Hillside as a housing development designed for sustainability, energy conservation, and ecological resilience; and they note that it meets LEED Platinum and Passive House certification standards.
The idea behind the multiunit development is to promote a lifestyle that considers three of the largest contributors to CO2 emissions—housing, food, and transportation—and uses net-positive-energy homes, site-grown food, and shared electric vehicles to decrease those emissions. (All homes have access to charging stations, and there are two on-site EV smart cars available to tenants—the goal is to get families to go from two cars to one.) All of these components are powered by 400kW of solar energy. “The key was to be net-positive,” Hall explains. “We needed enough power to heat/cool, cook, and satisfy plug loads for all the units and the electric vehicles. That meant…