Archives: 2013


With the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of H. H. Richardson’s Hayden Building now complete, we would like to share more of what we learned through our research and how we exhibited the building’s storied past.

We set out with the premise that not only were we rehabilitating this historically significant structure but we were also preserving the ideas and time periods that shaped it.  We began the project with extensive research on the evolution of the neighborhood over the last 140 years and even traced the building’s commercial occupants as seen here.

The character of a place is established by the people that inhabit it regardless of the building, which for the Hayden Building shifted radically.  Because the neighborhood centered on the production of textiles during the end of the 19th century, its occupants were mostly clothing and hat shops.  After a mixture of businesses during the 20th century, the Hayden Building became a focal point of adult entertainment in the 1960’s as the neighborhood turned into the Combat Zone, Boston’s red-light district. On the edge of Chinatown and the Theater district, this Nationally Registered Historic Landmark was gutted by fire in 1985 and remained vacant until its reuse today.

We endeavored to create a symbiotic relationship between new and old, telling the visual story of past and present at the same time.  Contrasting old worn elements with layers of new refined elements heightens the awareness of both.  It is in these relationships that emerges the richness of place and understanding of time.  HBI afforded us the opportunity to visually tell this social history of the Hayden Building within its common spaces combining traces of history with modern living.



Entry / Lobby

The Hayden Building defines the beginning of Richardson’s exploration of how Read More…

Hayden officially certified LEED PLATINUM!

Today our Hayden Building project has officially been certified LEED Homes Multifamily PLATINUM – the highest level awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.


Hayden Building featured on ArchDaily

Our recently completed Hayden Building project is featured on ArchDaily, the world’s most popular website for broadcasting architecture!



Note: some of this is written for architects and students, but you can see all our green posts under the technical tab.

Recently I attended a great seminar produced by energy consultant Sean Tobin, Optima Engineering, and Southern Energy Management. I’ve attempted to summarize some of what I learned below coupled with my past experiences and posts. I left an even bigger fan of solar and geothermal and with greater knowledge of the pros and cons of the many green rating systems out there. The issues are complex and the numbers vary, but these are the big ideas.




Worldwide buildings contribute more than 45% of all man-made CO2 (carbon) emissions which in mass has detrimental effects on the earths atmosphere ozone layer that helps protect us from the radiation of the sun (leading to global warming). The remaining carbon emissions is divided between 35% transportation (cars) and 20% manufacturing.

Buildings consume 72% of the electricity produced (from power plants) in the U.S. Manufacturing primarily consumes the remaining electricity produced.

Most energy in the U.S. is fueled with non-renewable resources (eventually we’ll use them all up). Our fuels breakdown like this: 22% Coal, 25% Natural Gas, and 38% Petroleum. The U.S. uses about 10% Nuclear energy and 6% Renewable energy (solar, wind, and hydro).


U.S. buildings consume about 13.6% of potable water annually. The average american uses about 64 gallons of water per day (check your water bill).

About 0.37% (less than half a percent) of the water on earth is available for human consumption and sanitation (90% of this is in underground aquifers). The rest: 97.5% is salt water, 1.6% is locked in glaciers, and the remaining 0.53% in plants, animals, and atmosphere water vapor.



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The Carrboro House is taking shape!

The Carrboro House is taking shape! Follow our clients blog for a complete breakdown of the construction.

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Inspiring labor day photos via our friends at Land…

Inspiring labor day photos via our friends at Landmarks and Follies.


CUBE’s Hayden Building honored with Preservation Award

CUBE’s Hayden Building honored with Preservation Award by the Boston Preservation Alliance. 



Modern Playhouse for Raleigh family

Our 4th cubePLAY structure was designed for a Raleigh family. This is the first with a swing using a steel flitch-beam. Our play structure designs are devoid of traditional notions of “house”; intended to let the imagination of children make it whatever they desire. Thus far we’ve heard our structures becoming pirate ships, karate fortresses, princess castles, and even a place to do homework!

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image credit: U.S. Department of Energy

Recently we took a hard look at residential water heaters. We tried to make real sense of the many sustainable claims and options available on the market in search of the best investment for our clients. We scoured many sources, including Consumer Reports, the U.S. Department of Energy, manufacturer’s testing data, consumer blogs and reviews, industry professional experiences and many more. What we found was surprising.

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Hart Discusses Preservation with TMH

Partner Jason Hart discusses what he’s learned on preservation and more with Triangle Modernist Houses. Learn more here.