Carbon Sequestration Tree Study at Bunker Hill Community College

A unique opportunity presented itself to work outside the (building) box and study landscape impacts on energy efficiency. aMortonDesign is collaborating with Gilmore Landscape Architecture on a study of existing campus trees at Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC). Drawing our inspiration from BHCC’s recently completed LEED Gold Health & Wellness Center and the GreenPACT Climate Action Plan, we proposed to quanitfy the carbon sequestration benefits of existing campus trees.

Working with Paul Wolff, Director of The Office of Sustainability Management, we identified trees as a rich subject to demonstrate how landscape benefits building energy usage, air quality, stormwater runoff, and carbon footprint. Using field study and entering data into i-Tree, a USDA Forest Service tool, we will be able to show real climate and economic benefits from the existing “urban forest”. We will also be able to show future benefits as these trees grow and advise on additional plantings and maintenance strategies toward the College’s goal of climate neutrality.

We presented our proposal at a recent Climate Action Committee Meeting along with students groups who are studying improving recycling / composting and bicycle-friendly infrastructure. Another guest presenter was Rob Gogan, “Recycling Czar” for Harvard University who spoke about what they have learned in implementing single-stream recycling.

Our presentation focused on the study of Carbon Sequestration with the goal of quantifying what existing trees are already contributing. This was in direct response to the carbon mitigation goals outlined in the GreenPACT Climate Action Plan which has the goal of climate neutrality. As part of this process we see opportunities for further greening the campus for aesthetic, climate, and economic benefits. 

There are myriad opportunities for student involvement and curriculum development as well. Presently the college has a Building Dashboard which tracks building energy usage and offsets; a Carbon Emission Project and Calculator from the Developmental Math department; an Urban Organic Garden Project; and a Student Sustainability Club which studies and advocates for policy and behavior change.

We look forward to reconvening and working with students during Earth Week festivities April 23-25.

Enclosing porch creates mudroom and sheltered entry

This Arlington couple started out to replace a deteriorating walkway and saw an opportunity to replace and enhance an existing porch. The interior layout offers little space to welcome guests or stow wet shoes and umbrellas. Additionally an enclosed entry would enable us to remove the storm door and reveal the elegant design of the front entry door and sidelites.

We coordinated with Robert Gilmore Landscape Design to enlarge the porch footprint and provide a landing outside the new french door of the mudroom enclosure. Landscape design included a new bluestone paver walkway around the entry as well as reconfiguration of planting beds, a pea stone border for drainage, and a path through the back garden. Contractor David Picazio poured a new concrete base for the porch and wide bluestone steps for a more durable and gracious entry.

Located in an Historic District of Arlington, this modest dutch colonial on a small lot had an existing porch that was neither in keeping with the style of the home nor in good repair. Two abutters have homes of the same style and it was important that we propose a design which met the needs of the client while addressing the requirements of the Historic District and harmonizing with the adjacent properties.

When construction is complete later this month, the new entry will be enclosed in glass and have a built-in bench with cubbies for storage.


Deck bench inspired by the elegant simplicity of a folding chair

Some sketches and source images for architectural detail consultation for a project designed by Robert Gilmore Landscape Design.

The overall scope includes extensive site work integrated with hardscape elements around an existing home.