DEVENS -- Devens has been recognized as a LEED Certified Community, according to an announcement by MassDevelopment and the Devens Enterprise Commission.

LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities are internationally recognized urban sustainability rating systems that help advance healthy, green, and economically strong cities and communities, according to a release. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Devens, a community located in north-central Massachusetts and managed by MassDevelopment, was awarded a 4-STAR Community Rating in December 2017 for national leadership in sustainability through the renowned STAR Community Rating System. The U.S. Green Building Council announced last week that the STAR Community Rating will be fully integrated into its LEED for Cities and LEED for Communities certification programs. According to the release, Devens is one of the 75 STAR certified cities and communities that have now transferred into the family of LEED for Cities and Communities.

"Since day one, MassDevelopment has worked closely with the Devens Enterprise Commission, our legislative partners, and the surrounding communities to create an attractive, sustainable, 21st century community in the heart of North Central Massachusetts," MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss said in a written statement.


"We were proud to see Devens be awarded a 4-STAR Community Rating, and are thrilled to see that accomplishment translate into LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council."

Devens is home to more than 400 residents and a varied mix of businesses, government organizations, and nonprofits employing more than 5,000 people. Created by statute in 1993 to support business growth and attract economic development opportunities in the region, the 4,400-acre site features fast-track permitting and other incentives for businesses. The former military installation is recognized today as a national model for sustainable military base redevelopment. Along with its business tenants, the Devens community also includes more than 2,100 acres of recreation and open space, private residences, schools, and a network of human and social services providers.

One of the U.S. Green Building Council's rating systems, LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND), is aimed at inspiring and helping create more sustainable, well-connected neighborhoods. MassDevelopment and the Devens Enterprise Commission, which already implemented smart growth concepts during the redevelopment of Devens, further took steps to employ LEED ND principles as well. In 2013, Devens Enterprise Commission approved new regulations modeled on Low-Impact Development and LEED ND sustainable development concepts, which have fostered more compact, energy efficient, and smart development within Devens. Additionally, the Devens Enterprise Commission used a health impact assessment (HIA) to improve and compare the new regulations against conventional regulations and better understand how policies and regulations can influence community health and sustainable development.

Emerson Green, a 124-unit, net-zero energy possible community, is currently under construction in Devens near Grant Road and was planned consistent with LEED ND principles.