Check out our Hillside Newsletter to see what's happening!
“Permaculture is a set of design principles centered around perennial edible landscaping. It is meant to simulate and utilize the resilience of natural ecosystems. As you might imagine, Hillside's design is largely inspired by this concept. We are designing every element of Hillside with permaculture principles in mind as a way to diversify crops, increase soil health, have an edible landscape, all the while reducing the amount of labor that is needed in the long term. “
“Congratulations to the YWCA of Greater Newburyport and David Hall for the Hillside Center for receiving a Community Scale Housing Award from the Department of Housing and Community Development. I appreciate the City of Newburyport’s contribution to creating more affordable housing as a part of this project as well.”
-Senator Kathleen O'Connor Ives”
"Put simply, it feels good to come together over a good cause. After hearing from state officials about the importance of a clean energy future and the role of this project in that future, and of the importance of the concept of social equity that is being demonstrated by the project’s commitment to create affordable housing for lower income people through it’s relationship with the YWCA of Greater Newburyport, the positive energy surrounding the project’s mission was evident."
Newburyport in the Pleistocene: Hillside's Groundbreaking Ceremony
“The calendar system we use today distorts our concept of time savagely. It allows people to think that this planetary journey is only a couple thousand years old. I can tell you way more happened before us than our Christian calendar encourages us to believe. The concentrated energy in your gas tank is really a legacy of millions of years of geological processes and plant and animal life cycles in the making.”
The Great Mock Up Walls
"Our first flip was a success! Starting with the EPS foam template, the exterior siding is applied, then flipped, the structural wall is poured, and the interior wall is later finished with a pigmented plaster to create a 20in thick, R60 wall. These mockups will be reviewed and inspected by the architects, engineers, and the building department. Credit to the Mass Dept. of Energy Resources for their grant to study the performance of these high-efficiency walls!
Foam; OuR(-Value's) Best Friend
"Being mostly air, foam is a superb insulator. Heating and cooling are responsible for roughly 44% of all home energy usage, so having the best possible insulation can make a huge difference in energy savings. Over the years of Hillside design work, the options of insulation materials moved from very creative things like recycled blue jeans and sheep wool to EPS foam for one very specific reason.
It's All About the Details
"If there is one word that describes the Hillside design team, it would be deliberate. From the smallest elements of the wall system to light bulbs and floors, each piece that is chosen for the Hillside homes is done so very carefully. Let's take a peek at some of the decisions floating around the Hillside offices..."
Slow the Flow
"If you have ever noticed the pond at March's Hill or the intersection of Federal and Water St after a significant rain event you may have thought to yourself, as we have in the Hillside offices, "wow, that water is coming fast and this space just can't handle it". With the ever-increasing frequency of these rain events in our future, we are working deliberately to design a system that will be able to withstand the influx of rain with ease..."
Community Food at Hillside
"Global numbers range for the greenhouse gas emissions caused by agriculture from 9% to 24%. Wherever the true number lies, the reality is that there is quite a lot of work to be done and endless opportunity to create more sustainable models of food production and consumption. This is why food is an integral part of Hillside and our mission to the development of sustainable housing..."
Our Love for Water
"The wet spring weather is an inevitable short-term setback, but much can be gained by understanding the way water moves on a particular site. In Hillside's case, there is a dense layer of blue marine clay in the subsoil layer of our site making it of high importance to foster water retention on the surface and topsoils..."
Inside Our Walls
"The standard functions of walls are intended to create structure, define space, and hold a load. Our walls at Hillside go far beyond what is traditionally expected of residential walls and creates a system that is more efficient, more sustainable, and pretty darn cool...."
Recycling While Constructing
"Reducing your footprint while building new sounds like an oxymoron, but thanks to the generosity of our Mayor Donna Holaday and the forward thinking of our team, we were able to recycle hundred of thousands of pounds of material from the Whittier Bridge project right down the street..."