News & Media

Northland Newton Site Design Awarded 2023 BE+ Green Building Showcase Award

Northland Newton Development is an innovative national model of sustainability, affordable housing, transit demand management, historic preservation, open space, master planning, and community amenities. This 22-acre mixed-use development introduces 10 acres of public open space and parks and 1.5 acres of green roofs and amenity decks; transforming a classic New England strip mall and its associated sea of parking into a lively neighborhood interconnected with open green spaces that will serve residents and employees living and working in the neighborhood, as well as visitors from the surrounding area.

Inviting plazas emerge from lush, planted areas, as if they had always been there. The design for each space was inspired by historic and natural site features and together creates a vibrant, desirable, and walkable community. A nuanced yet cohesive native planting palette provides visual interest seasonally as well as significantly improving the existing ecology and contribute to the regional ecosystem.

The judges commented, “This project has been awarded the top honor in the Site and Landscape category for its unwavering commitment to design excellence, seamlessly bridging the worlds of architecture and nature to foster genuine ecological harmony, all while fostering substantial positive social and environmental benefits. A cornerstone of this project’s success lies in its key strategies, which encompass the careful design and masterful implementation of green roofs, amenity decks, and plazas. These elements have been meticulously crafted to not only nurture a sense of community but also to pay tribute to the site’s rich historical and natural heritage. This thoughtful choice is poised to yield a healthier and safer space, ensuring the well-being of both present and future generations.”

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Get a Grip on Lighting a Podcast hosted by Michael Colligan and Greg Ehrich and sponsored by National Association of Innovative Lighting Distributors interview Melissa Mattes and Brian Huff and discuss lighting design and sustainability. “Leave the earth better than how we found it.” That’s Melissa’s definition of sustainable. Of course she agrees that it is more complicated than that when it comes to the lighting industry. Melissa divides her time between architectural lighting design and sustainable manufacturing consulting. As the leader of Sladen Feinstein’s sustainability efforts. To watch/listen to the full episode click here.

Meet the Women Behind the Lighting Advocacy Letter

We think women working together will change the world – and the work Alex, Reiko, Melissa, Margie, and Sarah are putting into sustainability may also help save it. As an industry, we have made a significant impact on energy consumption through the shift to predominantly LED specification. But sustainability goes well beyond this and the lighting community has an obligation to understand how else we can improve our impact on the environment. We fully support the conversation mindful Materials is driving. Learn more below about the amazing women leading the charge! Find out more information on the letter, its progress and how you can help. Click here.

The Competitive Edge with Montel Williams Featuring SFIL!

Melissa Mattes from Sladen Feinstein Integrated Lighting and Aaron Smith of Finelite were interviewed by Montel Williams for his new show, "The Competitive Edge with Montel Williams." This program aired on Lifetime in July 2022 and featured the two experts discussing material transparency, sustainable lighting solutions and what gives our firms the competitive edge.

To watch the full video click here.

Supply chain transparency was virtually unknown 16 years ago, yet these days it commands attention across a broad spectrum of industries. Hear from Reiko Kagawa and Melissa Matts along with Jane W., Karen Jess-Lindsley, and Jonathan Penndorf as they dive into the topic of sustainability and transparency in the lighting industry.

To listen click here catches up with Melissa Mattes to discuss the importance of material transparency for lighting products and the steps that some leading manufacturers are taking to support the initiative.

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Seeking Material Transparency, LD+A Magazine, Oct. 2021

Written by, Melissa Mattes

The architectural industry has made significant strides in the last five to 10 years in its sustainable offerings of products, building practices, cleaner materials and regenerative ideals. But where does this leave the lighting industry? By comparison, we are behind the rapidly expanding sustainable advancements of the larger built environment. While we are all familiar with discussing targets related to energy efficiency, we rarely have a larger discussion of holistic project goals, encompassing topics like materiality ideals across the entire architectural, engineering and consultant team. “Material transparency” is a key part of the conversation when making informed decisions about the products we specify, and their impact on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, health and well-being.

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Lowell Justice Center Received LEED Platinum

The new Lowell Justice Center, designed by Finegold Alexander Architects has achieved LEED-Platinum certification, the first new state courthouse to achieve this certification in the United States. The project was recently featured in New England Real Estate Journal. 

To read the full article click here.


Material Transparency within the Lighting Design Community in High Profile Monthly

Material Transparency within the Lighting Design Community
A Contributor piece by Josh Feinstein and Melissa Mattes

The architectural industry has made big strides in the last 5-10 years in its sustainable offerings of products, building practices, cleaner materials, and regenerative ideals.  But where does this leave the lighting industry?  By comparison, we are lagging behind the rapidly expanding sustainable advancements of the larger built environment.  While some may argue the reductions in operational carbon with LED technology, we must pause and ask ourselves, “Is better efficiency and lower wattage enough?”  While we can boast high efficacy, have we considered the embodied carbon of our fixtures, or essentially where our luminaires come from, what are they made of, and where they go at the end of their life?

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