Callahan Resumes Construction of Squirrelwood Apartments Amid COVID-19


Cambridge, MA – Callahan Construction Managers announced that construction of the
Squirrelwood Apartments, a 12-building, 88-unit affordable housing development located in Cambridge, MA, has resumed after a temporary shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project is progressing rapidly and is poised to be completed in 2021.

Owned by Just-A-Start Corporation, Callahan and Davis Square Architects are renovating the ten existing buildings and executing the design and construction of two new infill buildings, along with the construction of an addition to an existing building. The new construction is targeting Energy Star and Passive House standards.

“Quality affordable housing, like the homes Just-A-Start is developing at Squirrelwood Apartments, is a foundation for a strong and vibrant community. We’re excited that Callahan has resumed construction on the project, with procedures in place to minimize health risks during the pandemic. We remain committed to upgrading and expanding affordable housing opportunities so that more people in Cambridge can live here within their means and have access to the city’s many opportunities,” said Carl Nagy-Koechlin, Executive Director of Just-A-Start.

While following all COVID-19 protocols, and temporarily shutting down the construction site, Callahan and their subcontractors have now resumed work, and are in the demolition and rough installation phase of two (2) buildings undergoing renovations. Callahan is also in the rough installation phase in one (1) new infill building and is working on the foundation of the second new building. The installation of siding and windows will begin in the coming weeks on the first new infill building, while framing delivery is planned for the second.

“Squirrelwood was shut down for just over two months due to the COVID-19 construction moratorium in Cambridge. Now that the project has reopened, momentum is ramping back up with close attention to the safety requirements needed to keep all personnel safe,” stated Jessica Anthony, Project Executive at Callahan. “The team is excited to be making progress again and is taking an enthusiastic approach to working in the new normal.”

The Squirrelwood project consists of two existing affordable housing projects: Linwood Court and Squirrel Brand Apartments. Linwood Court includes eight (8) buildings with 45 residential units that are undergoing renovation.

Upgrades to existing units include kitchen and bathroom remodels, new flooring and windows throughout, and updates to all exterior facades, including brick repointing, new siding, insulation, and roofing. Residents have been temporarily relocated to other units throughout the property while their homes are under construction.

The Squirrel Brand project, which is listed on the state historic register, consists of 20 residential units in two (2) buildings. The interior will undergo light upgrades to existing units, including select kitchen and bath remodels and new flooring. The exterior will be
repointed, and the historic windows will be refurbished.

The two (2) new infill buildings, along with the addition, will offer an additional 23 units to the development. The largest infill building is being built to Passive House building standards, ensuring maximum energy efficiency and resident comfort.

Passive House construction adheres to five building-science principals: continuous insulation throughout the entire envelope without thermal bridging, an airtight building envelope preventing loss of conditioned air and infiltration of outside air, high-performance windows and doors that manage solar energy for maximized heating and minimized
overheating during cooling seasons, energy recovery ventilation, and a minimal space conditioning system.

The other infill construction will meet Energy Star standards.

The Squirrelwood development is located at the corner of Broadway and Columbia Street in Cambridge.