Finch Cambridge

Finch Cambridge, formerly known as Concord Highlands, is a 6-story residential building which is expected to be Cambridge’s largest new-construction, 100% affordable housing development in over 40 years.

Building Location
Cambridge, MA, United States
Project type
Project size
101,024 sq ft
Icon Architecture
NEI General Contracting
JKA Construction, Inc.
Products used
Majvest® 500 SA, Wigluv® 60, Wigluv® 100 & 150 & 300, Wigluv® 230, Fentrim® IS 20, Fentrim® 430 grey
"We're switching to SIGA and I'm so excited!"
Michelle Apigian, AIA,LEED AP, AICP, CPHC Associate Principal, Practice + Sustainability Leader at Icon Architecture

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Why was SIGA chosen as the air and weather barrier for Finch Cambridge?

  • Majvest 500 SA and Wigluv could tackle three different substrates without primer
    • Finch Cambridge has three different substrates (CMU, wood and DensGlass). The previously spec’d WRB required multiple different products, primers and a termination sealant.
    • By switching to SIGA, installers were able to use just two products for all three substrates - the Majvest 500 SA and Wigluv. No primer necessary.
    • The simplicity of the SIGA system allowed for a faster, higher quality installation.


  • Semi-permeable window flashing solution
    • Another key consideration was the desire for semi-permeable window flashing taped on all four sides of the window. The semi-permeability of Wigluv allows any residual moisture trapped in the wall to evaporate without leaving gaping holes in the air barrier.
    • In contrast, the previously spec’d material featured an impermeable butyl-based product to treat the rough opening and a backer rod and sealant to connect the window to the butyl flashing. This requires two weep holes to allow moisture to exit the assembly, but also allows acts as a penetration in your air barrier.

How fast was the Majvest 500 SA able to be installed?

Installers were able to install 4,000-5,000 sq. ft each day. In fact, the subcontractor in charge of the WRB install decided to offer a labor credit to the building owner because the install was so much faster than estimated.

It’s a team effort, how was SIGA able to support the Finch Cambridge team?

  • Two field-adhesion tests were conducted with SIGA support on the jobsite. A SIGA application trainer was on site for an initial adhesion test and 24 hours later for a second visit because the Majvest 500 SA’s bond strengthens over time. This gave the Finch Cambridge team confidence not only in the product’s abilities, but also in SIGA’s dedication to site support.
  • A SIGA application trainer met multiple times with Michelle Apigian and Gabrielle Aitcheson, Icon Architecture, to review details and talk through opportunities for simplifying the install process and proper sequencing.
  • SIGA acted as a resource beyond product supplier, acting as a knowledge base for best practices where the team could pick our brains on where to put things, how to detail, etc. in order to maximize air barrier efficiency.
  • Three window tests were completed on the project, each time a SIGA application trainer and member of our application engineering team was on site to troubleshoot if necessary.
  • Jobsite application training was conducted for every member of the install team to reduce opportunities for human error.

Shout out to Michelle and Gabrielle at Icon Architecture

By detailing the window flush with the sheathing and applying an extension buck after the window was flashed in, this simplified the rough opening and window flashing details.

Also, shout out to the install crew at JKA Construction

Building better means continuously learning, not only for installers, but product manufacturers as well. The installers on the team blew us away with their idea to install tape behind the membrane and leave the release liner on the tape so that they could tuck the next layer of membrane under the existing layer at the staggered joints. This eliminated inverse laps and provided protection for the adhesive during the time between install sequences. 

Finch Cambridge in the news

NESEA interview: Finch Cambridge passive house affordable housing

What went into making Finch Cambridge the largest, passive house, affordable housing project in New England to date. Learn from the experts on the project, including Michelle Apigian (Icon Architecture), James Petersen (Petersen Engineering) and Tom Chase (New Ecology).

Read the article


Cambridge's 'passive house' is built with focus on affordable housing, climate change

When construction is finished in Spring 2020, Finch Cambridge will become the city's largest affordable housing project built in the last 40 years.

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NEI Partners on Finch Cambridge

NEI General Contracting and ICON Architecture announced that work is progressing on the Finch Cambridge project on behalf of Homeowner’s Rehab, Inc. (HRI) located at 671 Concord Ave. This is the largest new multi-family affordable housing development in Cambridge in 40 years.

Read the article

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