HI Boston is committed to all things green.

The greenest building is the one which already exists. HI Boston lives in the Dill Building (1886-1888) which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A complete renovation of the space has allowed for an adaptive-reuse of the building and the development of an environmentally-minded infrastructure. The building has been registered to receive a LEED certification. The building has more than 60,000 square feet of space on six floors and has been fully renovated into a sustainable, green facility.

Hostelling by nature is green because guests share accommodations. HI Boston is helping to support its guests’ environmentally-friendly outlook by developing a green hostel. HI Boston has many features which promote the “reduce, reuse and recycle” mentality. Development of green hostels is an important part of Hostelling International’s mission.

Green “G” icons have been placed throughout the building to indicate green design elements. Guests are invited, and encouraged, to explore the building and learn about all the ways HI Boston keeps it green. We hope you’ll enjoy the tour and your stay at HI Boston!


HI Boston encourages its guests to use the stairs over the elevator. By walking you are not only helping yourself, you’re also helping the environment.

Save Energy. Be Healthier. Take the Stairs.

Guests at HI Boston do not need to worry about forgetting to turn off the light in the bathroom. Occupancy sensors detect when the bathroom is occupied and automatically turn the light off after 15 minutes of inactivity.

The typical American bathroom uses 75% more water than necessary. HI Boston has installed faucets and shower heads with low-flow technology, reducing water output by 36%. HI Boston’s toilets also save an average of 0.5 gallons of water with each flush.


HI Boston bedrooms feature LED step lighting. The light switch closest to the door illuminates a path along the floor so guests can find their bunk at night without waking bunkmates. Overhead light switches are located toward the center of the room. Lights are also connected to occupancy sensors and control timers which automatically turn lights off after 15 minutes.

Air circulation throughout the building is extremely important and HI Boston’s bedrooms have been outfitted to improve the air flow. Bedroom windows open 4 inches allowing for natural ventilation. This also reduces the use of heating and air conditioning.

The use of a rooftop Energy Recovery Unit recaptures energy from heating and cooling fresh air. The increase of circulation improves air quality and reduces the spread of airborne illnesses and helps to eliminate odors. The air throughout the building is also cleaner and healthier.


HI Boston offers laundry facilities on the second floor. All of HI Boston’s laundry machines have received the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR certification, and use less power and water than non-certified machines. HI Boston has also installed an OZone system for its housekeeping laundry facilities which sanitizes laundry without the use of hot water, reducing the amount of energy needed per wash.

TV Monitors & Hallways

HI Boston is using ENERGY STAR flat screen monitors to help communicate with guests. TV monitors are outside of each elevator and include information on weather, activities and important announcements.

Hallways are illuminated with energy efficient lighting. This, along with other reduction of energy consumption, contributes to a 50% reduction of energy use by the building.

The murals on guest floors reflect local culture and historic events. They were created using water based ink on recycled material.

Kitchen & Dining Areas

HI Boston has two fully-equipped kitchen and dining areas for use by guests and groups. Appliances such as oven, stoves and refrigerators use a significant amount of energy. All of HI Boston’s kitchen appliances are energy efficient and have received the U.S. Government’s ENERGY STAR certification. In addition to the ENERGY STAR certification, the industrial dishwasher uses less water than similar style dishwashers.

Everywhere you look, HI Boston tries to reduce, reuse and recycle. Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every year. Kitchens are stocked with reusable dishes, glasses and cutlery to help reduce waste. Even the chairs in the dining rooms are green. Each chair is made from 111 recycled Coke bottles.

Coffee Bar

Need a break or mid-day pick-me-up? Stop by HI Boston’s coffee bar. Taste the fair trade coffees and teas, and snack on locally-made pastries which are baked fresh every morning. Enjoy your snack or beverage while looking at local artwork displayed on the walls. If you choose to take your beverage with you, HI Boston’s to go cups and plastic ware are made from corn fiber and are biodegradable.

Monumental Staircase

The Monumental Staircase is a focal point of HI Boston. The staircase helps merge the old with the new and is one of many features in the hostel which showcases the preservation and adaptive reuse of a historic structure, an important aspect of Hostelling International’s mission.

The landing of the staircase looks out over the lobby which features floor to ceiling windows, promoting the use of natural light. Lighting in this space goes one step further with daylight sensors and dimming controls that help to conserve energy. Looking down onto the front desk highlights yet another green feature. The front desk countertops are made of 10% recycled content. Additionally, nearly 25% of materials used for the front desk millwork, and the lobby furniture, are also made of recycled content. Wood and agrifiber products in the space are made without FSC and urea-formaldehyde.

During demolition floor joist were set aside for later use. They were made into stair treads and casework throughout the building. Everywhere guests turn there is another example of recycled or reused materials.

Community Room

The Community Room offers the opportunity for HI Boston to expand its educational programs and connect with the community. It provides a space, which is open to the public, to facilitate programs, local outreach and events. Local organizations are also welcome to use the space for meetings.

The décor of room is reflective of the green building. The swirl aluminum tables which contain 70% recycled aluminum including 10% post-consumer content and 60% pre-consumer content.