Friday, May 31, 2013

An Addition in Central Vermont

The addition over the garage for a master bedroom suite


A view from the side showing the roofline massing
stepping down
     A couple of years ago in 2007, we assisted a local family providing design services to seamlessly add a small garage addition to a single family home here in Central Vermont for a growing family. We have been remiss in adding photos of it but today in the late May sunshine it's particularly interesting to see. 
     The roughly 900 square foot design program was a simple addition of a master bedroom suite, an enlarged master bath which allowed adjusting other upstairs bedrooms for the needs of growing teenage children.  We provided design services and drawings and some limited construction oversight during the renovation process.
A view from the opposite direction showing how the addition
roof line balances with the low octagonal porch done at an
earlier time

Monday, May 27, 2013

Take Our Workplace Design Survey

Click here to take survey  We would like to know how things are going with your workplace in 2013. We want to help make things better.

Please take our quick survey of about 5-8 minutes and share your helpful insights with us.  Our purpose is to learn more about the workplace and office market in a general way but at the same time gather helpful and more specific answers which can shape best practices and recommendations we provide others.  Your questions, suggestions, ideas and comments here are most welcome.

We are running this survey for about two weeks and will report back our findings here later in June.
The Gateway to Knowledge

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Senior Housing Duplex Under Construction

View of Southern Face of the building
showing units on each side, common space in the middle.
      Happy spring.  A project is rising! See in progress shots of a small high performing strawbale enclosed senior affordable housing duplex we're doing in collaboration with Ward Joyce Design. The 2,250 square foot project is located in Holland, VT on a five acre site, with two affordable low-income apartments and a shared common space.  It's slated for completion sometime in June.  The building is enrolled with Efficiency Vermont and is seeking Vermont Energy Star certification. 
       The base plaster coat is up over the bales, windows are in, roof on, interior wall framing and plumbing are in. Gilman Housing Trust is the client. Back 2 Basics Builders from Barton is the overall builder.  
      Our first strawbale building, this project was a labor of love and learning in the pursuit of seeking affordable to construct and easy to operate, durable and affordable housing located in remote rural sites in Vermont.  In a sense it is a model for the future.  The client and operating entity, Gilman Housing Trust / Rural Edge sought to pursue alternative construction such as strawbale to prototype this approach on a small project like this to see if it might work elsewhere in similar situations or on larger projects. Strawbale coupled with a hybrid timber and wood frame, a frost protected insulated slab on grade, radiant heating and natural finishes attracted the client to this approach.   Building this way also helps keep  construction dollars in this tight knit Northeast Kingdom community by tapping into skilled local craftsmen/ builders and using locally sourced straw bales, local building materials suppliers.
A southeast view showing the uplifting roof form and one
of the end units.