Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Santa Fe Residence Named Green Home of the Year
Santa Fe architect Mark Chalom has won the 2009 Su Casa Magazine/Build Green New Mexico award for Green Home of the Year by pushing sustainable building to a new level of overall excellence. Chalom won for the Santa Fe area Bechtold residence, which had earned the top-level Gold certification under Build Green New Mexico. It showed excellence in sustainable building practices by its placement on the land, its use of solar energy for heating, widespread use of nontoxic materials and its innovative approach to combining super insulation with interior adobe walls, according to a news release from Su Casa editor Charles Poling. The magazine is a publication of the Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico. The house also has a system for harvesting rainwater and reclaiming household water. The home was built by Custom Homes by John DiJanni.
The Green Home of the Year Awards program is in its second year, honoring builders, designers, architects, homeowners and companies that reach the highest levels of green building. Awards were presented Thursday at the Homebuilders Association's annual dinner. Homes this year competed in two broad divisions: those certified under Build Green New Mexico or U.S. Green Building Council LEED for Homes certification programs and those that were not certified. Winning the Innovative Green Home award for projects not certified was the EcoHouse Santa Fe, designed and built by Klaus Meyer of EcoHouse Santa Fe, with architectural designer Andreas Frick and energy consultant Joaquin Karcher of One Earth Design in Taos. The home adheres to the "passive house" concept, which means it consumes 20 percent to 30 percent of the energy of a conventional home, the news release said. The builder relied on locally available natural materials such as adobe, locally harvested lumber and recycled newspaper insulation. Interior finishes are toxin- and solvent-free clay plaster. "We saw an impressive array of entries in this year's competition," Poling said in the release. "Green builders in New Mexico are exploring all kinds of new and innovative solutions to problems like how to reduce energy use, conserve water, and create a healthy indoor environment. It's a time of amazing creativity."
Other winners were for best green remodeling project — Earth and Straw, an Albuquerque-based building and remodeling company; for energy efficiency — Kreger Design Build; for water efficiency — Mark Chalom, architect; for lot design, preparation, development and environmental responsibility — Verde Design Group and Sam Sterling Architecture; for use of materials and resource efficiency — EcoHouse Santa Fe; for indoor environmental quality — Artistic Homes and EcoHouse Santa Fe; for operation, maintenance and homeowner education — Panorama Homes; and for environmental impact — The Dream Home, a house in Santa Fe owned and designed by the husband and wife design/build team of Jody Fayas and Cara Leig.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Beginning in 2009, the $2,000 cap on photovoltaic systems will be lifted and the 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) will apply to the entire system cost. The $2,000 ITC cap on solar hot water systems remains. Detailed information on federal and state rebates, incentives and tax credits for all solar technologies and energy efficiency is available at the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy website - www.dsireusa.org.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
School of Architecture Media Classroom, 6 - 6:45 p.m.
March 27 or 28
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (Newport VT)
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
More information on the executive director search will be published at www.yestermorrow.org in the coming weeks.
President, Board of Directors
Thursday, October 09, 2008
This fund will be used for potential students who want and need to take a Yestermorrow course, but do not have the resources for tuition, travel expenses or child care. Those interested in applying should do so as soon as possible, either by visiting the School’s website at www.yestermorrow.org, or calling the School at 888.496.5541. Email questions about the scholarship application should be directed to email@example.com.
“I don’t think that I have to tell anyone that times are tough out there,” stated Bob Ferris, Yestermorrow’s Executive Director. “As a hands-on school we obviously believe that thinking and doing go hand-in-hand — teaching and action. And the action in this instance is to see what we can do to help those that need a little extra help.”
“We value diversity here at Yestermorrow and want to spread what we teach and how we teach it to the widest possible audience. We owe a lot of thanks to our donor for helping us to open our doors wider to the very students who will benefit most from a Yestermorrow experience,” added Yestermorrow’s Board President Mac Rood.
Potential students interested in the scholarship program will be asked to complete an application that includes financial information and personal life-long learning goals. Decisions about disbursement of the funds will be made by a committee comprised of Yestermorrow staff and Board members. Scholarships will be awarded on a rolling and timely basis.
It is with a mixed sense of accomplishment and the regret associated with moving from one challenge to looking for the next, that I announce that I'm leaving Yestermorrow Design/Build School. (Now, I have said the difficult part.)
During my tenure we accomplished great things in terms of building needed infrastructure, increasing the visibility of the school, and managing our often extraordinary growth. I firmly believe that the school's reputation, overall visibility, and staff strength have never been better or higher than at this point in time. But they need to and will improve.
The bottom-line is that as Yestermorrow enters this next and important phase of its growth, the organization needs an Executive Director to be someone with well-developed skills in architecture and design rather than my wider experience in natural systems, advocacy, and sustainability. I believe this is the right decision for the school and for me, but I will miss working with this dedicated staff, the instructors, students, and board.
I have grown so close to many of you and thank you all for you loyalty, cooperation and friendship. I sincerely hope to retain these relationships long after I leave my current position at Yestermorrow.
Here is looking forward to our next encounter,
Thursday, September 25, 2008
This story on the history of design/build in Vermont originally aired on Burlington, VT's WCAX station on September 23rd and features the work of a variety of Yestermorrow faculty members, as well as a few shots of our campus, students and interns. Check it out!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
September 24 - December 19, 2008, East Gallery, Fleming Museum, Burlington, Vermont
Architectural Improvisation: A History of Vermont's Design/Build Movement 1964-1977 documents a radical, Vermont-based architectural movement characterized by organic forms, improvisational processes, hands-on methods, and natural materials. Predating the back-to-the-land movement but motivated by similar values and principles, the Design/Build movement focused on a new mediatory role for architecture both in creating community and in the then-newly charged relationship between humans and the environment. A number of the documented projects from the mid-1960s pioneered technological and social experimentation such as solar heating, wind power, and co-housing.
Guest-curated by Norwich University architecture professor Danny Sagan, the exhibition traces the development of the Design/Build movement from its roots in Bauhaus theory at Yale School of Architecture in the early 1960s to its radical social, technological, and aesthetic experimentation. It examines the work of a group of young architects who moved to Vermont from Yale and the University of Pennsylvania Architecture program in the mid-1960s, among them, David Sellers, Bill Reineke, Jim Sanford, Bill Maclay, Ellen Strauss, Charles Hosford, John Mallary, and Barry Simpson. The exhibition documents for the first time the exemplary Vermont projects created by these architects, including Sibley/Pyramid House, Tack House, and Dimetrodon on "Prickly Mountain" in Warren, Vermont; Goddard College in Plainfield; and the Anthos housing project in Waitsfield; as well as Skidompha House in Maine. It presents previously unpublished photographs and drawings, contemporary photographs, artifacts from the houses, and other documentary materials that reflect both the process and the resulting structures. An accompanying catalogue will be published by the University of Vermont Press.
On Sunday, November 2 the Fleming Museum will host a panel discussion with several of the original architects and residents of an early, experimental, solar co-housing complex in Warren, Vermont, as they discuss and debate the genesis and legacy of the Design/Build tradition in Vermont. For more information, visit http://www.uvm.edu/~fleming/
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
By Sylvia Fagin, Correspondent
Like a sprite, Heidi Benjamin is everywhere at once – physically and conversationally.
One moment she's explaining the spiral design of the kitchen garden at Yestermorrow, the design/build school in Warren where she's the whole foods chef. The next, she's striding across the field to show off spiky purple plumes of amaranth while explaining how she got the moniker "lunch lady with love."
For almost 30 years, Yestermorrow has provided inspiration and skills in sustainable design and building methods, teaching classes like "green home design," "ecological water systems," and "woodworking for women." The faculty boasts MIT grads, as well as lifelong craftspeople, and although students may not come for the food, they certainly learn from it.
Three times a day, all year long, Benjamin and her crew of cooks provide a tasty, healthy meal, almost entirely from local ingredients, demonstrating that eating locally can be delicious and affordable. A tangible feeling of community is created as students from diverse backgrounds dine and chat together.
"Students want to chill and feel the essence of this place, of sustainability," Benjamin explains in the dining room that's naturally lit by two walls of floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the spiral garden — and nearly eliminate the need for artificial lighting. Students learn that "it is possible to serve really good, local food for a pretty OK price. A lot of people are worried about that." Describing herself as a "frugal localvore," Benjamin rattles off some of the meals she creates from seasonal produce and local ingredients: Breakfasts of homemade granola, local eggs and oatmeal, Manghi's cinnamon raisin toast. Lunch buffets featuring cole slaw bursting with green beans, crunchy cabbage and sweet carrots, cold cuts of local turkey and ham, garlicky dill pickles, and Madhouse Munchies chips.
Dinners follow a theme, like Mexican night with fajitas of seitan and local beef; Benjamin devotes an entire chest freezer to the summer's bounty, ensuring local salsa all year long. Indian meals are almost entirely vegan, featuring kale saag, curried cauliflower, and homemade vegetable chutneys.
Benjamin invites student input — it keeps her creating.
"I ask vegans, 'What do you miss? Scalloped potatoes?' I can do that with soy milk. Instead of spanikopita, I do 'kale-kopita,' with tofu."
"I'm learning as I go," she says. "They call me a whole foods chef. I joke and say I'm three-quarters, because every so often a can of Pringles is just so fine. I don't sit and study books to find out what I'm supposed to do. I think, what do I want to eat? Sometimes I really want to eat comfort food — so how can I make that comfort food more healthy?" Benjamin substitutes honey and maple syrup for white sugar, strips of zucchini for lasagna noodles.
The fields and woods of the bucolic campus provide fiddleheads, ramps, a bevy of wild mushrooms, not to mention the foundation of a variety of hot and cold drinks.
"We have 10 different drinks we make for the cost of running the hot water." She lists a few: Sumac, dandelion, cinnamon basil mixed with lemon balm — none more mysterious than the process of letting leaves or roots seep for a while. "Students ask, 'Is that all there is to it?'" she recalls. "It makes it more approachable for people. They say, 'I can do that.'"
By example, Benjamin shows students that they can eat sustainably with ease; in return, she gets accolades, hugs and a dream kitchen where every cabinet, shelf and spice rack is custom-built.
"It's like a mix of camp, college and home here," she enthuses, offering up gifts of funky misshapen tomatoes, homemade jam, an offer to cater a student's wedding. "We feel the love. It's such a yummy feeling."
Heidi Benjamin's yummy meals are available to students of Yestermorrow Design/Build School courses, which range from one day to two weeks.
Sylvia Fagin writes about local foods and food producers. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, September 08, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
This year Yestermorrow has expanded its Continuing Education offerings through the American Institute of Architects and in 2008 we have 63 courses and workshops available. Our AIA/CES courses are specifically designed for current and future design professionals. For 2009 the AIA will launch a new continuing education requirement for Sustainable Design credits and a number of Yestermorrow's courses will fill this new requirement. Courses available for AIA/CES credits are indicated on our website and in our catalog in the course descriptions with the AIA symbol and a full listing is available on our website at www.yestermorrow.org/aia-ces.htm. Architecture students are also eligible for 0.15 IDP units per LU.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
(Thanks for the heads up Mac.)
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Certification programs give buildings a kind of "seal of approval" for greenness. LEED has become the most recognized green building certification program for commercial projects, but in January 2008, USGBC set out to address the large residential building market with the launch of LEED-H - or LEED for HOMES. However, many municipalities, Home Builder Associations, and states (including Vermont) have had their own residential rating systems for years. With the introduction of a new nationally recognized standard, and various programs to choose from, how do you decide which is most appropriate for your project? A group made up of members from the Vermont Green Building Network (VGBN), Building for Social Responsibility (BSR), Efficiency Vermont, Vermont Housing Finance Association (VHFA), and the Home Builders Remodeling Association (HBRA), has been meeting over the past several months to develop a comprehensive resource for residential green building programs available in Vermont. The short term goal is to develop an interactive website that allows consumers to understand and evaluate the various components of each program in terms of design and building requirements, certification standards, and costs. The overall goal is to have all the groups work together to improve the housing stock in Vermont! We eventually hope to have this resource available as part of VGBN's website, but you can currently find information about individual programs at the following websites:
LEED for HOMES- (LEED-H) USGBC's home rating standard
Vermont Builds Greener - (VBG) Vermont's residential rating program
Energy Star - EPA Energy Efficiency Guidelines for homes
National Association of Home Builders - Model Green Home Guidelines.
Friday, August 01, 2008
The 110th Congress has been focused on rising energy prices, protecting our environment, and finding concrete, long term solutions to climate change. The scientific evidence is clear: global warming is real, it is urgent, and it requires our immediate attention.
I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the dedicated efforts of Carbon Shredders, a grassroots environmental group based in the Mad River Valley of Vermont. Formed in the fall of 2007 by three local environmentalists, Carbon Shredders dedicates its time to curbing local energy consumption, helping Vermonters lower their energy costs, and working towards a clean energy future. The group challenges participants to alter their lifestyles in ways consistent with the goal of reduced energy consumption.
In March, three Vermont towns passed resolutions introduced by Carbon Shredders that call on residents and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint by ten percent by 2010. In addition to the environmental advantages of this initiative, participating households are expected to save nearly $700 each year. Carbon Shredders’ membership has grown considerably in Vermont since its founding, and the group has recently received national attention. I would like to recognize Carbon Shredders for their efforts on behalf of Vermont and the global community at-large. Any real solutions to the energy and environmental crises will demand the leadership and vision exemplified by this locally-based grassroots organization from Vermont. Thank you.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Yestermorrow and the Center for Whole Communities invite you to celebrate the Natural Building Intensive project at the Knoll Farm in Fayston, VT on Friday, July 25th from 4-6pm.
This year's Intensive project is a combination barn and workshop for the Farm, built as a demonstration of natural building systems emphasizing locally sourced materials, super-insulated walls, and traditional Vermont vernacular barn design. The barn features a traditional king-post timber frame and insulated natural wall systems including straw bale and woodchip clay infill.
Six students have completed the full 11-week program and will be receiving their Certificates in Natural Building on the 25th. They include: Nico Sardet, Nathan Lawson, Elizabeth Weiss, Benjamin Griffin, Julia Kirk and Ben Gould. The Intensive project was led by Yestermorrow instructor Jacob Deva Racusin along with eleven other instructors who came in to teach their individual specialties.
Please join us for the open house on the 25th. Call 802-496-5545 or email email@example.com for directions or more information.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Or you could join the Yestermorrow FaceBook group and go trolling for a ride or rider there. Whatever your method, let's see what we can do to cut our collective carbon footprint, make the Yestermorrow experience a little more affordable for all, and make a fuller connection to the Yestermorrow community. And hopefully, once you get into this habit that you'll incorporate
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Their team also built a small cob building with the help of six young women from the village. Everyone had great fun in the mud and they ended up with a structure in the process. While the buildings were impressive, the social implications in post-apartheid South Africa are probably more important. For one, the buildings demonstrate that attractive buildings can be made out of local materials and that people of means are willing to live the structures. These two factors could induce the local villagers to forgo less economically sustainable cinder block construction and undertake building with local, natural materials once again.
What's more, everyone in the settlement was invited to the celebration and open house held at the end of construction. Thus a combination of natural building and permaculture acted as the catalyst for the first fully integrated social gathering in the area.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
First we will go to our newspaper the information hub of our community. This periodical is the Yestermorrow e-newsletter which lets you know the general happenings here on campus and elsewhere in our extended community. To subscribe to the e-newsletter click this link: http://yestermorrow.org/request_newsletter.htm and follow the instructions.
Yestermorrowville is also blessed with a magazine. Here the stories are longer in length and run the gambit from updates on projects, the accomplishments of alumni or instructors, or the wild ramblings of staff. The Yestermorrow Magazine is our blog and we welcome your stories and updates. Send them to Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get your story out there.
As we travel farther down our electronic Main Street we come to the front porch of our general store. This is a place where discussions can be held and interactions reminiscent of talks around the YesterYum cafeteria are held. Right now this front porch is housed on my blog on the Greenopolis website http://greenopolis.com/myopolis/blogs/my-blog. Come sit on the porch with me for a while and we will see where our thoughts take us.
There is also sort of a soda fountain where chit-chat and whimsy abound. This is a place to share photos and catch up with former classmates and meet new ones. You might even have a dialog about ride sharing here. The soda fountain is our site on FaceBook http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=14368031554 join up and sit for a spell. You might see old friends or a 4th of July float or two.
We also have a movie theater in Yestermorrowville. Here we show short films about the school, our instructors, and videos of efforts we support or like. This is our YouTube Channel which has drama, content and a lot of other features thrown in for fun http://www.youtube.com/user/yestermorrowdb . Watch the videos and subscribe to the channel so you’ll be notified when new videos are added.
Yestermorrowville is all about adult and sometimes youth education. No trip to the “Ville” would be complete without seeing what is on the educational menu http://www.yestermorrow.org/courses.htm . Now there is more reason than ever to check this and check it often because we are going to be offering some special classes that won’t be listed in our catalog.
We also try to change the world at Yestermorrowville. We simply cannot help ourselves; we are basically do-gooders and it shows. Our current efforts in this area are two-fold. First, we are promoting a page that features Yestermorrow on the Changent site http://www.changents.com/change-agents/bob-ferris that will help encourage others to move to our beautifully designed and sustainable community. Join Changent and please sign on as a backer—and feel free to post as well. A true inhabitant of Yestermorrowville would also click on as backer on the Carbon Shredders page http://www.changents.com/change-agents/carbon-shredders . This is an effort that Yestermorrow co-founded with Seventh Generation and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.
So even if we cannot all live in Yestermorrowville physically, we can certainly do the next best thing. Come join us, introduce others to our community, and keep going on the life-long learning pathway you started on your first visit to Yestermorrow.
Yestermorrow Design/Build School
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Two students have been keeping blogs to document the project, which you can check out for photos and more detailed descriptions--
Elizabeth Weiss has created AbsolutGreen (http://www.absolutgreen.blogspot.com/) with a good overview and photos
Ben Griffin is working on a more detailed description of the various stages, as part of his degree program at Burlington College (he's getting credit for this summer's program). The site: http://naturalbuild2008.blogspot.com/
Monday, July 07, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
I was thinking of parallel evolution this past weekend because I spent it with my cousin Michael Chandler (pictured with his wife Beth Williams), who I had never met before. Michael has worked on enviromental issues and also has a strong interest in green buildling. I run a design/build school and Michael runs a design/build firm in North Carolina. And we are both married to green architects/designer (OK, now I am getting a little ridiculous).
It was a good exercise to take Michael around and show him the Valley and the world of Yestermorrow. It helped me see a lot of what we do with his fresh and informed eyes. It also reenforced for me the value of providing a venue for growth and experimentation. And, quite frankly, a place where folks feel safe enough to fail once in a while. Yestermorrow is all about grand and glorious design and we are serious about sustainability but we also have our fair share of what Charles Darwin would have called "hopeful monsters." And that is just fine.
My cousin is also a contributor to Green Building Advisor along with Yestermorrow instructor John Abrams--check out their blog: http://thegreenbuildingadvisors.blogspot.com/
Also check out Michael's account of his visit at: http://chandlerdesignbuild.blogspot.com/2008/07/visiting-yestermorrow-design-build.html
Yestermorrow Design/Build School
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
So the mountain formed and the floes were sketched in. Then the crayon sort of went wild with abandon. The teacher seeing explosions—likely complete with sound effects—walked over to my desk and picked up my masterpiece and in her teacher voice said: This is exactly what we don’t want to see in this class! I stopped having an interest in drawing and painting on that day.
My wife has since helped me past this event and I am doing some drawings and a little painting—yes, a lot like a 7th grader—but I think this illustrates well the negative power of critique. And why our students are not subjected to this type of educational technique here at Yestermorrow. Here we work to enable and empower folks. The wonder of that is incredible, because you never know what someone is going to design or create. Another reason why I like to work at Yestermorrow.
Yestermorrow Design/Build School
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
The communal sinks look like Bangkok sewers which have become for us an allegory about the lack of folks taking personal responsibility for their environment. The sinks became plugged because the discarded packets from shampoo samples covered the drain. No one was watching. No one wanted to be the sacrificial hand that dove into the muck and solved the problem for all. Perhaps they did not care or did not know how to solve this simple plumbing problem. It really drives home for me how important what we teach, preach and live at Yestermorrow is and will be.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Wahoo. I am so proud of the Yestermorrow crew. We continue to build in a manner that draws attention!
PS it is still steaming here, but got a shower this morning. Everyone is grateful.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
We woke with a city growing around us. By this evening we will be 100,000. There is a lot to learn from this construct. We are basically a musical refugee camp. Lots of folks living very, very close together—no we are not being tortured or displaced but we are here because of our thoughts and common likes. We are living light with few possessions and taking less showers and using less energy. It feels good, but is challenging. We know our bliss would be shattered if not supported by heavy importation of food, water, and other services. Gives us a flavor of empathy but not reality. And I am either getting older or my air mattress is getting thinner.
We are in the Green Pod # 3 so we are in and around some folks who think like us. Our nearest neighbor is a green bus from Dartmouth so we are an environmental leaning New England enclave. The Clif Bar bus is down the way and they are pushing low carbon as well. Lots of conversations about what is wrong how we can solve it. Mainly they all come back to the thought that we are trying to treat symptoms and need to look more at root causes and cures. We need to find a way to heal ourselves and we need to start now.
It is cooler this morning but the heat is building and all of us are scouting out the best shade spots which are few. We are saving our voices to talk to thousands of folks over the noises of PlanetRoo and booming bass from the Solar Stage.
They are hammering on the Post Office now and hoping to finish the roof before it rains. So it goes with design/build everywhere....
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
We are recovering from the drive and setting up our booth. Gregor Barnum from Seventh Generation and I are sitting on hay bales madly blogging away in site of the nearly completed Post Office which is full of past and future Yestermorrowians. Great fun and Orion has already given me on very muddy handshake.
There are connections all over the place. Gary our bus driver worked with Art Schaller and Mac Rood 15 years ago on Yestermorrow's project on the Sioux reservation and the back up driver is Ken Oldrid a Yestermorrow biofuels instructor. We were all very nervous about getting here on time and it was looking like we were going to miss our mark by about an hour, but then we gained an hour with the time zone change and squeezed in under the wire.
The energy of the both crew is incredible. Everyone is talking about how to live a less impactful life. We are reducing our waste on the trip, composting our other waste and counselling each and all on what to buy and not.
The trip was supposed to take 20 hours but we had some challenges finding vegetatable oil and B-100 biodiesel. It was a pain but OK because we now is the time to stretch ourselves so we can begin to make a real difference.
As someone associated with education with a sustainability message, I believe it is very important to set an example and do it in a manner that is meaningful. We are doing that here at Bonnaroo and will greet and send our message tomorrow to a population that could reach 100,000 folks.
A drum circle is beating in the backgroud as we get back to our booth and watch the folks finish the post office. Talk to you soon.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
TINY HOUSE: Wanted: 132 square feet of home Governor's Academy alumna has blueprint for a project that's warm, green — and snug
By Victor Tine, Staff writer
This is going to be one busy summer for Elizabeth Turnbull.
The 2000 graduate of The Governor's Academy in Byfield is working "almost full time" for O'Neil Fine Builders of Beverly, a build-and-design company. And she's also building the house she will live in when she goes to graduate school at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., in August.
The thing is, she's building the house in Byfield. On the grounds of her alma mater. On a flat-bed trailer. When she's done, she's going to haul it down to New Haven and find a place for it to go.
It's going to be tiny — the interior living space will be just 7 feet, 4 inches wide by 18 feet long, or 132 square feet. That's a snug fit for Turnbull, who is 5 feet, 113/4 inches tall.
And it's going to be green — energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
"I am going to be studying urban ecology and environmental design and, without sounding too hokey, I'm interested in living that experience," Turnbull said. "This is an opportunity."
"Also, I don't love the idea of paying rent," she said.
She has set up the used trailer she bought at the academy's maintenance area on Middle Road and took delivery of the lumber late last week.
The 25-year-old Turnbull has never built a house before, but she took a furniture building course for three years at Colby College in Maine. "I loved it," she said. She has also taken a two-week home design and build course at Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Warren, Vt.
She's pretty excited about the project, and she hopes other people will be, too. Between now and her departure for Yale, she's planning five "TinyRaisings" work parties. She'll invite people to help her work, maybe take a break for a swim at Plum Island, and then treat them to a barbecue afterward.
"It would be really cool to get community people involved," she said.
Turnbull estimates it would cost her about $14,000 to rent an apartment for the two years she will spend studying for her master's degree in environmental management at Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. At first, she thought she could build her tiny house for a comparable sum, but she's learned eco-friendly materials can be more costly than conventional construction. She is looking for donations of building materials and tools.
Her lumber has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, a nonprofit organization that encourages responsible and sustainable forest management. Certified lumber costs about 17 percent more than conventional board.
She plans to set the house's studs at 24 inches apart, rather than the usual 16, to save on weight and building materials.
She expects to use recycled and reclaimed windows. Since they have already been constructed, it consumes no additional energy to make them. That reduces what she called the "embodied energy" of the building.
Turnbull also intends to use nontoxic paints and adhesive wherever possible.
"It's hard to find those materials and hard to afford them," she said, estimating that a can of paint without toxins costs twice as much as regular paint.
The tiny house will be solar-powered and well insulated with natural materials.
"If it's a cold winter, I expect to spend $200 for heat," she said.
She will use LED and halogen lights, which, she said, "sip very gently on your power supply."
The Governor's Academy has been highly supportive of her project, giving her the space to work and encouragement. "Everybody has been unbelievable," she said.
Turnbull doesn't expect the tiny house to be 100 percent completed when she leaves for grad school. Some things, plumbing for example, will depend partly on the site she chooses for the house. But she expects the house to be "eminently livable" by August.
After she gets her degree in 2010, Turnbull said there are a number of professional job possibilities.
"I would like to continue exploring and improving the built environment," she said.
But she thinks she'll want to hang onto the tiny house. She might use it as her office.
"I don't think it will ever be done, that it will ever come to a point where I say nothing more needs to be done," she said.
The making of Tiny House
This is the first in a series of stories on the Tiny House. The Daily News will be following the progress of Elizabeth Turnbull and her green house every two weeks until August when she leaves for Yale with her new home.
Turnbull has also started a blog about the project — www.turnbulltinyhouse.blogspot.com — to let people know how it's going.
The Turnbull File
Grew up in West Virginia
Moved to Massachusetts after freshman year in high school
Lives in Beverly
2000 graduate of The Governor's Academy
2004 graduate of Colby College, Waterville, Maine
Has worked at alternative energy consulting firm in Washington, D.C.
Campaigned for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004
Has bicycled across the United States and Europe
Elizabeth Turnbull is inviting anyone who is interested in helping her build her house to five weekend work parties. The schedule is:
June 21 and 22
June 28 and 29
July 12 and 13
July 26 and 27
Aug. 2 and 3
E-mail her at email@example.com to sign up.
Forest Stewardship Council-certified lumber
Studs 24 inches apart, rather than 16
LED (light-emitting diode) and halogen lights
Nontoxic paints and adhesives
Insulation with natural materials
Minimal reliance of fossil fuels
Friday, May 30, 2008
One of the real joys of working at Yestermorrow (and there are many) is introducing folks to buildings that are well-designed and functional. We like doing that for people of all ages, but we really love it when those buildings impact the lives of the littlest among us. And that was certainly the case when a class recently built a playhouse for the Warren Elementary School. Those who delivered the small building to the
school told us tales about children waiting in line to be among the first to enter this delightful, right-scaled play space. Thanks to the parents of Warren School students for raising the money for this project and the students of the Yestermorrow Basic Carpentry class for raising the roof--and other parts--of this handcrafted cottage.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Friday, May 09, 2008
If you're familiar with Yestermorrow, you know that Yestermorrow is unique. Indeed, one in a million.
Now Yestermorrow is being honored for it's one-of-a-kind-ness. Yestermorrow has been chosen by the editorial staff at Metropolitan Home magazine as 1 of the 100 best and most interesting designers, design elements or locations of the past year. Published annually, the Metropolitan Home's Design 100 list is an “admittedly quixotic collage of the 100 most noteworthy objects, events and personalities in the world of design.”
Join us for a special reception in New York City to celebrate this award and the many achievements of our special design/build school. Our "1 in 100 Reception" takes place May 19 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Gallery at Tribeca Cinemas. You can find more information here.
Monday, April 28, 2008
I am pleased to introduce a new course for Yestermorrow Design/Build School. Designing Small Living Spaces is a course that has been years in the making.
The origin of the course lies in the frustration of bigness. Bigness, to borrow the term from Rem Koolhaus, permeates all aspects of American culture. Bigness of portions, bigness of vehicles, and bigness in homes are just a few, and they are leading to bigness of problems. Sadly, bigness begets bigness, and, until now, there were few constraints of just how big that bigness could get. In the last 50 years our culture has been flooded with propaganda equating size with quality, explicitly encouraged by big business and tacitly condoned by the government.
However, of late, there have been many big signs that all is not well in our culture of bigness. The recent big drop in the stock market, as well as the big credit crunch, have given us big cause for concern. Big increases in oil prices and food prices may cause big changes in the way that we fuel ourselves and our transportation. At the same time that we are painfully discovering these limits to bigness, there are a number of rapidly growing small movements afoot. A doubling in the number of farmer's markets over the past 5 years is a big step in the direction of smallness. Big advances in wind power technology and solar are allowing more power to be produced on a local scale.
So when I proposed a class to teach some big ideas about smallness, Yestermorrow was enthusiastic, of course, in a big way.
Designing Small Living Spaces is offered as a week-long course at Yestermorrow as way to demonstrate that quality design can allow us to design, build and get big rewards out of small spaces. In the course, we will look at domestic and international examples of how cultures and individuals have designed small dwellings. Some of the dwellings are iconoclastic while others are miniaturized versions of the white picket fence concept. We'll look at students' individual situations, and generate big ideas on how to solve them. We'll generate small sparks of genius and deliver big doses of encouragement as students work together to apply big ideas to small spaces.
(Andreas X. Stavropoulos is an airstream-dweller, cargo trailer remodeler, tipi aficionado who works by day as a landscape architect to combat bigness by designing small spaces for people in Berkeley, CA)
Friday, April 25, 2008
Jay Tarlecki (intern 2006)
Christian Peterson (intern 2005)
Eric Stevens (alumnus)
Dan Wheeler (intern 2007)
Josh Jackson (instructor)
Skip Dewhirst (instructor)
Yestermorrow instructor Ben Falk was recently profiled on www.FastCompany.com along with his business Whole Systems Design of Moretown, VT. Falk teaches a variety of courses at Yestermorrow, including Design for Climate Change and Biofuels. Read the full article here. Congratulations Ben!
Monday, April 21, 2008
Visit the page. Sign up and start communicating with your fellow Yestermorrowites (Yestermorrowians?).
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
We are looking for a special Yestermorrow intern to work under the direction of the Building and Grounds committee to help prepare site plans, document our existing conditions, and help with the permitting and planning process. This could count for IDP credits (for architecture students). Ideally we’d like to find someone who can commit to 20 hours/week for 4 months, but could also work with someone for a shorter time period more intensively if it worked better for their schedule. We don't have lodging available on campus but could offer a camping spot or help you find a place in town.
We are still working out some of the details, but if you're interested in learning more about this new opportunity, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s the scope of the project as we have defined it so far:
1) Creating a unified format set of plans of the various master plans and visions over the past 10 years.
2) Gathering all current base information, and putting it in uniform format- Survey and topo info, ANR GIS info, soils, hydrology, vegetation. Updating more detailed mapping of the "campground" and other misc structures and gardens, trails, etc. Updated plans of the chalet existing conditions. Updated plans of the school building existing conditions. All official permit plans and Act 250 submission, wastewater and water permitting information, etc.
3) Developing massing, grading, and site layout for the school zone master plan. Developing utilities infrastructure plan for the campus. Develop a base "permaculture plan" for the central green and school zone areas, including locating existing trees and making a plan as to which stay and which go.
4) Develop a soft costs budget, to further planning, engineering, and permitting that will be necessary to make progress with plans.
5) Develop models, plans, CAD models, etc that will be useful in fundraising efforts.
The Campus Master Planning intern will work under the guidance of the Buildings and Grounds committee (which meets approximately bi-weekly) and document the process of the committee.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
I was a little taken aback. If architects are not aggressively recommending solar panels, who will? While I was going through this, the AIA (American Institute of Architects) was also taking a look at how green building and sustainability were being taught at architecture schools. Their conclusions were similar to mine: more needed to be done in this arena. Architects need to know about sustainability and green building and need to sell it in the same breath that they are selling good design.
My response to this need has been to push our students at Yestermorrow Design/Build School harder and harder as it relates to these important educational threads--and to offer more courses in these areas. And the AIA's response is outlined below. Great move AIA, please let us know how we can help!
CES Sustainability Requirement – NEW!
During the March 2008 AIA National Board of Directors meeting, it was approved that beginning January 1, 2009 the AIA would require all members to complete four (4) hours of sustainable design. These 4 Sustainable Design (SD) hours would be included as part of the current 8 hour / HSW requirement. They are not additional hours to the 18/8 LU hours that the AIA already requires. This requirement would run until 2012, at which time it will be evaluated.
The AIA is currently finalizing the rules of Sustainable Design (SD) Learning Units. During the course of this summer the AIA/CES will be establishing the infrastructure for CES providers to determine, register, and report their future continuing education courses to qualify for Sustainable Design (SD) learning units. These rules will be based upon the following definition.
Sustainable Design (SD) Learning UnitsSustainable design is achieved through an integrated design and delivery process that enhances the natural and built environment by using energy sensibly with a goal toward carbon neutrality, improves air and water quality, protects and preserves water and other resources, and creates environments, communities and buildings that are livable, comfortable, productive, diverse, safe, and provide enduring value to our community and society as a whole.
To qualify as Sustainable Design learning units, the content must meet 4 thresholds:
It must address the AIA definition of sustainability.
It must be a structured (third-party) program (i.e. no self-study).
At least 75% of program content must qualify as HSW.
Its primary purpose must address at least one of the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Measures of Sustainable Design and Performance Metrics
Examples: Design & Innovation; Regional/Community Design; Land Use & Site Ecology; Bioclimatic Design; Light & Air; Water Cycle; Energy Flows & Energy Future; and Materials & Construction to reduce product-cycle environmental impacts and optimize occupant health and comfort.
If you feel that your CES Provider courses will qualify as Sustainable Design (SD) learning units please plan on providing that information to the AIA/CES Records Center this fall once we announce the procedures. Additional progress reports will be offered in coming issues of the CES Provider Connection as well as the AIA/CES website. NO action is necessary at this time.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
This idea of enriching the world or your small chunk of the globe with these funds is catching fire and groups such as Keep it in Vermont (http://www.keepitinvermont.org) are full of great ideas of how you can invest these funds locally in a manner that will last much longer than that cashmere sweater or weekend at the spa. Pony up and be the change.