Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Waitsfield, Vermont offers over 80 hands-on courses per year in design, construction, woodworking, and architectural craft and offers a variety of courses concentrating in sustainable design. Now in its 35th year, Yestermorrow is one of the only design/build schools in the country, teaching both design and construction skills. Our hands-on 1-day to 3-week workshops, certificate programs and semester programs are taught by top architects, builders, and craftspeople from across the country. For people of all ages and experience levels, from novice to professional.

Monday, August 25, 2008

AIA Continuing Education programs at Yestermorrow

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 Architecture students are also eligible for 0.15 IDP units per LU.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Yestermorrow's New Book is Here

There are times when organizations are quiessent and other times when they are running on all cylinders. Yestermorrow Design/Build School is currently in the latter mode--we are charging along at warp speed. The good news is that folks are taking notice in droves. Examples abound.

Last week our own Valley Reporter ran a multiple page spread on our recent Art of Stone class taught be Thea Alvin. It is a wonderful piece, but if you didn't see it you should check out the video:

We are also recieving quite a bit of attention regarding our expansion plans. Last night the folks from Watershed Studio and Jersey Devil held their first public charrette. It was a great experience with a ton of ideas shared. Really exciting stuff.

Thursday--August 21th--during the lunch hour Vermont Public Radio will run piece on Yestermorrow, our campus and our teaching methodologies. If you are not in Vermont, we will post the link to interview soon.

And tomorrow night, we will toast the release of our first book Natural Building: Creating Communities Through Cooperation with a wine and finger food celebration and book signing here on the Yestermorrow campus. Following the wine one of the co-editors of the book Tim Rieth will give a lecture about his adventures in the world of natural building. The signing will run from 6-7PM and lecture will start at 7. We hope you can come celebrate this first with us but if you cannot, please be there in spirit. The book is on sale at Yestermorrow and also at Barnes & Noble, Borders and through Yestermorrow is selling the book for $25 including postage for orders in the US (contact to order)

Bob Ferris
Executive Director
Yestermorrow Design/Build School

Sunday, August 17, 2008

This Isn't New We've Been Doing It for a Generation

A recent New York Times article talked about an emerging practice in design: Doing it with your hands. While this is a wonderful development and a fine article, this is what Yestermorrow has been doing for a nearly thirty years--connecting hand and mind through design/build. Enjoy.

Bob Ferris

(Thanks for the heads up Mac.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Natural Building Intensive Slideshow

Check out these images from the 11-week Natural Building Intensive program which ended a few weeks ago.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Residential Green Building Rating Systems in Vermont

Confused about all the green building certifications out there? Me too. But over the summer I've been meeting with a group of builders and designers from around the state as the volunteer "Residential Green Building Advocate" for Vermont to try to get a grasp on the 4 existing programs in the state, and pros and cons of each.

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

Carbon Shredders Recognized by Congress

The following floor statement was made today by Vermont Congressman Peter Welch:

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.


Thank you, Peter!

The Carbon Shredders ( is a group co-founded by Seventh Generation, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and Yestermorrow Design/Build School and supported by NRG Systems, William Maclay Architects and Planners, ICF International, Sweet Pea Natural Foods, American Flatbread, The Big Picture Theatre, and the Town of Warren.