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.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yestermorrow In The World: Bob O'Hara

Since serving as an intern in 2008, Bob O'Hara has made the pilgrimage back to Yestermorrow twice, once as an attendee of the Re-Inventing Small Business class, and once in attendance of Yestermorrow’s 30th Anniversary celebration.

After his internship, Bob returned to his (newly) native New Orleans to become a solar technician. In 2009, he formed an employee-owned cooperative solar integration firm with 3 other technicians. Currently, the small group has collectively installed around 200 kW of photovoltaics and nearly 100 solar thermal systems.

Additionally, Bob became an EPA Certified Lead Renovator, whose first remediation project was his childhood home in Petersburg, Illinois. After long hours in a “space suit,” laying down poly, sanding, vacuuming, cleaning, and painting, the historic house finally began to shine.

When not on the roof or working on an MBA in Sustainable Business and Renewable Energy, Bob is renovating a small New Orleans creole cottage for his parents, utilizing the comprehensive skills which he honed at Yestermorrow.

The goal of the project is to (re)build a small, smart family home, emphasizing energy efficiency, historic preservation, recycled materials, and renewable energy. The project has recently begun, if anyone in the Yestermorrow community wants to help, hurry on down to New Orleans, this project has to be done by late April (JAZZFEST!!!)

Where are Yestermorrow Students From?

Ever wonder where Yestermorrow students come from? We found this great tool where we can automatically create a Google map showing where our alumni are from. So far we've only loaded students from April 2007-January 2011 in North America, but we hope to expand it in the future.

Check it out! You will have to zoom in a bit to see the detail, since they aggregate the points together.

Monday, January 10, 2011

'Tis The Season ...

A few interns with shovels leave their message on the Yestermorrow lawn. The 2011 intern era has officially begun! For biographies of our full staff, including 7 new members, visit

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Yestermorrow Hires José Galarza as Director of Semester Programs

Yestermorrow Design/Build School has hired José Galarza as the school’s first Director of Semester Programs. This new position was created to help launch Yestermorrow’s Sustainable Design/Build Semester Program for undergraduates in Fall 2011 and a graduate-level Integrative Design/Build Semester in Spring 2012.

José Galarza is an architectural designer, builder, and educator who brings to Yestermorrow experience that spans design, planning, project management, information technology, and construction. José enjoys using advanced computer modeling coupled with a rigor towards craft; and, when at all possible, tries to apply systems-based thinking at the intersections of regenerative design, fine art, and equal opportunity.

Before starting his own practice he helped to design an assortment of iconic buildings for two well known and highly acclaimed firms in Europe and the United States. Previously he apprenticed as a fine woodworker producing high end custom pieces and received a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Texas in Austin. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature with minor studies in Art and Philosophy. José was the 2010 Program Director for Yestermorrow’s Natural Building Intensive, where he lead a group of ten students to build a house in Middlesex, VT, enabling a young couple to become first time homeowners. As Yestermorrow’s Community Outreach Coordinator through the VHCB AmeriCorps program, he coordinated class building projects with valuable community clients, including the Vermont Foodbank’s Kingsbury Farm. Currently he runs an architectural design studio based out of central Vermont called José Galarza Building Workshop.

Starting in fall 2011, Yestermorrow's Sustainable Design/Build Semester will give 15 undergraduate students from diverse schools and backgrounds a chance to immerse themselves in the hands-on process of collaboratively designing and building an architecturally innovative, high performance "green" building for a deserving community client. Students from a range of disciplines will work closely with Yestermorrow's renowned faculty of practitioner-teachers and community partners, while engaging with a rigorous, practical and inspiring curriculum offering up to 16 credits.

Starting in Spring 2012, Yestermorrow’s Integrative Design/Build Semester is an intensive semester-plus program for graduate students from varying disciplines related to the study and making of the built environment (architecture, engineering, building science, urban planning, art, environmental science, business and economics), who want to go beyond conceptual designs and abstract exercises to immerse themselves in the integrative process of making a building. Through guided research, lectures, field visits, seminar-style discussions, studio work, and active hands-on construction and management, students will collaborate on the design and construction of a light-footprint, high-performance shelter for a community client. The heart of the program is participants’ team-based work to weigh and balance a range of values, priorities and metrics - such as aesthetics, environmental sensitivity, building energy performance, durability, life-cycle materials analysis, cost, and social and natural ecology.

Yestermorrow Design/Build School is currently recruiting for the new positions of Lead Faculty and Lead Build Instructor for the Sustainable Design/Build Semester Program in Fall 2011. For more information, please visit Anyone interested in learning more about these academic programs can contact José at or 802-496-5545.