I'm the bookkeeper at Yestermorrow, so this has given me a great opportunity to talk with instructors and students, and to also be on the cutting edge of new construction techniques that come along.
First I took Danny Sagan's "Green Home Design" class and found out about materials to use for my home - local lumber, asphalt shingles and cement slab v.s. dug foundation. I sketched out a floor plan that was efficient and compact. I looked through Danny's extensive collection of books and magazines and learned about a wide assortment of green home characteristics.
Next, I signed up for Robert Riversong's week-long class on "The Super-Insulated Home". His technique used the "larsen truss" system where the walls were a foot thick, and blown-in cellulose insulation provided the home with an envelope of protection from the frigid Vermont winds and the hot summer sun. The foundation would be a frost-protected insulated slab with radiant heat tubing to keep my toes warm all winter and a terra-cotta color would be added to the cement to give a beautiful finish to the floor surface.
I was very impressed with Robert's knowledge with the building system he has spent years developing, so asked him to help me come up with a design that would work for me, and then I wanted him to get a crew together and build my new home.
The final house plan, which was a result of many hours of work, has the first floor (approximately 1000 sq. feet) completely self-contained and handicap accessible with a mud room/laundry room, kitchen, dining room, bathroom, office nook, and living room with a wide window seat. I'll be able to close off the upstairs if I don't need to use the two bedrooms and extra bath up there. I also rent out rooms to Yestermorrow students, so if you are looking for lodging, I'm Chez Carol on the on-line registration page.
Addditions to this blog will happen when I have more time available, but for now, please see the photos of some different stages of the construction, and feel free to visit the house-in-progress! Go up the Sugarbush Access Road in Warren, take the second right (Lower Pines Road) and keep going until you see #168 on the right. If you want a tour, please give me a call at (802) 496-3153 and I'd be happy to take you through my new home.