Past Projects

The Semester in Sustainable Design/Build project offers the opportunity to flex your creative muscles while prioritizing real-world challenges. Whether exploring questions about affordability and accessibility through a tiny house design or examining issues of community empowerment, economics, and need with a non-profit client, students engage in every aspect of bringing a project to fruition, examining both its structural and social implications. Because these are real projects with real concerns, students also prioritize for fiscal responsibility. The varied challenges serve students well in any career path.

Fall 2015

2015 Sememster Program ProjectIn 2015 we undertook our most ambitious project to date.  15 students designed and built a project for Educational Praxis, an organization training educators rooted in social justice.  Charged with developing a meeting and study space, an accommodating entryway, and a guest scholar's quarters, students navigated building performance, aesthetics, and portability to develop an innovative project. The project was delivered in April 2016, greatly increasing Educational Praxis' capacity and putting the final details on an incredible effort.

Fall 2014

2014 Semester Program Project2014's project project balanced aesthetics, chemical sensitivity, and structural finesse.  Fifteen students designed and built a 380 sf dwelling on a 24' x 12' extended drop-deck trailer.  Cantilevers, custom-laminated rafters, and a raised floor gave rise to strong sectional qualities; careful attention to indoor air quality informed decisions of materials and active systems, which were then checked against rigorous financial and weight budgets; aesthetics balanced the vernacular, whimsical, and traditional with modern sensibilities and reclaimed materials.  A new, portable home gives birth to a new chapter in the life of our client.

Fall 2013

2013 Semester Program ProjectStudents carried a thoroughly developed design intent to fruition in a 350 square foot portable home; constraints of size, budget, and time meshed with attention to aesthetics, constructability, and chemical sensitivity to create a well-crafted solution to a complex design problem.  The project provides serves as both an office and group meeting space as well as a well-appointed residence.  Locally-sourced materials, a super-insulated envelope, and efficient use of mechanical systems create an environmental sensitivity that stands alongside the balance of classic and modern aesthetic.

Fall 2012

2012 Semester Program ProjectThe Fall 2012 project was a small guest house situated on a special piece of property in Montpelier, VT. The site terraces dramatically from a wooded enclave on the edge of town towards the Winooski River, the place and the house describe the multi-dimensional ideas of urban and rural, landscape and shelter. Perhaps the most dynamic element of the building are its multiple cantilevers, the largest of which rotates at a 45 degree angle from the main form of the building casting views into the nearby tree canopy and into to the mountains beyond. Designed to accommodate simple needs, the 2012 class succeeded in developing a project that is practical and spatially exciting.

Fall 2011

2011 Semester Program ProjectStudents designed and built an architecturally innovative tiny affordable house on wheels, built sustainably and designed to address the needs of the Vermont climate. In only 227 square feet, they were able to incorporate a full kitchen, bath, bedroom and living space, including many sustainable features including a composting toilet, super insulated walls using recycled foam, low maintenance exterior finishes and energy efficient appliances.