Lee Grutchfield’s “I Believe…”; from Sunday’s Burlington Free Press
by Lee Grutchfield, February 8, 2010
I Believe: ‘We are on the cusp of a new era in building, and here in Vermont we are leading the way’
Special to the Free Press • Sunday, February 7, 2010
The idea of the self-perpetuating machine, an engine that can produce more energy than it uses, is as old as the wheel. From Galileo to Star Trek, we humans have dreamed and written of it. As architects, we are reminded of this idea when we see the houses that we are now capable of building: houses that can create their own clean energy — all that they need — light-filled homes that are comfortable, beautiful and healthy places to live.
Existing technologies and commonsense building practices allow us to build super-insulated walls and roofs, and to create renewable energy on site — and these capabilities are being used and improved upon daily. We believe that we are on the cusp of a new era of building, and here in Vermont we are leading the way.
One example of this is the South Farm development in Hinesburg, a neighborhood of six homes designed to create most of, and in some cases all of the energy they need. We would like to share with you some of the basic ideas, technologies and design practices used at South Farm, so that you too may share in this new era of building. (Photo by Glenn Russell)