It’s a pleasure to work with architects to solve the challenges of retrofitting existing structures. When they specify ThermalBuck for their own personal projects, it becomes a real privilege.
Alan Benoit, Principal Architect, Sustainable Design of Vermont, chose ThermalBuck to mount his energy efficient windows for his net-zero energy office space, and we jumped at the chance to work with him personally on the installation.
A Passion for Sustainability
Alan & Nancy Benoit are an incredibly talented team. Alan is an award-winning certified Passive House Consultant & Architect, Nancy is a skillful designer of everything from footwear to furniture.
Together they focus on utilizing reclaimed and repurposed materials for their personal passion project: the inviting home, garden, workspace, and guesthouse they’ve created together on their remarkable homestead in Vermont.
“Be patient. Never settle if it’s not right.”
– Nancy Benoit, as quoted in Vermont Magazine
There is a reason their work stands out, and you can see why in the philosophy that guides them. Everything is built with respect and consideration for preserving and stimulating the natural environment, promoting a harmonious lifestyle in an inspiring setting.
Vermont Magazine recently featured their beautiful spaces in their Sept/Oct 2017 issue – you’ll love seeing the details and reading in-depth about their design process.
Sustainable Design of Vermont
Sustainable design is the focus of their work, whether new construction or a simple addition to an existing structure.
In addition to running their own businesses, Alan is extremely active in the Vermont green building community, and volunteers his time and knowledge through his Sustainable Living Series.
When you work with people who live & breath sustainability, even lunch is a treasured experience, with homegrown tomato sandwiches fresh from the garden.
Net-Zero Energy Retrofit
In 2017, Alan & Nancy decided to relocate their growing business to the beautiful barn they had build a decade ago on their property.
It was time to plan a full blown net-zero energy redesign, capable of meeting their needs year round.
They planned to insulate the interior and exterior walls, insulate the roof, and install new energy efficient windows, mounted with ThermalBuck. Complete air & water sealing for a tight building envelope is essential in achieving net-zero energy.
Working in conjunction with building materials supplier RK Miles, Alan arranged a demonstration of ThermalBuck for local architects, builders, and fellow green-building enthusiasts. We couldn’t have asked for more when Alan gave us his feedback on using ThermalBuck to mount windows with exterior insulation.
“We are now specifying it on all future projects.
What a time/labor/material savings it is!”
– Alan Benoit, Architect, Sustainable Design of VT
- 2.5″ ThermalBuck high performance window buck
- 2″ Roxul Comfortboard
- Henry Blueskin WRB & Flashing system
- 5-1/2″ dense packed cellulose on interior walls
- 2″ foil-faced polyiso for the roof slope, 3″ for ceiling flat
- 1″ closed cell spray foam for the roof
- 9″ dense packed cellulose on the remaining roof slope & flat ceiling cavity
- Marvin Integrity casement windows
Details Make the Difference
Knowledge of building science is especially important on retrofits, as installation details often require modification based on the uniqueness of the project.
Alan & Nancy wanted to reuse their vertical cedar siding, which meant running the rainscreen horizontally. Drainage would not be an issue, as Alan planned gaps every 2′ for ventilation, and has a screen at the bottom, and vented space at the top of the walls.
Roxul permits water to drain through it as well, allowing the horizontal strapping to properly dry out. The building will have a HRV system, and the Benoit’s have planned to utilize a community solar project in order to achieve net-zero energy.
The barn renovation is projected to be complete in December, 2017. It was inspiring to work with Sustainable Design of Vermont, and we look forward to following Alan & Nancy on the rest of their net-zero journey.
ThermalBuck Installation Gallery
Sustainable Design of Vermont is presenting their next Sustainable Living Series on November 16th, at 6:30 pm at the Manchester Center Vermont Public Library. Alan will explain the major elements of “Building Science”, in hopes of helping homeowners avoid common mistakes with renovations. To learn more, visit sustainabledesignofvt.com.