By Pam Podger
Special To The Standard
The Farm & Wilderness Foundation in Plymouth dedicated its new 4,200-square-foot Susan St. John Resource Maintenance Facility on Oct. 23 before a crowd of about 65 alumni, trustees, volunteers, supporters, staff and the design and engineering team.
The foundation, a Quaker-based organization that runs six summer camps and focuses on outdoor education, community and adventure, adopted a “green building” approach in the facility’s design and construction.
The Resource Maintenance Facility project was part of the Foundation’s successful $4 million Capital Campaign that concluded in 2009.
The design team was led by Bob Owen, an F&W Alum, with Architect John Berryhill of NBF Architects in Rutland, Ralph Michaels of Michaels Engineering Company in Ludlow, and the general contractors were Pete and Dave Josselyn of Josselyn Brothers Construction in Ludlow. “We could not have had a better experience than working with the Josselyn Brothers, who finished the project on time and on budget. It was an excellent partnership,” said Jay Kullman, Resource Director of Farm & Wilderness.
Special consideration was given to the building’s site to maximize its exposure to sunlight and the natural contours of the land.
“During the design process, we turned the building several times to optimize passive solar gain,” said Pieter Bohen, Executive director of Farm & Wilderness.
Key features of the building include:
Locating many windows on the south side and very few on the north.
A four zone radiant heating system in the concrete slab to separately heat the to the garage, office, workshop and storage areas.
A parking lot that is partially grass and partially gravel, which helps capture storm water and prevent erosion.
Thick insulation in the exterior walls and ceiling. The building achieved a r-35 rating in the exterior walls (building code in Vermont is r-19) and a r-55 rating in the ceilings (building code in Vermont is r-38).
The exterior lights are L.E.D. and all the building’s lights have occupancy sensors so they automatically turn off when no one is in the building.
The boiler and hot water is 95 percent efficient, on demand.
All of the siding is from forests managed by Farm & Wilderness, and logged by Woodstock resident Mike Hewitt, near Lake Ninevah and is milled at Gagnon Mill in Pittsfield. This means the building helped support local jobs and the total transportation of wood and lumber was less than 50 miles from tree to building.
Bohen said the building encapsulates many of the values of sustainability and community that F&W cherishes.
“This green building will be central to strengthening Farm & Wilderness’ summer camp programs that teach organic farming and gardening, wilderness travel, and environmental sustainability.’
By Pam Podger