120 year old Victorian building renovation

Our bracket design has been built and installed thanks to Tim Steele of The Woodworks at Silver Maple Construction and Pete Zelonis of Artisan Engineering.

We all have a picture of home in our heads and what “home” means to us…given a minute…you probably begin to remember a special place and time of day in that house that still means something to us. We all have these links to places we’ve experienced and loved.

These braces are structural supports to new elements of the building as well as places for sitting, thinking, reading…just being. They are contemplative places that allow for the creation of a “sense of self” and memories of good things and experiences that the individual takes with them.

There are many therapeutic design elements in the residential environment of the 120 year old Victorian renovation also known as the “Sober District”. It’s a special place doing difficult and very significant work in the community of Rutland, VT. Yeah, it’s a bracket on a Victorian building and you wouldn’t think it’s doing that much, but by design its hoping to change the worlds of its inhabitants and community.

Better Buildings by Design Conference Presentation

Gregor spoke along with Cooper from Silver Maple Construction at Efficiency Vermont’s Better Buildings by Design (BBD) conference earlier this year.

Thank you to Karen Bushey who is an Energy Consultant for the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) who took part in our presentation.

You can view the presentation here.

Best of Houzz 2016

Studio III has won “Best of Houzz 2016”.

This is the third year that Studio III has received this award for having one of the top 3% of design professionals’ portfolios on the popular Houzz residential design site.

This year Studio III was also designated a “Houzz Influencer”, for those professionals whose knowledge and advice are most highly valued by the Houzz community.

Visit Studio III architects’ portfolio: https://lnkd.in/daNz6hz


Passive House #2 – Lincoln

We’ve gained valuable experience in designing our first Passive House in Middlebury. We’re putting that experience to good use with our second Passive House, this time in Lincoln, VT. Passive House #2 is the spiritual twin of #1, but with a couple key differences.

First, most obviously, is the larger lot. The Middlebury site is a snug fit thanks to several competing setbacks, so the extra breathing room on a large site allows much more flexibility in placing the house. The house was placed on the north side of a clearing, so no trees had to be removed to get the best use of solar gain.

Second is the foundation structure. The dramatic topography of the Middlebury lot meant the inhabitable space would “float” over an unconditioned, partially open space, using either piles or concrete walls. On the flat plain where the Lincoln house sits, rather than go to the expense of digging and building typical concrete foundations and then insulating the floor cavity, we decided to go with a system used often by Maine Passive House designer Chris Corson: a raft slab foundation. In this system, an 8″ concrete slab is poured over a raft of 12″ thick EPS foam. The foam works both as the main floor insulation keeping heat in the house, as well as a blanket to keep the natural heat of the earth under the building, preventing frost from forming that would otherwise affect the integrity of the foundation. The 8″ slab is thick enough that no separate footings are required for structural reasons.

But apart from these differences, the house exhibits the same beauty and efficiency as the one in Middlebury. The various lessons we’ve learned and details we’ve revised from the first house have thus far contributed to a shorter period of construction relative to the first house (helped along by a very light start to winter). With Silver Maple Construction at the helm, we’ll have the quality of construction needed to get this house certified as the next Passive House in Vermont.