VERGENNES COMMUNITY HOUSING
Beginning in 2017, VIA worked with Addison County Community Trust and Housing Vermont (now Evernorth) to design a desperately-needed 24-unit affordable housing facility on a 6.51-acre parcel within walking distance to schools, grocery and hardware stores, and downtown Vergennes. The project exemplified the balancing of a tight budget, ambitious energy goals, and affordability within a modern, attractive building. The result is a collection of desirable one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments in an extremely airtight, energy-efficient structure partially powered by rooftop solar panels. Our construction partners’ careful oversight made this project’s energy strategies a success, to date the tightest 6-sided blower door test we’ve had on any building.
While constructed of modern, low-maintenance materials, the building references the historic character of downtown Vergennes with a modified cornice, a mill-building-type rhythm of windows, and varied horizontal sidings. Sited between class III wetlands to the south and east and a steep slope to the west, with views to both the Green Mountains (east) and the Adirondacks (west), the building’s design ensures every unit has access to plenty of daylight. In addition to the building, the site boasts a playground, picnic shelter, and raised garden beds for community use. One month after completion, the units were fully occupied.
“We were thrilled to be able to work with a local architect on Vergennes Community Apartments. Andrea and Jean really took the time to get to know our goals and their understanding of our community was an asset throughout the process. The result is a beautiful, energy efficient building that both stands out and fits right into the fabric of Vergennes; a place that twenty-four families now call home.”
-Elise Shanbacker, Executive Director, Addison County Community Trust