Located within Montpelier’s Capitol Complex District, the renovated and reconfigured historic “Gibson House” now serves as the new net-zero-energy ready headquarters of the Vermont Natural Resources Council. The historic, neighborhood home underwent a deep energy retrofit from the interior, carefully preserving its historic exterior facades and detailing, while salvaging and restoring the interior historic character to the greatest extent possible. Fully electric mechanical systems powered by off-site solar replaced all fossil fuel systems. Rain gardens, limited pavement, and native plantings demonstrate on-site stormwater mitigation strategies. Salvage, restoration, and re-use of materials was paramount to the project’s carbon goals, as well as the use of low-embodied carbon concrete and drywall, non-toxic carbon-smart materials, and minimal use of low/zero GWP (global warming potential) foam where deemed necessary. An innovative priority matrix helped facilitate the decision to replace the historic windows (see Carbon Priorities and Historic Windows – A Multi-Faceted Approach to Decision Making). Aiming to showcase the transformation of an historic building into a net-zero, modern facility, the team embraced a thoughtful and purpose-driven approach, supported by analysis, research, and modeling.
“This project was a great example of the power of an integrated design process where the client, the design team, and the construction management team were all on board from the beginning of the process and worked together towards a clearly articulated goal.”
-Kate Stephenson, Partner, Helm Construction Solutions (Owner’s Representative)