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Save the Date – Better Buildings by Design 2017

Posted November 10, 2016

Mark your calendar for Efficiency Vermont’s Better Buildings by Design 2017, the region’s premier design and construction conference, which features interactive learning about building durability, efficiency, and value for both residential and commercial projects. This year’s conference takes place Wednesday, Feb. 1, and Thursday, Feb. 2, at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel & Conference Center, South Burlington, Vermont. Click here for more information.

 



RFP Vermont Community Energy Partnership Grant Program

Posted April 14, 2015

Efficiency Vermont and Burlington Electric Department are soliciting proposals from nonprofit organizations to receive grants that will enable them to help low-income Vermonters reduce their energy bills. Under the Vermont Community Energy Partnership Grant Program, non-profit organizations that have on-going relationships with low-income Vermonters are encouraged to submit applications for projects that will help low-income Vermonters: (1) achieve energy savings through the distribution of and/or direct installation of energy efficient products; (2) identify energy-saving opportunities in low income households; and (3) increase their energy awareness.

Responses to this RFP must be delivered electronically to VEIC by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 15, 2015. VEIC will not accept responses submitted after 5:00 p.m. EDT on that date. Please submit your response electronically via e-mail to: pmarkowitz@veic.org with RFP Submittal for Vermont Community Energy Partnership Grant Program in the subject line.

VEIC will respond to individual questions regarding this RFP only as follows: VEIC will receive questions regarding requirements and scope of work up to 5:00 p.m. EDT Monday, April 20, 2015, via e-mail only, to pmarkowitz@veic.org with Vermont Community Energy Partnership Grant Program in the subject line.

Please find the link to the Request-for-Proposal on the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation’s website at: http://www.veic.org/company/requests-for-proposals/vermont-community-energy-partnership-grant-program. This program is a partnership between Efficiency Vermont, Burlington Electric, and grant recipients. Efficiency Vermont and Burlington Electric will provide financial assistance, training, and materials as appropriate, whereas the selected grantees will implement the program for their constituents. Efficiency Vermont and Burlington Electric expect to award between 5-10 proposals in the range of $10,000 – $30,000.

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New Manufactured Home Lands in Shelburnewood Mobile Home Park

Posted March 6, 2015

Shelburnewood Mobile Home Park in Shelburne recently received a Vermod High Performance Home to serve as a model for one year before being sold to an income eligible buyer. The Vermod homes utilize high quality construction and the latest advances in energy efficient technology to provide households with units that will remain cost stable, unlike most traditional mobile homes. The article below from the Shelburne News gives more information on the project:

The Shelburne News received word from one of our loyal writers last Wednesday afternoon that a crane was delivering a new style of manufactured housing to the Shelburnewood Mobile Home Park in Shelburne. Once in the neighborhood, the crew associated with the new manufactured home’s delivery was on hand and more than happy to discuss its arrival and purpose.

“The project is a collaborative effort that includes but is not limited to the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VHCB), the High Meadows Fund, and Efficiency Vermont (EVT). Plus Shelburne architect David Pill of Pill-Maharam Architects, and Steve Davis and Chet Pasho from Vermod, the manufacturer, have been critical partners as well,” noted Cindy Reid, the Director of Development of Cathedral Square Corporation (CSC).

“The new arrival is part of the Manufactured Housing Innovation Project, a pilot project focused on developing new manufactured homes which addresses two needs: a response to the loss of homes during Tropical Storm Irene and to increase the supply of quality affordable housing in Vermont in general,” she offered. Though mobile homes represent only seven percent of Vermont’s housing stock, they comprised 15 percent of the homes damaged by Irene.

Built in White River Junction by Vermod High Performance Homes, the single wide mobile home in Shelburnewood is the 17th unit constructed and sited in Vermont. The new manufactured home utilizes quality construction and materials as well as the latest in highly efficient energy technology. All aspects of the design have been considered to provide the homeowner with the most comfort, value, and savings available.

“Cathedral Square is a non-profit organization which provides affordable housing and services for seniors and persons with disabilities,” Reid began. “CSC developed Wright House, a 36-unit affordable senior development next door in Harrington Village. We got involved initially when VHCB and EVT asked if our organization would consider purchasing a new Vermod unit located in Shelburnewood. The unit will serve as a model for one year and then be sold to an income eligible household,” she informed.

“VHCB, EVT and Vermod are interested in getting the word out about this innovative affordable home, so that it can be replicated in other communities,” Reid said. “Due to the style of construction, it is an appreciating (not depreciating) asset, which means Vermod homeowners can build equity. The energy usage is also low which equates to affordability for occupants. Many of the Vermods are constructed with a 6,000 kw solar pv array, which makes them zero net energy homes. We feel that this is one of many innovative solutions to the lack of affordable housing that challenges our communities.”

To take advantage of the open houses at the Shelburnewood Vermod planned in the near future look for updates in the Shelburne News. Interested community members are always welcome to visit, and learn more about this innovative, high performance home.

A link to the article is here.

 



Richmond Terrace Receives the Major Renovation Honor Award from Efficiency Vermont

Posted February 6, 2015

Richmond Terrace Senior Living was the recipient of the Major Renovation Honor Award from Efficiency Vermont in 2015.

Cathedral Square (owner) and Duncan Wisniewski Architecture (project architect) received the award at Efficiency Vermont’s Better Buildings by Design Conference on February 4, 2015.

Efficiency Vermont’s “Best of the Best in Commercial Building Design & Construction” awards recognize innovative and integrated design approaches for energy efficiency in Vermont’s commercial, institutional, industrial and multifamily buildings.

Richmond Terrace underwent a deep energy retrofit and capital improvement program in 2014.  This is a 30 year old 16-unit affordable senior housing development in Richmond.  Renovations included improvement of the thermal envelope, installation of air source heat pumps for heating and cooling, new windows, and a 13.3 KW ground mount solar PV array.

Richmond Terrace

Photo Credit Sally McCay

 



Register Now for the Better Buildings By Design Conference, February 4-5

Posted January 13, 2015

Registration is open for the 2015 Efficiency Vermont Better Buildings By Design Conference, which takes place on February 4-5th at the Sheraton Conference Center in Burlington. Better Buildings by Design is the region’s premier design and construction conference, which features interactive learning about building durability, efficiency, and value for both residential and commercial projects. The theme of this year’s conference is Trends in Cold Climate Construction. To view the full conference schedule click here. To register click here.

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Vermod: Redesigning the Mobile Home for the 21st Century

Posted January 12, 2015

The current issue of Seven Days discusses several innovative ways that Vermont is leading the way in energy-efficiency at home. One of the projects featured is the Manufactured Housing Innovation Project which focuses on the development of new manufactured homes made by Vermod High Performance Homes. Below is an excerpt from the article:

The term “mobile home” is a serious misnomer. That they are homes is certain: Figures from the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) suggest that tens of thousands of Vermonters reside full-time in these smallish, low-cost structures. But mobile they are not. Though technically attachable to a trailer for hauling, the great majority of mobile homes remain where they were originally sited. Few Vermont mobile-home owners relocate them to, say, Arizona when the winter winds begin to blow.

Despite their permanence, mobile homes are far more vulnerable to weather fluctuations than so-called “stick-built” houses. They’re less well insulated and are typically propped up on concrete pillars rather than a true foundation. In short, mobile homes may be relatively inexpensive to purchase, but their owners can get slammed with energy costs.

Now the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board and Efficiency Vermont are collaborating to rewrite that energy equation. Embracing forward-thinking design and construction techniques, the Manufactured Housing Innovation Project (MHIP) aims to create mobile homes that are energy-efficient and reasonably affordable. A Wilder company called Vermod has the exclusive contract to build what it calls “high-performance manufactured homes for the 21st century.” Vermod’s structures are built to withstand Vermont winters and other rough weather.

Mobile homes’ vulnerability to the elements was forcefully driven home to Vermonters in 2011, when Tropical Storm Irene slammed into the state and took an outsize toll on them. According to Peter Schneider, a senior consultant with the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation/Efficiency Vermont, 15 percent of the residences that qualified for post-Irene Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance were mobile homes — yet those homes constitute only about 7 percent of the state’s total housing stock. (According to CVOEO, that translates to 22,490 housing units.)

Schneider says the devastation wrought by Irene was “the catalyst” that inspired the collaboration of Efficiency Vermont, the University of Vermont, the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board and the nonprofit High Meadows Fund. The goal was to design and build a mobile home that far exceeds the standards laid down by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which have not been updated since 1976.

Sarah Woodward, director of the mobile-home program at CVOEO, helped MHIP gather feedback from owners about what they’d like to see in the next generation of such housing. She calls MHIP “an innovative group that’s approaching this problem with a fresh mind.” CVOEO’s operating question, Woodward says, is “How can we find a safe design that’s going to be affordable for people?” The project commenced in 2012, and the first homes were built the following year.

With Schneider as a guide, Seven Days took a tour of a Vermod mobile home last fall, when it was on display in the parking lot of Burlington’s Innovation Center of Vermont. Schneider eagerly pointed out the home’s many energy-efficient features. So far, he’s overseen the placement of 16 Vermod homes in towns across the state.

Schneider started his tour by calling attention to an easily overlooked but important feature: roof overhangs. Many manufacturers omit them, since they occupy precious width in an interstate lane. “But they’re almost critical to durability in our climate,” he explained; the roof extensions allow ice and snow to drip down and away from exterior walls.

Another outdoor innovation: Vermod homes are set on true foundations. Mobile homes perched on blocks expose more surface area to cold and damp. Many owners invest in skirting that covers the gap cosmetically, but it remains uninsulated.

To read the entire article click here. To learn more about the Manufactured Housing Innovation Project and Vermod Homes click here.

 



Save the Date: Efficiency Vermont Community Forums

Posted October 21, 2014

Join Efficiency Vermont at one of five Community Forums they are hosting around the state. Efficiency Vermont is creating a three year plan for Vermont’s Energy Efficiency Utility, and wants your input. Each event runs from 6:00-7:30PM and includes a light supper.

October 27 – Bellows Free Academy, St. Albans

October 28 – Spaulding High School, Barre

October 29 – Lyndon State College, Lyndonville

November 5 – Southwest Vermont Career Development Center, Bennington

November 6 – Vermont Agricultural Business Education Center, Brattleboro

For more information or to RSVP to one of the events call (888) 921-5990 or visit www.efficiencyvermont.com/communityforums.

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Energy Efficient Housing Project Brings Pilot Home to Bennington

Posted October 6, 2014

After the loss of homes caused by Tropical Storm Irene, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board partnered with Efficiency Vermont for the Manufactured Housing Innovation Project, a pilot project focused on developing new manufactured homes for Vermont homeowners. With the help of John Broderick, the executive director of Shires Housing, Bennington resident Jeff Allard was able to receive one of these pilot homes, which was recently placed on an empty parcel of land in the Willow Mobile Home Park. Below is a portion of an article on this project from the Bennington Banner:

VHCB has asked nonprofits and mobile home owners around the state to identify purchasers like Allard, and has assisted in the installation of the Vermod modules. Allard’s new home isn’t a mobile home or trailer; It is more of a house. The pre-assembled module was built off site and trucked to Bennington, where a foundation laid for it to be adhered to.

“The whole point is to create a home that will fit on a site the size of a mobile home pad, and is very energy efficient, solidly built and intended to appreciate rather than depreciate, like a traditional mobile home does,” Broderick said.

The house is heated and cooled electrically using an air source heat pump, a “mini-split” that transfers heat from outside to inside a building, or vice versa, under the energy-saving principle of vapor compression refrigeration.

The home is also completely airtight, and was assembled with spray foam insulation and triple-glazed windows, all incorporated into the approximate value of $80,000 a home. Those that take advantage of the project also have the option of having photovoltaic solar panels installed onto or adjacent to the home, which Allard did without hesitation.

“We hope and expect that more and more, people will opt to take a really energy efficient option like this when choosing mobile homes,” Broderick said.

To read the entire article click here. To read more about the Manufactured Housing Innovation Project, including information on financing and floor plans, click here.

 



SAVE THE DATE: Better Buildings By Design Conference, February 4 & 5 2015

Posted September 23, 2014

The Efficiency Vermont Better Buildings By Design Conference will be held on February 4th and 5th, 2015 at the Sheraton Conference Center in South Burlington, VT. The theme of the 2015 conference will be “Trends in Cold Climate Construction”. Learn more about the conference and sign up for email updates here.

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Free CFL Light Bulbs Available to VAHC Members

Posted October 16, 2013

MegaLight, through a sponsorship from Efficiency Vermont, has put together a program to distribute energy saving products to organizations that work with lower income residents. Members of the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition can receive free compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) if they can provide a reasonable assurance they will benefit their low-income residents.   Through this program MegaLight will ship and deliver products to your location at no cost.

RuralEdge just became the first member of VAHC to take advantage of this opportunity and has placed an order of 1000 free light bulbs.

Here are the products available free of charge (click here for more specifics):

  • 13 watt CFLs (60 watt equivalent)
  • 19 watt CFLs (75 watt equivalent)
  • 23 watt CFLs (100 watt equivalent)

For those who haven’t recently replaced their lighting, this is a great chance for low-income residences and transitional housing facilities to install energy efficient light bulbs.  CFLs not only reduce household carbon footprints but also energy bills.  If you would like to place an order or learn more, please contact Erhard Mahnke of VAHC.

 



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