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Save the Date: Vermont Green Building Network Annual Meeting and Gala, Janaury 29th

Posted January 22, 2015

The Vermont Green Building Network Annual Meeting and Vermont’s Greenest Awards Celebration will take place on January 29th from 6:00pm to 8:30pm in The Great Room at Main Street Landing, Burlington. The event will include a networking reception, live music, a light supper, cash bar, silent auction, and a keynote presentation about net zero building by Bill Maclay, Founding Principal of Maclay Architects and author of The New Net Zero: Leading-Edge Design and Construction of Homes and Buildings for a Renewable Energy Future. Learn about inspiring commercial, residential and Net Zero buildings that create a new standard for environmentally responsible building in Vermont! For more information and to register for the event click here.



VT’s Greenest Building Awards Competition Now Accepting Applications

Posted November 24, 2014

Applications are now being accepted for the 2014 VT’s Greenest Building Awards Competition. Hosted by the Vermont Green Building Network (VGBN), this statewide competition recognizes exemplary residential and commercial buildings that meet the highest standard of demonstrated energy performance.

The Awards:

  • Vermont’s Greenest Building: The lowest demonstrated energy use intensity in Vermont! (both non-residential and residential)
  • Vermont’s Greener Building: Projects demonstrating energy use intensity below 30 kbtu/sf/yr for non-residential and 15 kbtu/sf/yr for residential
  • Going Green: Projects with energy use intensity’s below 50 kbtu/sf/yr for non-residential and 25 kbtu/sf/yr for residential
  • People’s Choice Award: Selected by attendees of the Annual Vermont’s Greenest Building Awards Gala

Award Categories:

  • RESIDENTIAL: Projects must be located in Vermont, less than 5,000 sf and have at least one year of utility usage data @ 25 kbtu/sf/yr or less.
  • NON-RESIDENTIAL/COMMERCIAL: Project must be located in Vermont and have at least one year of utility usage data @ 50 kbtu/sf/yr or less. Mixed-used or residential buildings with four or more distinct dwelling units and larger than 5,000 square feet can be submitted under the commercial requirements.

Join VGBN! Submissions must be from a current VGBN member involved in the design, construction, or ownership/operation of the project.

Application materials for the 2014 Vermont’s Greenest Building Awards Competition are now available. Please click here to learn more about the 2014 awards competition.

Also, save the date! The awards reception will be held on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at Main Street Landing in Burlington, VT.

Click here for application materials and to learn more about the competition. Entrants must submit all application materials by 5:00pm EST on Tuesday, January 13, 2015.


Senator Bernie Sanders Recognized by National Housing Group

Posted September 14, 2012

By Chris Donnelly, Champlain Housing Trust & Jessica Grant, National CLT Network, September 11, 2012

Burlington, Vermont – “The National Community Land Trust Network recognized US Senator Bernie Sanders with the Swann Matthei Award Tuesday on the opening day of its 2012 national conference in Burlington, Vermont. The Swann Matthei Award was named for two individuals who helped to lay the foundation for the development of community land trusts in the United States: Bob Swann and Chuck Matthei. It recognizes the outstanding contribution of an individual or organization in promoting the use of the community land trust in building and sustaining community…”

Link to Full Press Release


Save the Date: Housing 101 Training

Posted June 29, 2012

Sponsored by: Washington County Agency Programs & Case Managers

Everything you always wanted to know to be able to help an individual or family with housing, but were afraid to ask!

  • When: Friday, September 28, 2012
  • Where: Pavilion Auditorium, Montpelier, Vermont.
  • Time: 9:00am – 3:00p

Topics May Include: 

  • Vouchers – Section 8, Shelter Plus Care & Family Unification
  • Point in Time Survey Data
  • General Assistance & Housing Replacement Funds
  • Federal & State Initiatives
  • Housing & Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault
  • Housing & Veterans

If you have any questions please contact: Allison Joyal Silveria, Central Vermont Community Action Council. 802.479.1053.




Self made Vermont: A 20-year garden oasis

Posted June 26, 2012

Faith Ingulsrud (right) and Eric Avildsen have spent 20 years building an extensive garden at their home in Underhill. In this picture taken last week, they stand before a vegetable bed on the lower level of the terraced garden. / GLENN RUSSELL / Free Press

Burlington Free Press: Phyl Newbeck June 23, 2012

It’s not as though Faith Ingulsrud and Eric Avildsen have a lot of spare time on their hands.

Ingulsrud is the planning coordinator at Vermont’s Department of Economics, Housing and Community Development and Avildsen is the executive director of Vermont Legal Aid. Still, this Underhill couple takes their gardening seriously. They have built a series of arced, terraced walls to create three distinct layers of gardens at their Cilley Hill Road home. Ingulsrud chronicles their efforts in her blog, Zone 4 Zest.

The couple bought their house 22 years ago and immediately set out to improve on both the dwelling and the yard. The house with southern exposure had only two small windows facing out, so they removed the front wall and put on an addition, as well as a porch. The two windows were replaced with 11 larger ones, resulting in significant solar gain.

Creating the garden took longer and eventually required the help of a neighbor with an excavator. The bottom level of the garden is vegetables, followed by a collection of perennials which provides good ground cover and habitat for a variety of creatures, including insect pollinators. The next level used to be a tidier collection of perennials until Ingulsrud realized her energy for them was waning while her interest in food was growing. The result is what she describes as a Mediterranean garden with herbs, in close proximity to the kitchen.

A planner in both her professional and personal life, Ingulsrud starts perusing seed catalogs in January to come up with a blueprint for the garden. The beds are rotated annually and at this juncture the couple has more than 100 species in the garden. Slug patrol is performed by a trio of geese who also provide the couple with eggs.

Growing year-round

The latest addition to the property is a hoop house which was built against a stone wall to provide thermal mass. The root cellar is built into the slope in the middle of the hoop house, ensuring that only one path has to be cleared through the snow in the winter.

According to Avildsen, one of the keys to their success is bringing certain plants inside at the end of the growing season.

“In the winter our house is solid green,” said Avildsen. “Every window and sliding door has a plant in front of it.”

One interesting twist is the couple’s polycultural plots. Dill, cilantro, radishes and lettuce, which will be ready in the early summer, share a plot with cabbage, Brussels sprouts and parsnips, which will emerge later in the season.

Ingulsrud has successfully experimented with more unusual plants such as miniature kiwis, Meyer lemons and limes. Avildsen bakes bread every week and the couple grow poppies for their seeds. They even have a small plot of lemon grass for Asian recipes.

“I’m not a tidy gardener,” said Ingulsrud, “but having some formality in the vegetable garden helps for maintenance and making you want to be there. This is where I come down first thing in the morning. Maintenance isn’t a chore; it happens.”

“We were eating lettuce in March,” said Avildsen. “The hearty greens wintered-over and we had asparagus a month before everyone else. Right now we buy virtually no vegetables from the supermarket except for the occasional ingredient.”

The couple tries to avoid growing surplus, planting only enough for their needs and what can be stored in the root cellar. “We pick food from April into the winter,” Ingulsrud said. “We’ve done a good job if we can go into December.”


Rutland project new affordable housing model

Posted November 1, 2011

Rutland, Vermont – October 28, 2011

A new generation of affordable housing was unveiled Thursday in Rutland.

The Hickory Street community is the first of it’s kind in New England. The project includes 33 mixed income units ranging from one bedroom apartments to single family homes.  The neighborhood was ten years in the making.  It has new streets, energy efficient buildings, solar panels, basketball courts and even onsite maintenance.

“I think that the unique part of Hickory Street Apartments is that we moved out of a traditional public housing model, which tends to isolate folks from the rest of the community, into more of a mixed income community that sort of naturally flows into the surrounding neighborhood,” said Kevin Loso with the Rutland Housing Authority.

Leases have already been signed for nearly two-thirds of those units.

Article Taken From

PDF: Rutland project new affordable housing model

URL:Rutland project new affordable housing model


Comment period for Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan extended to Nov 4

Posted October 19, 2011

The Department of Public Service extended the written comment period for the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan on Friday, just a few days before the deadline on Oct. 10.

On the heels of a request from Vermont Energy Partnership and queries from regional planning commissions and the Vermont Public Power Supply Authority, the department extended the comment period by nearly a month. Public comments will now be accepted through Nov. 4.

For a PDF of this article click here

Source: Comment Period for Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan Extended


Comment period for Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan extended

Posted October 17, 2011

The Department of Public Service extended the written comment period for the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan on Friday, just a few days before the deadline on Oct. 10.

On the heels of a request from Vermont Energy Partnership and queries from regional planning commissions and the Vermont Public Power Supply Authority, the department extended the comment period by nearly a month. Public comments will now be accepted through Nov. 4.

For a PDF of this article click here

Source: Comment Period for Vermont’s Comprehensive Energy Plan Extended


VPA Annual Meeting and Complete Streets Workshop

Posted October 14, 2011

VPA Annual Meeting and Complete Streets Workshop

The morning session will include presentations introducing complete streets followed by a panel discussion on compliance with Vermont’s Complete Streets Statute. The afternoon session will include a tour of nearby streets followed by discussions with experts on complete streets design.

Where: Gateway Center, Newport, Vermont

When: 9:30AM- 4:30PM

Cost: 20$ for morning sessions and 35$ for entire day


PDF: 10-28-11 Complete Streets announcement


Vermont Faces Up to Energy Challenges

Posted October 3, 2011

Two apprentice weatherization technicians with Fresh Energy squeezed orange insulating foam into cracks between boards and spaces around wires in the attic of unit 421 at Northgate Apartments in Burlington on Wednesday. The foam forms a barrier that prevents warm air from leaking from the lower-level living space.

Air sealing is one of three steps the owners of the 336-unit affordable housing complex have undertaken this year to enhance energy efficiency and shrink heating bills for residents.

By winter, families in 60 units will have beefed up insulation in their attics and basements, air-tight rooms and new high efficiency boilers. These changes are expected to save residents at least 25 percent on their heating bills, said Kathleen Tyrrell Luce, vice president of Maloney Properties Inc., which manages the apartment complex.

“We intend to set Vermont on a path to attain 90 percent of its energy from renewable sources by mid-century.” Currently, only 23 percent of the energy Vermonters use for electricity, for heat and for transportation comes from renewable sources.

The broad strategies to achieve the goal would include:

  • – Enhanced efficiency.
  • – Greater use of clean, renewable energy sources for electricity, heating and transportation.
  • – Electric vehicle adoption.
  • – Use of natural gas and biofuel blends where nonrenewable fuels remain necessary.

Public Comments:

Vermonters have opportunities in the coming weeks to comment on this challenge to give up fossil fuels and the strategies proposed to achieve it. Several hearings have already been held and two more are scheduled next week. The Department of Public Service also will accept comments by email, mail and online through Oct. 10.

Full Burlington Free Press Article or Click Here for PDF of Article



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