JLC, Jersey Devils, and Yestermorrow Community Design-Build
For almost fifteen years now I've been - or was, it's changed a little up there now and I'm no longer a regular New England resident for the time being - a pretty regular visitor to Yestermorrow Design-Build School up in Warren, VT.
If you're a builder, it should be required visiting - knowing codes is important, yes, but knowing codes merely means you won't be arrested for building a shitty building...and make no mistake, most buildings being built nowadays are shitty buildings (but hey, nowadays it's more about how many likes on Instagram you get for doing the very job you have been hired to do, whereas sustainability seems to be getting washed out a bit lately, at least on the macro scale). Yestermorrow has been about sustainability - true sustainability, i.e. water conservation, energy-efficiency, value-engineered building, permaculture, etc for 30 years now. It's truly a little slice of builder's heaven up there.
Journal of Light Construction asked me for a little write up on my time spent in a community design-build course with the Jersey Devil design-build crew. I was very fortunate to snag a spot in the workshop thanks to the spur-of-the-moment heads-up from my buddy Ryan Adanalian at Board and Vellum Architects out of Seattle. It's a short read, but if it gives even one builder who is currently building shitty inefficient buildings (but hey, look how tight my miters are on these stairs! Like, like, like!) a reason to visit, it's good for something. I learned more from hanging with Steve Badanes, Jim Adamson, and Bill Bialosky about architecture, building, and life in two weeks than I could have ever learned on my own. Here's a copy of the story http://www.jlconline.com/how-to/exteriors/learning-by-doing_o