SAS Architects

Mill Complex

LOCATION: Woodstock, Vermont
CLIENT: Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park
CLIENT: National Park Service and Woodstock Foundation
BUDGET: $1.8 million
STATUS: Completed 2008

The Mill Complex includes restoration of the historic 1876 Wood Barn and construction of an Education Center sited adjacent to the Barn. The Complex forms a gateway to a complex system of walking, ski and horse trails on Mount Tom.

The Wood Barn includes an exhibit area to orient visitors and a permanent exhibit on the history of Mount Tom and sustainable forestry. The Barn also provides storage for the collection of sixteen historic carriages original to the property and allows them to be exhibited for the first time. The lower level of the Wood Barn is open and will be used to store cordwood cut from the surrounding forest.

The 2,100 SF Education Center provides flexible classroom and meeting space for the Park and the Billings Farm and Museum. Together, these buildings form a center for the education and learning programs utilizing the Mount Tom forest.

The project is the first LEED Platinum building in Vermont and only the 7th in the Country under LEED NC 2.2. Sustainable features include:

All framing, sheathing and interior wood, including white pine, ash, black cherry, hemlock and red oak, came from the Park’s forest, the oldest professionally managed woodland in North America. Natural wood is the primary interior finish on walls and ceilings. The different species were installed in horizontal bands with carving to identify species. 

The Forest Center is largely self sufficient in terms of energy consumption. A high efficiency low emissions boiler, using firewood cut from the Park’s forest, is the primary heat source. The Center’s roof-mounted solar photovoltaic panels generate power for the building, and any excess electricity is sold back to the grid. When outside power is needed to augment the solar array, it is purchased through the Central Vermont Public Service’s Cow Power Program, which generates power from methane recaptured on Vermont farms. Floors are polished concrete, selected for long-term durability, ease of maintenance and low environmental impact.

The building is designed to conserve energy and minimize its carbon footprint. The Forest Center’s building envelope includes spray foam insulation of the walls, (R-19), and the sloped roofs, (R-42) and double glazed, low E, argon filled windows. The windows are operable to promote flow through ventilation and are augmented by an on demand ventilation system triggered by a carbon dioxide sensor that opens the cupola windows automatically when people are present in the primary meeting room. There is also a manual override. The energy simulations project a 43.5% annual energy cost savings when compared to a baseline building.

© 2017 SAS Architects. All rights reserved. Photos courtesy of SAS Architects, Carolyn L. Bates, Ryan Bent, and Sally McCay. The LEED® Certification trademark is owned by the U.S. Green Building Council and is used with permission.