Pro Tour of Net Zero Energy Retrofit and Expansion of a 1782 Vermont Farmhouse

Event Date: 

Friday, August 9, 2024




Reading, VT 05035

CEU Information: 

AIA (pending)


$25 Members/$35 Non-Members

Join us for a summer Pro Tour of an under construction, zero-energy retrofit of a 1782 Vermont Farmhouse, plus a high performance addition, in beautiful Reading, Vermont. Attendees of this tour will learn about the process of retrofitting a historic building, and the strategies employed for the addition (built off-site), to create a net zero energy building with reduced embodied carbon.

Our event will begin with an opening presentation from the hosting team at Snowdog Construction, which will give attendees background on the original structure, the design and build of the addition, and the overall approach to meeting client sustainability goals.  After the opening presentation, we'll split into groups to hear from the professionals behind the project, who will share their specific work. After the tour, we'll host a reception and Q&A with the team. 

This 4181 sq. ft. square-foot building features updated hydronics, appliances, an air-water heat pump, EV charging, whose energy use is balanced via on-site photovoltaic electrical generation. Heating, cooling, and domestic hot water will be supplied by a single air to water heat pump. The choice of hydronics, combined with the dramatic increase in thermal performance of the original structure, allows for the reuse of radiators in the original house. The projected annual electrical load is met by the on-site, grid-tied, ground-mounted PV system. The building was designed to blend into its rural setting, connect the living spaces to the surrounding landscape, and serve the diverse programming needs of the clients: aging in place, family gatherings, and hosting groups ranging from 10-40+ people for community-building events and smaller retreat experiences.

In order to make the retrofit possible, significant repairs were performed to make the building structurally sound and also square, level, and plumb from the exterior. Materials were carefully selected to reduce the embodied carbon of the new construction, including 6-inch concrete stem walls, slag concrete, and a slabless floor system. Using cellulose insulation allowed the builders to take advantage of its thermal, hygroscopic, and carbon-sequestering properties. By being careful during the deconstruction of the house and attached breezeway, a lot of the existing historic interior was repurposed, including original interior doors, large hand-hewn beams, barn board, framing, and flooring.

If you are interested in projects that emphasize reusing materials, ways to reduce concrete, retrofitting very old structures, complex multidisciplinary residential projects, and blending on and off-site construction, then this is the Pro Tour for you. Join us!



12:30 PM

Doors open, registration, networking and coffee

1:00 PM

Welcome by NESEA

1:10 PM

Overview of the project by the host

2:00 PM

Tour of project begins; attendees travel to site and rotate through content-specific stations

3:45 PM

Group reconvenes and travels back to initial meeting point

4:00 PM

Reception with light refreshments

4:15 PM

Q&A panel with members of project team

5:00 PM

Event concludes

If you have questions about this event, you can contact us via

2024 Pro Tour Series Sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor