Vermont Food Bank
Expanding a Foodbank’s Capacity to Aid Vermonters
In 2021, the Vermont Foodbank hired gbA to plan and design an office expansion and warehouse reconfiguration at their headquarters to increase their food storage and distribution capacity, as well as accommodate the additional staffing necessary to support that effort. The facility was built in 2000 and at the time their goal was to distribute 2 million pounds of food per year with approximately 20 employees. Over the years, increased community need led to rapid growth and in 2021, the Foodbank distributed 19.6 million pounds of food, and 17.6 million pounds in 2022.
An important aspect of the planning process was to ensure minimal disruption to the Foodbank’s vital operations that many Vermonters depend on. The goals for the office were to use space more efficiently, and to create flexible work areas that would allow for future reconfiguration as needed. The program includes a mix of open office areas, enclosed meeting spaces sized to accommodate small and large groups, and also “phone booths” where 1-2 people may take calls or have a quiet place to work. Additional consideration was given to providing adequate storage, as well as maximizing natural light in all spaces including the warehouse, which not only supports employee well being but also significantly reduces the energy load.
The industrial aesthetic of the warehouse is continued in the office spaces with exposed ceiling structure, gypsum board, fiberglass sheathing, stained concrete floors, and a vibrant color scheme. Material choices were based on environmental impact, maintenance, cost, and appearance. Systems include a highly insulated metal panel system for the warehouse, fiber cement clapboards for the reception wing, thermally improved roof insulation, and fiberglass windows with high performance glazing.