Capstone Community Action

View Project Details
Clients Location

Barre, VT


12,350 sf expansion
11,300 sf renovation

Category Sustainability Features
  • •Net-zero ready building

  • •Brownfield remediation

  • •Edible landscaping

  • •Building re-use

  • AGCVT Best Builders Award

  • AIA VT Excellence in Architecture Design – Citation Award

  • Gary Hall Photography

Community Action Facility Providing Opportunity, Education, and Vital Assistance to Vermonters

As a community development corporation, the non-profit agency provides a number of programs and services for low to moderate income Vermonters aimed at reducing poverty and creating prosperity.  They focus their work on the basic tenets of outreach, empowerment, advocacy, and organizing.

The new facility was designed to promote collaboration and interaction between agencies to create a synergistic environment conducive to creative thinking.  Sustainability was also a main focus of the design.  A high efficiency air to air heat pump system provides heating and cooling, and a roof top energy recovery unit with heating and dehumidification provides dedicated ventilation air to the space during occupied times.  High efficiency LED light sources were chosen and the majority of spaces are day lit.

Previously entirely paved, the site now has a new common green.  Edible landscaping includes native pears, apples, and blueberries.  Prior to construction, agency entities were scattered around central Vermont, often duplicating services and lacking cohesive offerings to Vermonters in need.  The new building and site design have given them the opportunity to coordinate and centralize their efforts to better serve the community.

“The structure seems like a "happy" place to come for public functions—with warmth on the exterior and interior.  We like the skylight introduced into the existing building to central space for offices. There’s nice composition of the exterior materials.  The interior is inventive and expresses the structure of the building. The apparent modest budget and expression of inexpensive materials has a certain charm. The connection to the existing building was well executed. The sustainability and use of natural light seems to make this a pleasing environment to work in. The simple use of daylighting through trusses is an integral move.”

– AIA Vermont Design Awards Jury