Shelburne architect honored for energy saving renovation by Efficiency Vermont

The historic residential property in Shelburne, above, earned the architectural firm Pill-Maharam Architects the “Best of the Best” award for energy efficient commercial renovation at the Better Buildings by Design conference on Feb. 4.
The historic residential property in Shelburne, above, earned the architectural firm Pill-Maharam Architects the “Best of the Best” award for energy efficient commercial renovation at the Better Buildings by Design conference on Feb. 4.

Pill-Maharam Architects of Shelburne has received a “Best of the Best” award for energy efficient commercial renovation from Efficiency Vermont at its annual Better Buildings by Design conference in Burlington on Feb. 4. The firm was honored for its innovative transformation of an historic Shelburne residential property into a high-performance office space for two businesses.

While maintaining the original 1840 house’s exterior appearance, the architects dramatically reduced the building’s energy use and stopped air leakage and moisture problems through comprehensive air sealing and insulation. Pill-Maharam also did extensive repair to structural elements that had made the house unsound, replaced a poorly-built 20th-century addition, and conducted a major renovation of a detached building, which was constructed in 2004 as a retail shop.

Energy-saving features include cold-climate heat pumps for heating and cooling, heat-recovery ventilation systems for fresh air, and efficient lighting and windows. Transportation fuel savings are also central to the project; the site was chosen for its proximity to public transportation and local services, and the design includes an electric vehicle charging station.

Given annually, the Best of the Best awards recognize high achievement by architects, engineers, builders, and contractors using energy efficiency and sustainability practices to construct or renovate Vermont buildings. A total of 19 awards are given for Vermont commercial and residential new construction projects, commercial major rehabilitation projects, renovations completed by Building Performance contractors, and home improvements completed by Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® contractors.