Environmental impact has become a primary point of interest in the home construction market. Efficiency is a key element potential home buyers are seeking and green building is becoming more the norm in the U.S.
By its very nature, Yankee Barn Homes’ post and beam prefab construction adapts naturally to green building. The company has worked hard at developing creative ways to allow buyers efficiency without compromising the comforts of a traditional home.
Jeffrey Rosen, Creative Director and Co-Owner of Yankee Barn Homes, has been in the construction industry all his adult life. Here he provides insight into the company’s vision and his hopes for the future of green construction at YBH.
P&BL: What is the YBH vision in terms of green building construction? How are the homes unique and how are they true to this vision?
Jeffrey Rosen (JR): We realize the expanded economics associated with building a green home can be overwhelming. We don’t focus on the single aspect of green construction, but offer multiple ways to arrive at a green product. This includes energy efficiency and air quality. The YBH policy is to incorporate a whole-house approach that looks at all aspects of building a green and healthy home. We strive to be sustainable in each step of the build process.
P&BL: What sustainable practice or feature do your clients most commonly choose to incorporate in their homes?
JR: A Yankee Barn home is an energy-efficient structure built with sustainable materials. The client always chooses the specifics they want to include in their home to reach or exceed this level.
P&BL: What do you find to be the biggest obstacle for the creation of sustainable homes? Is it in the construction itself, the design, the marketing, or another aspect?
JR: Primarily, it’s about education. Most people have heard about green homes—but they may not have a full understanding. YBH can educate people about the potential savings they’ll make down the road, sometimes within the first year. We work together to further the understanding they’re getting a healthier home, a more energy efficient home. While there may be some extra cost up front in specific areas, it pays off longer term monetarily and health wise.
P&BL: What are the strategies you use to stay within a client’s predetermined budget while still using innovative technologies?
JR: The budget is set prior to our design build process with the understanding that a fully insulated panelized home may cost more than the traditional forms of building. We outline the added benefit of these features offered and inform the customer of available options. Throughout the shell design/build process the client is kept very involved with their project’s progress. We are fortunate to have web tools that support the selection process and give the owner real-time visibility of their budget, selections, and upcoming decisions. These project management tools have allowed the owner to be a more active part of the kit build process.
P&BL: Congratulations on the completion of the Mad River Modern house. We understand the project has gained major attention. Can you describe what the client was looking for and how Yankee Barn developed their ideas?
JR: Credit for this one goes to Kerri Terwilliger, Design Project Manager. The clients wanted a Mid Century Modern style home with all the technology and green advancements YBH could deliver. We knew we needed to create a seamless indoor-outdoor feel that incorporated post and beam design, floor-to-ceiling windows, all to capture the beautiful Vermont views. Using high quality windows, advanced insulation techniques, and house placement (passive solar gain) helped us ensure the home remained energy efficient despite the large amount of glass.
P&BL: What role will green building construction play in the future of your company?
JR: Green building has always been an integral part of the Yankee Barn Homes history. As we go forward, we will continue our work at cost effective production techniques, energy saving options, and lessening the environmental footprint of every home we build. While we seek to be a frontrunner in these technologies at an affordable price, we will continue to push the aesthetic of our homes.