Re-Establishment in Middlebury
For the past year and a half, our team has been busy designing InSite. We have spent the majority of that time planning for its performance in Irvine at the decathlon, but the time is approaching to think beyond the competition and to InSite’s final home on campus. From the beginning, our team wanted InSite to join Self-Reliance as student housing, once it is re-sited, to continue acting as a learning tool for the public and the school to learn about sustainable building. Shannon St, in the northeastern part of campus, is a site that connects the town and the campus, making it the perfect spot for InSite to stand as a resource for all of Middlebury. The site itself also greatly influenced our Solar Path design, as there once was a well-trodden pathway through the lot into town, which we will revitalize with our solar structures.
Today Ellie and I met with Brent Rakowski, our civil engineer with Otter Creek Engineering, and our structural engineer, Greg Sellars from Engineering Ventures in Burlington, to talk about our Shannon St. Site. The site is on a substantial slope, so we will need to re-grade the landscape to create ADA accessibility and better integrate the home with the street. We also talked about accessing the various utilities we need to connect to, and how the house will interact with its neighbor, the Shannon Duplex Apartments. It is a whole new learning experience to talk about civil engineering, and we realized how important it is to properly grade the landscape to avoid rain collection, and to plan for snow plowing. InSite will be an especially appropriate addition to Shannon St. as the duplex next door utilizes evacuated thermal tubes for its hot water heating. Our Solar Path will contribute to the renewable production of Shannon St. and make it a hub of solar energy!
We are really excited about how InSite will contribute to both the town and the campus. It will be an education tool, but also a beautiful addition to an under-utilized lot. We hope that the Solar Path will create a common path into town and up to the campus, and that it will familiarize students and townspeople with the power and applicability of solar power. InSite will also become a very special place for students to live in. We have had such positive feedback about the experience of living in Self-Reliance, and the team is excited to add to Middlebury’s housing options with InSite, in a location that is convenient to both the school and the town on Shannon St.