Some of the best news in the construction market is the continued growth of the green building sector. In an industry marked by a severe and prolonged downturn, experts predict that by 2013 the green building market will double in size to an estimated $96-140 billion dollars.
Moving right with this trend, Gristmill Builders Ltd. of Stowe, Vermont has embarked on an ambitious yet achievable mission to create Vermont’s central resource for green building and alternative energy solutions. Located in Waterbury, Vermont off I-89, The Energy Mill is on the 10 developable acres of a 28-acre parcel that contains 18 acres of conserved land.
The unique campus style setting is planned as a one stop shopping opportunity for the green building community. The plan contains 30,000 SF of green building and alternative energy tenants, anchored by an educational center focused on providing green solutions for consumers and businesses. Visitors can expect to enjoy interpretive trails, winding around functioning sustainable solutions, including solar trackers, geothermal pumps and rainwater gardens.
The Energy Mill’s mission is to connect Architects, Contractors, Designers, Engineers and Consumer with green building products and services in an environment that embodies the sustainable lifestyle Vermonters have embraced. The Energy Mill’s LEED certified design objective of Net Zero energy consumption will enable the site to generate all the energy it consumes. To achieve this objective the plan is to utilize on-site renewable solar and geothermal energy sources, combined with highly energy efficient building technology and thoughtful consumption.
Earlier this year, ten solar trackers with the capability of generating 52,000 kWh were installed on the phase one 5-acre solar farm. The first phase of construction is a 14,000 SF commercial building that Gristmill owner and developer, Brenden O’Reilly projects to be finished by late fall.
O’Reilly says a much larger solar farm is in the works for the southern 5 acres of the property that will power the second phase of development plus send excess current back to the grid. Phase two plans include 3 additional buildings totaling 20,000 SF of commercial space.
GET Aug2011 page 33