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Juliana Lachat Farmhouse- Nature Conservancy
Weston, CT

In the process of converting this circa 1770, timber framed farm house, we have retained as much original fabric and distinguishing features as possible while creating sustainable, functional, efficient and comfortable offices and support spaces for this local chapter of the Nature Conservancy. The farmhouse renovation is part of the larger Gateway to the Devil’s Den project and a supporting structure that will be submitted for innovation points for the Conservation Center which is targeted for LEED Gold certification.

The road-side public façade of the farmhouse will be altered minimally to preserve this part of the cultural landscape of the 18th century, subsistence farm. The poorly constructed, later additions at the rear of the building are to be removed and historically sensitive additions of new construction are designed to house code-compliant egress and circulation, kitchen and bathrooms. The small scale and orientation of the additions allow the original structure to remain visually dominant from the public thoroughfare. A new entry to the farmhouse offices is created off the “dooryard” gathering space to the rear.

We have conserved as much of the original structure while creating as efficient a thermal envelope as possible. The building improvements include air sealing, super insulation, window replacement, and a new foundation. The Building Committee chose to avoid fossil fuels and opted for a wood pellet boiler for heating (the shared biomass boiler also heats the Conservation Center). Sensitive adaptive reuse of the farmhouse meets one of the guiding principles for the project: Maintain the rural and agricultural character of the property while creating a distinctive presence for the center. This project was completed in conjunction with Edgcomb Design Group of Warren, VT.