Design Challenge

Following the feasibility study for a new Waitsfield Town Office by Maclay Architects in 2011, the Town of Waitsfield decided to continue their efforts to replace the current town office which was cramped in the lower level of the town library and flooded during tropical storm Irene. The new office building provides much needed space for day-to-day operations and a new vault to store the town’s historic and land records. The new town office is also located out of the floodplain, is accessible, provides on-site parking, and includes a community meeting room.


The new building was prominently sited within the historic Waitsfield Village. The design aesthetic for the building responds to the historic character of this quaint New England village. The new space provides fully accessible offices, a meeting space, and a new vault for the town’s records. To minimize long-term operating costs, the townspeople voted for this net zero building, which is a part of a 100kW municipal system. The design includes a super-insulated and air-tight building envelope coupled with highly efficient air source heat pump and energy recovery ventilation system. Natural daylight and healthy building materials were utilized throughout to create a healthy, productive and dynamic workplace for Town staff.


Maclay Architects provided energy and financial analysis that assisted the town in gaining public support and a successful bond vote with 70% of the town supporting the project. With Maclay Architects’ documentation and support, this project received a Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery program in May 2013 for $750,000, which significantly offset project costs. The project is currently occupied and operating at net positive energy with energy provided by an off-site photovoltaic array which is a part of a community solar array.

Project Details


Waitsfield, VT




4,700 sf


Net Zero

Energy Intensity:

16 kBTU/sf-yr (modeled)
0 kBTU/sf-yr (modeled w/ renewables)

Solar PV Array Size:

17kW of a municipal system of 100kW

Air Infiltration:

0.075 cfm50/sf