Delivering professional design services for healthy buildings and communities.


Maclay Architects delivers professional design services for healthy buildings and communities.

Our work is founded on preserving and supporting our unique traditions and heritage that connect us to our natural, social, historic, and cultural fabric and resources. We create spaces which are productive, pleasant and enrich the environment and the human spirit. Our sustainable focus enables our clients to make choices based on the most current environmental materials and strategies.

Our projects include educational, workplace, institutional, recreational, single family and multifamily residential, historic preservation, energy assessment and financial analysis, net zero consulting, and master planning. Our design creates positive experiences, outcomes, and futures that achieve measurable and impactful client goals, visions, and objectives.

We are a professional corporation offering standard architectural design services, in addition to feasibility and planning studies, space planning, historic preservation services, site assessments, environmental assessments certifications, net postive energy and carbon design, and permit consulting.

Our focus on sustainability is not new. It has been the primary focus of our firm and Bill Maclay for over 40 years. Our work is founded on the broad aspects of ecologically based net zero/net positive design and focuses on healthy building design, building science, historic sensitivity, renewable energy production, and biophilic, nature based, living buildings that act as organisms and ecosystems.

We are experienced with certification programs including LEED, Living Building Challenge, Passive House, WELL and other rating systems. We have completed 8 LEED Gold and Platinum projects, 4 Living Building Challenge (LBC) Net Zero Certified projects with an additional 2 net zero certifications pending. We have designed one multifamily project with anticipated PHIUS+ and LBC Net Zero Energy Certifications in 2019.

For the last 10 years, in addition to designing healthy, functional, and beautiful buildings, we have focused on net zero and positive energy building design. Almost all of our buildings are net zero/net positive, near net zero, or net zero ready and has become the standard we use in our work.

With our depth of work, we are able to deliver net zero and net positive buildings cost effectively and consistently. We are experienced in avoiding problems and in finding proactive solutions. We monitor our projects post occupancy to ensure that performance is consistent with design assumptions and estimates. Nationally in cold climates, our buildings have the lowest EUI (energy use intensity, or energy consumption per square foot) of any architecture firm.

We have developed a proven and reliable energy modeling and financial analysis methodology. Typically, we are able to deliver projects that are net zero and cash flow positive from the first day of project completion.

Research and Recognition

To accomplish our goals, we are actively engaged in research, networking with other innovators, educating the public, and in collaborating with like-minded clients to move as quickly and prudently forward in making a more sustainable world for future generations.

Maclay Architects and individuals at our firm have been recognized for their innovation and leadership in environmental design. A few examples are listed below:


We have received numerous awards for design excellence and environmental leadership. These include multiple AIA, Efficiency Vermont, NESEA Awards and the prestigious Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility Terry Ehrich Award for environmental leadership. environmental leadership. New Buildings Institute recognized Bill as a Net Zero Hero.


Since 1970, Bill and others at Maclay Architects have become sought after speakers nationally, regionally, and locally. Bill and others have spoken nationally and regionally at the following conferences: Living Building Challenge, USGBC Green Build, AIA VT, National AIA, Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA), etc. Members of the office also are frequent speakers at the annual Efficiency Vermont Better Buildings By Design Conference, ACX VT Architecture and Construction Expo.


Bill and Maclay Architects wrote the leading reference book on Net Zero Energy, The New Net Zero: Leading Edge Design and Construction of Homes and Buildings for a Renewable Energy Future.

Publication in Books and Journals:

Beginning in the 1970’s Bill and Maclay Architects work has been featured in numerous books and the leading design journals including: Progressive Architecture, Fine Homebuilding, L’Architectue d’Aujordhui, Process, Design New England, the New York Times, and more.


Our work has been exhibited locally, regionally, and in Europe for nearly 50 years.


Bill has been filmed and recorded in Film, TV, Radio and video.


Many staff members have served as guest speakers, lectures and teachers for various schools throughout Vermont and beyond.

Community Service

As a firm and as individuals, we have encouraged and engaged in community service throughout our history.

Individuals have served on numerous boards, including local and regional planning and governing boards; nonprofit boards, such as Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, Yestermorrow Design Build School, AIA VT, etc. We have donated design services to numerous non-profits. We have volunteered our time to help build projects, including a passive house for Central Vermont Habitat for Humanity and a dormitory for Circus Smirkus.

With education and nonprofit clients, we have assisted with fundraising efforts including assistance with submitting grants, meeting with donors, providing information and graphics, speaking, leading charrettes and workshops, and engaging with students and the community to further their goals.

Team members volunteering for Habitat for Humanity.


We have worked for a broad diversity of clients. For a client list, please click here.


  • - The American Institute of Architects
  • - Architecture 2030 Challenge
  • - International Living Future Institute
  • - Business for Social Responsibility
  • - Construction Specification Institute
  • - NESEA (Northeast Sustainable Energy Association)
  • - Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • - NCARB (National Council of Architectural Board)
  • - National Fire Protection Association
  • - Renewable Energy Vermont
  • - Urban Land Institute
  • - United State Green Building Council
  • - Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
  • - Vermont Environmental Consortium
  • - Vermont Green Building Network
  • - Canopy Development (Affiliation)
  • - Passive House Alliance U.S.
  • - Boston Society of Architects
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