Co-op Plaza Redevelopment receives National Award for Smart Growth

The US Environmental Protection Agency has announced that the Co-op Plaza Redevelopment project, located in Brattleboro, VT, won the Main Street Revitalization category for their development of a new, energy efficient building for the Co-op with 24 apartments on the upper stories. Vermont Housing Conservation Board (VHCB) and Gossens Bachman Architects (GBA), of Montpelier, were part of the development team that included the Brattleboro Food Co-op, the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust and Housing Vermont.

The collaborative design process led by Gossens Bachman Architects, and committed owners & stakeholders, was a critical factor in making the project a model for responsible building practice and smart growth. The design incorporated as many green & regenerative strategies as the budget would allow. Notable energy efficiency was gained through active, passive, and innovative systems. Heat generated by the Co-op’s refrigerators is recycled to heat the store, apartments and provide hot water. The construction materials include locally harvested and milled flooring donated by the Vermont Land Trust and slate siding manufactured in Vermont. The apartments have continuous fresh air ventilation with heat recovery and the Co-op utilizes a solar photovoltaic system to generate electricity. Storm water runoff is treated and filtered by a green roof, permeable surfaces in the parking lot and a 20-foot buffer strip in the new public park created along the Whetstone Brook.

The project was selected from among 47 applicants from 25 states. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said “The 2012 winners of the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement are taking innovative steps to realize a vision of American communities that are clean, healthy, environmentally responsible, and economically resilient.” The EPA recognized the winning organizations at a ceremony in Washington, DC, on December 5.

— December 5th, 2012


Jessica Thyme Speaks at VBSR Fall Conference

GBA Architectural designer Jessica Thyme, LEED AP, spoke at the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility 2012 Fall Conference at a workshop organized by moderator Steve Frey of Arocordis Design and with co-speakers Chris DesRoches of Casella Waste Systems, Tim Shea of National Life Group and Dan Woodworth of Office Environments. The discussion topic focused on workplace design strategies that enhance brand, embody mission, and facilitate organizational values. Jessica highlighted two GBA projects, the Brattleboro Food Coop and CVCAC’s Barre Campus who’s collaborative design process encouraged participation from all interested parties and resulted in a sense of pride and ownership from the buildings end users.

— November 20th, 2012

The Offices of Gossens Bachman Architects Receives AIA New England Design Award

Gossens Bachman Architects (GBA) was honored on Saturday, Oct. 20 with a 2012 AIA New England Design Award for the design of its own office.

The award was presented at the annual AIA New England Conference held in Burlington, Vermont. The project was selected from among 225 entries from around New England, and the jury included a distinguished panel led by Patricia Patkau of Patkau Architects, Vancouver, British Columbia. The Jury commented “Really liked the studio spaces……good small, modest office space…..liked the recycled wood.”

— October 30th, 2012


Brattleboro Co-op Featured in BuildingGreen Magazine

In the final stages of construction the Brattleboro Food Co-op underwent some building performance testing. You can read the article below.

BuildingGreen Magazine Article

— June 14th, 2012

Gregg Gossens Speaks at the Second Annual Slow Living Summit

The Second Annual Slow Living Summit was held in Brattleboro, Vermont May 30- June 1, 2012. Gregg was part of a panel discussion and tour of the Brattleboro Food Co-op Building. Scheduled to open in June, 2012, the Brattleboro Food Co-op is a model for food coops nationwide looking to put shared ownership to work nourishing the community in new ways.

Slow living can be defined as the intention to build a more reflective, balanced future respecting each other and our life-sustaining natural environment – seeking common solutions for the common good.

Gregg spoke alongside Alex Wilson, founder, BuildingGreen, Inc., Alex Gyori, general manager, Brattleboro Food Coop and Bob Stevens, president of Stevens & Associates.

— June 5th, 2012

NAMCO Block Receives a 2012 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence

The Vermont Governor’s Awards were established in 1993 to recognize the actions taken by Vermonters to conserve and protect natural resources, prevent pollution, and promote environmental sustainability. These projects contribute significantly to protecting the environment, conserving energy and reducing the production of greenhouse gases.

— April 2nd, 2012


Tom Bachman Named AIA VT President-Elect

Tom Bachman, founding partner of GBA, has recently accepted the position of President-Elect for AIA Vermont. Tom currently serves on the Board of Directors as AIA VT Treasurer.

AIA Vermont, the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, is an organization of architectural design professionals dedicated to enhancing the quality of our built environment, and thereby the quality of life. The Chapter endeavors to bring together and serve all who are interested in the art and science of architecture. AIA Vermont aspires to increase the public’s knowledge and understanding of the architectural profession, expand the knowledge of all participating in the architectural process and improve the quality of services provided by architectural professionals.

— March 31st, 2012

GBA Receives 2012 Efficiency Vermont Design Award for the NAMCO Block

Gossens Bachman Architects received the honor at the Efficiency Vermont Better Buildings by Design Conference.

Some of the energy efficient design features include:

Extremely tight building envelope, replacement of 684 historically accurate windows and all exterior doors, a light colored membrane was used on the roof to reduce solar gain, green planted strips located between the parking area and the building to reduce heat gain, new boiler plant that reduced BTU’s from six million to less than two million, Energy Star lighting, exhaust fans, and appliances throughout building, basement was set up to allow for future wood pellet system to be installed, use of 97% recycled carpet, 90% of the demolition waste was recycled, use of water saving fixtures and low flow toilets, removed 95 cubic yards of contaminated soil from site, use of low VOC paints, no urea formaldehyde, etc.

Energy Efficient benefits include:

Lower tenant operating cost – on average savings is about $400 per year, lower maintenance costs, reduced need for air conditioning with paddle fans throughout, reduced Town of Windsor’s water and sewage treatment by 30%, reduced oil consumption by 40,000 gallons per year, high indoor air quality, reduced pollution entering river with high quality treatment of storm water runoff.

— March 28th, 2012

2012 is International Year of the Co-operatives

GBA would like to recognize the International Year of the Co-operatives. As design professionals, our philosophy of community, social responsibility, collaboration and sustainability have much in common with the seven principles of co-operatives. Having served on boards, volunteered and designed several co-ops, we would like to recognize all the individuals whose efforts create a thriving co-op.

The seven principles of Co-operatives:

  1. Voluntary and Open Membership
  2. Democratic Member Control
  3. Member Economic Participation
  4. Autonomy and Independence
  5. Education, Training and Information
  6. Cooperation among Cooperatives
  7. Concern for Community

— February 1st, 2012

NAMCO Block recognized at a gala held for recipients of the John M. Clancy Award for Socially Responsible Housing

The NAMCO Block was recognized alongside five other projects from around the country. See what the judges had to say:

The John M Clancy Award Website 2011 Winners

— January 24th, 2012