A traditional-style home showcases the ups and downs of a modern construction method
by Debra Judge Silber
Though its appearance is in every way traditional—from the deeply overhanging eaves outside to the 200-year-old beams inside—David and Kathy Gage’s Vermont home isn’t nearly as old-school as it seems.
It’s modular. The walls and roof that make up this cottage-style house were assembled in a factory more than 100 miles away. And that’s a good thing, because it’s tighter and more energy efficient and was built with less environmental disturbance than most other houses.
Traditional in form, it’s still quite a departure from the vintage farmhouse the family called home until the morning David returned from a walk to find the house in flames. As they recovered from the shock of losing their home and made plans to rebuild, Gage consulted architect and builder John Connell, whose 2Morrow Studio was just starting to explore how to bring custom green building to their customers more affordably. The answer, Connell believed, was in using prefabricated modules built to green specifications.