Retrofit for a Farmhouse


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Doyle Conservation Center
See how this LEED Gold-Certified building came together.


Never has yellow been so green.

The sunflower-hued farmhouse that greets visitors at the beginning of the drive at The Trustees’ Long Hill campus in Beverly has leapt from the 18th century to the 21st century in just six months. In an ambitious effort to start shrinking The Trustees’ carbon footprint, Director of Structural Resources and Technology Jim Younger has made the new home of Northeast Education & Outreach “green” in a big way. Inside, you’ll see paint that’s low on volatile compounds; high-tech, programmable thermostats; low-voltage, fluorescent lighting; bamboo shades; and all-natural wool carpet. Even the appliances are Energy Star rated.

And this is no drafty farmhouse. Properties Coordinator Chris Champion tested the state-of-the-art insulation (including organic cellulose) for tightness to make sure it would hold up against our chilly New England winters – and it passed beautifully. So say good-bye to wearing fleece, sweaters, and hats indoors!

But it’s not just about keeping our staffers from shivering at their desks. As we step up our efforts to be green, we’re actively seeking ways to maintain our buildings sustainably, using non-toxic methods that are friendly to people and the environment. And, as the cheerful yellow farmhouse is transformed into a new Horticulture Center, it will serve as a terrific example for members and visitors of how to turn something old into something new – using methods they can put to work in their own homes.