By Mark Doughty, Thoughtforms Corp
Thoughtforms was formed in 1972 looking to create ‘quality homes for the masses.’ With events such as the Cuyahoga river fire capturing public attention, the definition of quality included sustainable and a community focus. In the 45 years since, the team has built their reputation crafting the highest quality homes and estates in the Boston area and has taken every opportunity to influence designs to incorporate elements of healthy homes and energy efficiency into projects. As sustainability has returned to the fore in recent years, Thoughtforms has had the opportunity to prominently embrace the builder’s role in the sustainability challenge. Recently, a number of projects have captured the attention of many. Examples include:
The Lincoln Farmhouse achieved 50% net positive results, LEED Platinum certification, Living Future Institute REVEAL certification, Fine Homebuilding Best Energy Smart Home 2017 and two Gold Prism awards from the Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Boston.
The West Acton Village Ecology project created a new solar-powered community space that strengthens people’s connection to their town and tangible (rather than virtual) social networks.
An energy retrofit, including envelope updates and solar power generation, of a post-and-beam farmhouse overlooking a pond west of Boston that revitalized the property and enabled the resumption of on-site food production.
Renovation of a hilltop home and establishment of extensive food production and storage capabilities, including permaculture landscape. This project notably included an extensive hillside solar array generating more than 135KwH
In addition to projects, Thoughtforms has engaged in other ways to enhance and educate the community. Key relationships and activities in this area include:
- An alliance with the Forest Society of Maine that lead to the protection of an 81-acre inholding on the shore of Moosehead Lake
- A seat on Massachusetts Audubon’s Design Review Advisory Committee which is currently working on a net-zero environmental Learning Center
- Liaison work with the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative which develops the next generation of industry leaders
While some architects and builders have opted to only accept net-zero projects, Thoughtforms intentionally engages all architects and clients in an effort to influence, educate, and learn from the broader community.
See more at thoughtforms-corp.com.