Vermod, makers of durable and tasteful manufactured homes in Vermont, has been busy since I profiled the company two years ago. This winter they are installing 11 homes to revitalize the Evergreen Manor development in Hardwick. The foundations were placed by December, and the company expects to install homes throughout the winter, something they call “one of the benefits of modular construction! ” Having worked on construction jobs in below-freezing temperatures, I wholeheartedly support anything that can be built in a climate-controlled facility. Modular doesn’t eliminate the need to work outdoors on-site – each delivery must be attached to its foundation and utilities hooked up – but it drastically improves labor efficiency and decreases the threat of worker injury.

Plans for a pocket neighborhood in Vergennes.

Meanwhile, in Vergennes, the Fisher Farm pocket neighborhood is under review by the city, which held a meeting for public comment last month. The neighborhood is designed to encourage new residents who want to live in a small but detached space (not an apartment or condominium), since the area has a limited supply of this sort of housing. Complete envelope insulation and solar panels in each dwelling may enable the development to achieve net-zero status.

I’m not sure what the latter article means by “no utilities.” A house without plumbing, electricity, or HVAC is obviously net zero, but it’s also illegal. Maybe the development will not connect to the city grid, with all water and energy needs built into the site.

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