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Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity Volunteers Begin Greenfield Home

habitat for humanity logo

Austin Design’s Helena Balcanoff has managed our pro-bono design work for this local affordable housing project with the Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity chapter. This past weekend, volunteers began framing and raising walls for this hands-on exercise in building community.

Wearing a yellow Habitat for Humanity hard hat Saturday afternoon, 46-year-old Christa Pylant hammered one of the first nails into the outer wall of her future home. After the pounding of the hammer ceased, she turned around to the eager crowd with an excited, proud smile. The onlookers applauded and exclaimed their congratulations before gathering around one of the boards to write their well-wishes in Sharpie.

“Blessings for a peaceful, happy home,” one note read. “Welcome to Greenfield,” read another.

Most likely by next summer, Pylant and her 15-year-old daughter Ilani will move into the two-bedroom, energy efficient home at 33 Smith Street being constructed for them by Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity.

Read the full story by Shelby Ashline in the Greenfield Recorder.

    Buckland Hearing Set for Floodwater Brewing Co.

    brewery taproom

    Austin Design’s brewery client Zack Livingston is almost ready to open his Floodwater Brewing Co. in Buckland, MA. He’ll be producing, retailing, and pouring his own brews riverside at 40 State Street.

    A public hearing is planned for Tuesday, Aug. 8, when the Selectboard considers a Farmer Series Pouring Permit License for Floodwater Brewing Co. LLC. The hearing begins at 6 p.m. in the Selectboard meeting room, upstairs in Town Hall. The license would allow founder Zachary Livingston to open a brewery at 40 State St. with a sampling bar for beers and sale of bottled beers made on the premises.

    In 2016, Livingston bought two storefronts from JoAnne and Philips Sherburne, with the intention of converting the shops into a brewery, with beverages made mostly with local ingredients when possible. According to a legal notice, Livingston is planning to have a first-floor tasting area, bar, a brewery viewing area, and a small deck or porch with outdoor seating that overlooks the Deerfield River.

    Read the full article by Diane Broncaccio in the Greenfield Recorder.

      ADi Joins Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity Building Greenfield Home

      greenfield ma sign

       ADi staff designer Helaina Balcanoff has been spearheading our collaboration with Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity on this worthy project. Article by Joshua Solomon, in the Greenfield Recorder, Tuesday, July 25, 2017.

      After building several homes in Montague the past few years, Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity will begin building its first home in Greenfield in just over a decade come Saturday afternoon. Raising the first wall to a two-bedroom, energy efficient home on Smith Street, the organization will work with local groups to help them to construct the home.

      “It was a lovely neighborhood and it really has the benefits of what Greenfield has: nice residential neighborhood without being too far from town,” Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Megan McDonough said.

      The organization builds homes to then be offered at an affordable price for those who normally would not be able to purchase a home of their own. Franklin County Technical High School will be doing the plumbing and electric work on the home, already laying some of the ground work in late spring before the school year ended. “They look for opportunities to give real world opportunities to the students and building a house is a great opportunity,” McDonough said.

      The architectural group Austin Design, out of Colrain, designed the building. And local solar company PV Squared will be donating solar panels for the home and will help it to be potentially a zero net energy single family home. The Franklin Community Co-op will help provide volunteers to build the home. The lot for the land was purchased last summer in 2016 and Habitat for Humanity’s goal to complete the project is for the summer of 2018.

      After an application process and lottery, in which Mayor William Martin picked a name out of a hat to choose the receipt of the home, a single mother with her children will move in once the home is complete.

      Previously, two duplex condo homes were built on Montague City Road from 2002 to 2006. More recently, Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity built a home on 11 Warner Street in Montague City, completed in 2012 in partnership with the tech school. The two groups also partnered to build two single family homes on L Street, finished last year.
      You can reach Joshua Solomon at: jsolomon@recorder.com 413-772-0261, ext. 264

        The Craft of Brewing in UVM’s Quarterly Features ADi Clients

        alchemist brewery uvm quarterly

        The Summer 2017 edition of University of Vermont’s Vermont Quarterly magazine has a feature article on The Craft of Brewing, featuring UVM alumni. Two of the three breweries featured are Austin Design’s clients. Nice shot of The Alchemist above. And the other nice folks are Lawson’s Finest. We’re in good company…

          New Powderhorn Units at the Hermitage Club

          hermitage club powderhorn townhomes twitter

          Link to the post by the @HermitageClub on Twitter.

          This looks very familiar.

          Austin Design is working on redesigns for new townhome construction by Cameo Builders at Powderhorn Village, at the base of Haystack Mountain, home of The Hermitage Club in Wilmington, Vermont.



            A Rare Peek Inside The Mountain House

            Completed by Austin Design in 2007, this stunning handcrafted home nestles into the forested eastern slope of the Green Mountains, and cradles its occupants in Old World style. Carefully wrought wood, stone, and metal meet in a one-of-a-kind, private retreat from today’s mass-produced and commonplace choices. This masterpiece will be offered at a public, no-reserve auction by SkiHome Realty through Concierge Auctions next month. Video footage by Concierge.

              It’s Official! Tree House Brewery Opens in Charlton, MA

              tree house brewing charlton opening austin design

              From MassLive’s announcement:

              Tree House Brewing Company opened its new heavily anticipated 55,000-square-foot brewery in Charlton this past weekend. The move represents a huge step forward for one of the state’s top breweries, which has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years. The new facility will take Tree House’s brewing capacity from 300 barrels per week, to up to 240 barrels per day.

              Tree House, which previously operated solely in Monson, opened its doors to the public on Saturday at its new location in Charlton with nine different offerings for on-site pours.  The new hours for the new location at 129 Sturbridge Road in Charlton are:

              Wednesday: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
              Thursday: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
              Friday: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
              Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

              Media coverage links:



              Eater Boston

              Boston Magazine

              Tree House Brewing Co. on Twitter


                Lawson’s Finest Stops in to Brattleboro

                sean lawson at Austin Design brattleboro

                Sean Lawson of Lawson’s Finest Liquids confers (6/23/2017) with Peter and Bill (and Otto) at ADi’s Brattleboro office about the design of their new brewery in Waitsfield, VT. Sean later went down the street to Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery to collaborate on a special spruce tip ale, which should be released soon.

                  Vermont Downtown and Historic Preservation Conference

                  Several ADi staff attended the Conference in White River Junction, VT on Thursday, June 8, 2017.  Organizers have said they had 330 attendees from over 60 communities and 5 states participate this year. Skip to :33 for the Keynote address if you’d like! Video by CATV 8/10 in the Upper Valley.

                    Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity with Austin Design

                    habitat for humanity roof framing

                    ADi’s Helaina Balcanoff has been the designer (and more) for a new Habitat home on Smith Street in Greenfield, MA. Way to go Helaina! The Greenfield Recorder ran a story today, excerpted below. Full story here.

                    If you’ve ever dreamed of building your own energy-efficient home but haven’t been able to get financing, a local nonprofit may be able to help. Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity is accepting applications to build an affordable, single-family home in Greenfield with a sale price of $139,000 or less. Eligible applicants will have incomes up to 70 percent of area median income, which is adjusted for family size.

                    Those interested in submitting an application are invited to attend information sessions on Tuesday, June 6, at 6 p.m. and Saturday, June, 10 at 10 a.m. at the Greenfield Public Library.

                    The two-bedroom zero net energy home will be built on Smith Street. Thanks to local company PV Squared, the house will have solar panels. Franklin County Technical High School will contribute help from several trades and Austin Design of Colrain has donated its architectural services.