Government Projects

Agency of Human Services and Department of Public Safety, Waterbury, Vt.



Tropical Storm Irene ravaged the property in 2011, but the state of Vermont wanted to rebuild and restore the complex in a way that would honor its history while achieving high energy efficiency.

Originally built in 1890 as a psychiatric hospital, the Waterbury State Office Complex served as home to state of Vermont employees for years. In 2011, Tropical Storm Irene ravaged Vermont. Waterbury was among the hardest-hit areas and 40 buildings that made up the state office complex were flooded and more than 1,400 employees were displaced.

Because of the rich history of the complex, the goal was to rebuild and restore the complex in a way that would honor its history. It was also important to achieve high energy efficiency within a specific budget and timeframe. Resilience was crucial to creating durable buildings to protect against future flooding and other natural disasters. Additionally, while the flood had made its mark on the buildings, it wasn’t just the visible damage that needed to be repaired. Occupant comfort had long been an issue. Old, single-pane windows along with antiquated central heat and a lack of central air conditioning made working conditions less than optimal throughout the year. LEED Gold certification was a goal from the onset of the project.

The state of Vermont set out to achieve a fenestration assembly U-factor of 0.24 Btu per hour square foot Fahrenheit or better at NFRC 100 model sizes. YKK AP America Inc. was chosen to provide its enerG-facade brand of energy-efficient building solutions to meet this strict requirement while providing the desired aesthetic for new and existing facilities. YKK AP’s YOW 350 XT fixed and operable windows, YCW 750 XT and YOW 750 OG curtainwalls, and YES 45 F-I/S storefront were used to complete the complex.

Today the Waterbury State Office Complex is significantly more efficient, achieving a modeled 56 percent energy-use savings over the code-compliant baseline, resulting in 41 percent energy-cost savings.



In 2013, construction commenced. Twenty-one flood-prone buildings were deconstructed to make space for a new 86,000-square-foot office building to house approximately 1,000 employees at the Vermont Agency of Human Services. Thirteen historic structures were preserved, adapted and reused.

As part of the desire to develop a more comfortable working environment for state employees and ensure long-term use of the facility, a 20,000-square-foot central heating and cooling facility was added. The central plant houses two wood-fired biomass boilers fueled with low-cost, locally and sustainably harvested wood chips. All buildings were built above the 500-year flood plane to protect against future damage.

The historic 100-acre campus represents one of the state of Vermont’s largest construction projects to date. With an estimated total cost of $130 million, it serves as an innovative example of a successful adaptive reuse project.


Be the first to comment on "Government Projects"

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: