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Built in 1860 on a rural plot of land in the town of Jericho stands a Greek and Gothic architecture-style farmhouse that was the lifelong home of Wilson Bentley (1865-1931), also known as Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley. It’s a two-and-a-half-story wood-frame structure with a gabled roof, clapboard siding, and a three-winged farmhouse with an addition added in 1887.

Taken by Wilson Bentley / UVM Special Collections

Wilson Bentley is best known as one of the world’s innovators in the photography of snowflakes, where he proved that no two snowflakes are alike. He was primarily self-educated and developed equipment and techniques for capturing microphotographs of snowflakes at an early age. In 1885 at 19 years old, Bentley became the first to photograph a snowflake.

Let’s fast forward to the late 1970s when Dianne and John purchased the house!

120 Years Later

Dianne and John are the ones who purchased and nominated the Snowflake-Bentley house to be on the National Register of Historic Places list, which was approved in 1980. Dianne is an artist who makes collages out of fabric or pieces of colored pencils and paints with watercolors. When they moved to the Bentley house, she set up her art studio and gallery in the same space Wilson Bentley used for his photography studio,

As you can imagine, the 5,000-square-foot drafty farmhouse needed a good old-fashioned 21st-century upgrade complete with insulation, air sealing, ductless mini splits (cold climate heat pumps), and a solar system! That’s when Dianne and John contacted us at Building Energy in 2014 to perform an energy audit and see how they could make their home more comfortable!

Services by Building Energy

Our Senior Energy Specialist, Russ Flanigan, provided Dianne and John with a comprehensive energy audit that outlined their home’s energy consumption and the measures they could take to improve their energy efficiency. Audits include a thorough inspection of the home, its thermal envelope, appliances, and heating system(s) using specialized equipment. We complete our audits by reviewing and analyzing fuel and electricity use and potential savings.

The weatherization and insulation crew at Building Energy got right to work in the attic installing all-new eave vents sealed into place with spray foam insulation, air-sealing wall connections, and partition tops. They also replaced the fiberglass insulation with seven inches of foam board and added four inches of cellulose insulation to the flat attic, bringing it up to code.

The solar and heat pump crew also had projects at the historical landmark home! They installed a 4.48 kW 16-panel roof-mounted photovoltaic system and two ductless mini-split systems for high-efficiency heating in portions of the home.

Nearly 10 years later

Dianne and John moved from the Snowflake-Bentley home in 2021 and downsized a bit to another house in Jericho. They were so happy with the services and improved comfort we provided at their first home that Dianne and John contacted us to perform work on their new place! 

In 2022, the home received new owners, Jennifer and Paul, who also contacted us to add three more heat pump systems!

At Building Energy, we value the relationships we build with our customers and appreciate our long-standing connections with many of our clients! If you’re considering a solar, heat pump, or weatherization project, call us at 802-859-3384 or fill out our contact form

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