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Vermont’s Burr and Burton Academy expansion will feature mass timber and flexible spaces

KaTO and ZGF Architects designed the building.

June 04, 2020 |
Burr and Burton Academy library

All images courtesy KaTO and ZGF Architects

A new three-story academic building is being added to the Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester, Vermont. 

The 25,000-sf expansion, designed by KaTO and ZGF Architects, will comprise interdisciplinary classrooms and the school’s library on BBA’s upper campus. The building is organized around a central commons that will house the school’s library, which has been reimagined as a lively environment that encourages activity and interaction. Spaces for individual work and study will also be included.


Burr and Burton Academy exploded view


The library will be built from CLT and glulam and reflect the surrounding mountainous landscape. Mass timber was selected to help support student health and success as a growing body of research suggests it has psychological health and well-being benefits such as reduced stress and lower blood pressure.


Burr and Burton Academy Aerial view


The building will be divided into four distinct learning neighborhoods that support different levels of flexibility and types of activity. A STEAM neighborhood will co-locate a student maker shop with specialty equipment, a computer laboratory, and a learning space. These spaces will be connected by operable garage doors that can be opened to form a greater Maker Commons.

Designed to be net-zero ready, the new facility will include electric-run HVAC sysxtems, an air-to-water heat pump, and the timber structure for the building commons. The expansion will welcome its first students in fall 2021.

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