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BS* + Beer

The BS* + Beer Show: High-Performance House Tour: A Living Building Challenge Case Study

The team behind Burh Becc at Beacon Springs Farm explains the hurdles they overcame to earn LBC certification

Burh Becc at Beacon Springs Farm, image courtesy of Architectural Resource

This episode of the BS* + Beer show features Michael Klement, Bob Burnside, and Amanda Webb—the team responsible for the world’s second residential Living Building Challenge (LBC)−certified project. Burh Becc at Beacon Springs Farm is a study in regenerative design, meaning it is intended to improve the site on which is was built. Michael’s presentation begins with an overview of the global issues that spurred the clients to pursue the demanding certification. He dives into many of the more challenging aspects of completing a project so hemmed in by restrictions—particularly around materials. Amanda talks about Red List materials, the vetting process, and how they were able to satisfy LBC requirements. Bob articulates a straight-talk answer to that elephant-in-the-room question: How much does this kind of project cost? All three do a great job underscoring the role of this leadership project, recognizing it as a once-in-a-lifetime endeavor—although each hopes it won’t be another 15-20 years between LBC-certified homes.  

Enjoy the show!

Join us on Thursday, January 14, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. EST when the hosts of The Modern Craftsman Podcast make a guest appearance. Nick Schiffer, Tyler Grace, and John Hourihan intend to discuss the idea of craftsmanship in conjunction with building science. They will share a bit about their professions and how they have woven building science methods, technologies, and products into their work as craftsmen. John intends to talk about his background doing deep-energy retrofits; Nick will explain how he leverages his company for environmental betterment; and Tyler, a father of two young girls, will share his ideas regarding the next generation.

Speaker bios

Nick Schiffer is the owner of NS Builders in Boston, MA, a team of young craftsmen who put thoughtful craftsmanship and design into every project. Nick started his business in the back of his parents’ minivan. Today, he runs a successful high-end residential remodeling business servicing Boston and its surrounding towns. Constantly challenging himself and his team, there’s nothing standard about their approach.

Tyler Grace is owner of TRG Home Concepts in Medford, NJ. An interior remodeling contractor focused primarily on kitchens, bathrooms, and finish carpentry, his mission is to deliver a quality product to his clients while creating and maintaining value through efficiency and judicious project coordination. Tyler is married to his college sweetheart (Rachel) and has two young daughters (Selby and Tillie).

John Hourihan doesn’t wear a tool belt, swing a hammer, or empty sawdust from his pockets at the end of the day. But he has never lost the passion for building from the days when he did all of those things. He eats, breathes, and sleeps construction. A salary doesn’t feed his passion; being able to pull together ideas, scrambled thoughts, and concepts from a client’s head and turn them into reality does. He has been lucky enough to land jobs with great companies that gave him space to grow in the industry. He began as a laborer as soon as he had a license, and bought tools soon after. He learned techniques from the builder he was working for and has been absorbing knowledge ever since. He is not a master carpenter but he has been in residential construction long enough to lose count of the many kitchens and baths he has renovated and the houses he has built. What he does remember is every client and the happiness they felt when he did his job and built what they only imagined.


-You can reach Kiley Jacques at [email protected].


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