Bullitt Reservation Farmhouse
Ashfield & Conway, MA  


Transform a rambling early 1800s farmhouse into a LEED-certified, energy-efficient office and public meeting space while celebrating the historic character of this former town poor farm.

A statewide conservation organization purchased this derelict home, once the town poor farm, to create a regional office, provide a community meeting space, and a establish a demonstration model for energy efficiency, as well as to provide public access to its diverse 165 acres.   Rather than demolish the dilapidated house and build a new passive solar building, Quigley Builders demonstrated how retrofitting the historic timber-frame building could meet their energy goals and limited budget.

We preserved the basic historic footprint of the original structure, deconstructed several additions built over the years, and recycled or re-purposed the majority of the removed materials.  Old wall sheathing became desktops, old doors reused for kitchen cabinets, and a portion of the original grooved and splined wall board, complete with remnants of the historic wallpaper, is displayed by the front door.  The spacious interior is sunny and open, with a large conference room and additional offices on the second floor.

Consistent with the organization’s goals to achieve net-zero carbon operations and educate the public, the renovated farmhouse showcases steps individual homeowners can take to reduce energy consumption. Future goals include installing photovoltaic panels on the 19th-century barn to complete the project's energy independence.


The comprehensive deep energy retrofit has reduced energy use by more than 50%, substantially improving the building’s comfort, durability and air quality.  The first floor is fully accessible.  Careful monitoring of energy use over two years has provided the necessary metrics to size future photovoltaic panels, which will make this building self-sufficient and net zero.

Bullitt Farmhouse energy consumption is a quarter of the typical use
for a home this size.

Read an early article about the project when it was just starting here.


Architect | James Younger AIA, TTOR
Electrician | Poissant Electric, Ashfield MA
Energy Consultant | Jordan Goldman, LEED AP, CPHC, ZeroEnergy Design, Boston MA
Excavating & Concrete | Harris & Gray, Ashfield MA
HVAC & Plumbing | George Propane, Goshen MA
Insulation | James E. Hanrahan & Sons, Northfield MA
Recycling & Waste Management | Austin's, Whately MA; Alternative Recycling, Leeds MA;
EcoBuilding, Springfield MA

Additional information