The Great Escape: Part 8 of the Welcome Home Series

“I definitely think we designed the right size house with the perfect layout. The house lives on the land and captures views. We’re so happy we decided to build this house and we’re so happy we decided to work with New Energy Works.” – Greg Olsen.

We can’t thank Greg enough for his kind words, but we can try! Many, many thanks to Greg and Dee for working with us and becoming part of our community. Designing, raising, enclosing, and completing the fine woodworking for their home was truly a pleasure. Please enjoy this final article by Timber Home Living magazine of the Olsen’s retreat home journey. (And if you missed the others, click here.)


Building the First Complete CLT Project in New York State

first-clt-building-in-nys-new-energy-works-timberframersWe’re excited to announce that we’re building the first complete Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) building in New York State on our campus in Farmington, New York. Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) construction is an economically and environmentally conscious alternative to steel and concrete construction. The new building will house or fine woodworking division, NEWwoodworks, and offer storage/shipping space for our sister company Pioneer Millworks.

“We’re extremely excited to bring this alternative building method to New York State. We see CLTs as the wave of the future and are investing in our Western New York campus to better position the region and our industry to ride the wave,” states Jonathan, our Founder and President. “The opportunities with CLTs are abundant for businesses and housing and offer dramatic environmental benefits. Wood is a naturally occurring and renewable resource which stores carbon. It has proved time and again to preform as well, and at times better than, carbon heavy steel and concrete.”

clt-exampleCLTs are large wooden panels, typically consisting of 3, 5, or 7 layers of dimensional lumber, oriented at right angles, glued together. This results in exceptional strength, dimensional stability, and rigidity. The pre-fabricated wall, floor, and roof panels can be installed quickly with little job-site waste. European countries have been utilizing the panels for multi-story buildings with great structural, financial, and environmental success.

timber-frame-of-tomorrowland-new-energy-worksCombining the strength of timbers and CLT panels, the building will utilize a timber frame wrapped by CLT walls and topped by CLT roof panels. The panels will be pre-cut for windows and doors and will arrive by cargo shipment to Farmington NY in early January 2017. Both the timber frame and the panels will be raised in January 2017.

“The CLT panels are pre-designed, highly engineered, of superior quality with precise tolerances – all specific processes and requirements that are fundamental to our timber framing craft. This fits perfectly with our traditional work and parallels the SIPs integration that we’ve spearheaded for years,” explains Jonathan.

In February of 2015, our fine woodworking division, NEWwoodworks located in Shortsville, NY, suffered a catastrophic event as half of the roof collapsed over their 70-year-old building (no one was injured). The CLT project will be a 21,000 sq ft, single level building, to house both NEWwoodworks and provide storage/shipping for Pioneer Millworks reclaimed wood products.

An example of a CLT project built in Washington DC earlier in 2017.

An example of a CLT project built in Washington DC in 2016.

NEWwoodworks’ manufacturing equipment and craftsmen will be entrusted with 13,000 sq ft while Pioneer Millworks will utilize 8,000 sq ft for reclaimed wood storage and shipping. We broke ground for the foundation on November 15, 2016 behind our timber frame shop.

close-up-fiber2017 will start off with the timber frame raising followed by raising of the CLT panels (walls and roof). We’re also examining a wood fiber insulation which is more environmentally friendly than the majority of alternative options. We’ll share more as progress continues. Contact us with any questions or for a schedule of events: events@newenergyworks .com

Find the Beetle: Canandaigua Lake, NY

It can be tough to keep up with the beetle but recently we caught one of these time-tested mallets on-site during our raising in Canandaigua, NY.


Taking a break on the deck.

Taking a break on the deck.

It takes some muscle to use this tool as Dave demonstrates.

It takes some muscle to use this tool as Dave demonstrates.

A pretty lake view as enjoyed by the beetle, our co-workers, and timber frame fans during the raising.

A pretty lake view was enjoyed by the beetle, our co-workers, and timber frame fans during the raising. This project used Douglas fir with a custom textured/stained finish.

The Big Finish – Part 7 in the Welcome Home Series

Timber Home Living magazine continues coverage of the Olsen family home, a reclaimed timber frame raised in 2014. The Olsen’s are nearly complete with their timber frame retreat home near the Berkshires. They’ve combined a mixture of materials and custom fine woodworking for a striking and modern tone. Read more:

the-big-finish-austerlitz-build-part-6-pg-1the-big-finish-austerlitz-build-part-6-pg-4 the-big-finish-austerlitz-build-part-6-pg-2   the-big-finish-austerltiz-build-part-6-pg-3

Elements of Surprise – Part 6 in the Welcome Home Series

Element of Surprise is the seventh installment in Timber Home Living‘s Welcome Home Series, following the Olsens’ home project. The home is nearly complete thanks to creativity, collaboration and — of course — a few last-minute design decisions.

Exterior6Everyone loves a good sports analogy, and Greg Olsen is no exception.

Exterior3“You know when you call a play in football, and then all of a sudden you get to the line and realize there’s a totally different defense? You have to change it up, right? Well, as a homeowner, you have to be ready to do the same thing,” says Greg. “We’ve definitely called a few audibles on this house, but we’ve loved the way each and every one of those calls has turned out.”

In a word, Greg encourages other folks in his same position to be flexible, fluid — open to new ideas.

“If I had any advice as we’re coming down the home stretch,” he says, “it would be to not go into this process with a hard-and-fast plan on what absolutely has to be done in all aspects of your home.”

One surprising detail that the Olsens changed as the house was being built was the walkout bluestone patio that now runs the entire length of the home instead of the simple concrete slab that was originally part of the plan.

“The house just called for it,” explains Greg. “We originally were just going to do stone around the portion of the house near the entryway, but then looking at it, you can’t not have stone there. It’s those types of things that have been little changes that have made a big impact on the look of the house.”

photo-2Katie Levin, interior designer at New Energy Works Timberframers, takes this idea a step further, emphasizing that you really can’t make design decisions independent of one another — it has to be an organic process. “One decision really leads to another when it comes to interior design.

The Olsens, for example, fell in love with dark walnut floors and wood is a material that soaks up a lot of light, so to keep things bright, we went with a more contemporary, lighter wood for the cabinets. The choice of wood floors really drove other major decisions inside the home.”

And, if you’re working with a reputable company, the design team should help steer you toward these decisions, asking you questions along the way to make sure every detail is exactly what you pictured.

“The great thing about working with Ty and Katie is they’re so good at asking you questions,” says Greg. “They take your random thoughts and put them on paper. Katie would ask ‘what are you looking for here?’ or ‘where are you going with this?’ and she really helped us turn all these little snapshots into a big, beautiful picture.”

Of course, the more interior design decisions you can make ahead of time, the better.

“We encourage people to incorporate interior design elements about halfway through the design process,” says Ty Allen, who heads the East Coast design team at New Energy Works. “There are a lot of decisions to be made that have a big impact on the layout, so pre-planning as much as possible always delivers the best results.”

And with the end in sight, the results couldn’t be much better, says Greg.

“We didn’t build too small, we didn’t build too big — it’s just right. We have everything that we want, and really nothing that we don’t want. That’s exactly what Ty was trying to get us to do all along, and I think we really accomplished that.”


Olsen8“Interior design is a lot different than interior decorating; it’s much more technical,” explains Katie Levin, interior designer with New Energy Works Timberframers. When designing your plan and choosing your finishing options, remember to think about items like fixtures and appliances well before construction begins.

“Everything needs to work together,” says Levin. “We take extra care to make sure that every light switch and every outlet is exactly where it needs to be for the home to function well for its owners in the future.”

The unique combination of finishes is apparent in the great room. Dark walnut floors paired with the rich Douglas fir frame create the perfect contrast against the light cabinets and reclaimed walls. The NEWwoodworks team (a division of New Energy Works Timberframers) created floor-to-ceiling built-ins and an entertainment center to perfectly suit the space.