March Update

...we are sitting on a generational opportuinity to leverage an emerging technology to create an economic flywheel in the Northeast Kingdom, and beyond...

Mass Kingdom launched a few weeks ago and it's been awesome to rally a coalition of supporters around Mass Timber in the Northeast Kingdom. I've been in conversations with people from San Francisco to Florida and all across Vermont about how we can build an economic flywheel in the Northeast Kingdom. What started as 10-15 people grew quickly to over 60 people on this update list.

The response has been bigger than I anticipated. I am not going to try and meet as a group in March. I will let you all know when we get something on the calendar. In the meantime, I am meeting with many of you one on one. If you want to grab a coffee, or come up to the house and check out some progress models let me know.

Shoot me an email here if you want to catch up.

Current Sprint

  • Bent Pack design v2
  • Business model development - Phase 1 Builder Developer
  • Manufacturing site due diligence

Bent Pack Design Update

The design of the housing platform continues at full speed while searching for a manufacturing site. This platform will use the Mass Timber parts and pieces we manufacture to build high-efficiency, high-quality, and affordable rural housing. Here is a link to a design update if you want to see more. Bent Pack Update

Caledonian Record Article

The Caledonian Record interviewed me about Mass Kingdom. I've had several people reach out from this article and it's been a great conversation starter. Check it out here.

  1. After the article in the Caledonian Record, I've had multiple leads on potential manufacturing sites. One site is across Hwy 5 from the Comfort Inn in St Johnsbury. This is a great location with some challenging constraints. I should learn more in the coming weeks.
  2. The first email I received from the Cal Rec article was from officials in New Hampshire. They reached out at 6:30 AM. On a Saturday. The next week they were setting up meetings. If I'm honest, it felt good. The lack of response in Vermont takes a toll...doubt creeps in. I have more meetings this week on what it looks like across the river.
  3. The Ralston Mill site in St Johnsbury is the most underutilized site in the NEK. That site could be an economic engine for the region on its own. I hope Bruce decides to sell.

Forestry Accelerator

I was recently introduced to the  Forestry Accelerator program in Lyndonville. This is an awesome program for our region...but we've got to raise the prize pool. $10K is not enough. This is such an important program for all the reasons, it's also a reflection of our investment in the future of the forest economy. I'm going to spend some energy trying to increase the resources for this program. Let me know if you want to help.‌

Fairbanks Mass Timber

If you want to see Mass Timber in to the Fairbanks Museum...walk down Prospect Street...and look to your left. The Tang Science Annex is the first Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) project in Vermont. The structure is being set this week. It's awesome. Below, Ricky McLain of WoodWorks did an awesome video detailing the process of using Eastern Hemlock on the project. Incredible video.

Things I've Learned

If you show your work, even if you don't have it all figured out, you will attract others circling the same problems. It's like a bug light.

One of the leading experts on residential green building (in the world) lives a few miles up the road in Sheffield.

One of the leading experts on Mass Timber (in the world)  lives a few miles up the road in Cabot.

Goats will eat the siding off your house. When your wife tells you to build a fence, do it.

People often prefer a problem they can't solve, to a solution they don't like.

There is a maker space in Lyndonville called The Foundry that has 2 laser cutters for quick prototyping. It's an awesome resource. Check this out:‌

Thougth Prodders

America's Scarcity Mindset

Assessing the Wood Supply and Investment Potential for a New England Engineered Wood Products Mill 2017

Lake Flato - Porch House

Locked Out - Vermont's Housing Crisis Special Report

How Vermont's Housing Crisis Got So Bad