University of Vermont

Alumni House Historic Restoration & New Pavilion


  • Best Builder’s Award
    Outstanding Quality of Work and Effort in Building, Historic Building Renovations
    Associated General Contractors of Vermont– AGC


Bread Loaf provided Design/Build services to the University of Vermont and Alumni Foundation for the historic restoration, preservation and adaptive reuse of the 1892 Edward Wells House at 61 Summit Street in Burlington. The UVM Alumni House, along with the new 6,000 sf pavilion addition, will now provide a home and event space for visiting alumni and campus guests, and provide additional administrative space for UVM Foundation staff.

Improvements to the 18,000 sf landmark building included full restoration and preservation of significant historic architectural details and upgrades to meet current life safety code requirements. Upgrades included: sprinkler, fire alarm and CO2 monitoring systems; a new elevator and egress stairs; zoned HVAC systems; phone and data infrastructure. Exterior improvements included: perimeter drainage and waterproofing; full window restoration; envelope improvements; interior storm windows; additional parking and landscaping.

The new 6,000 sf pavilion addition provides a versatile event space for up to 220 guests and includes a catering kitchen. The pavilion features open glazing and multiple doors to the new porch and lawn event area with landscaped connections to the historic Grasse Mount building. The Design/Build team incorporated larch millwork harvested from UVM’s own forest, environmental friendly, local and natural materials, a gas fireplace, folding partitions (to divide the space into two or three smaller spaces) and a state of the art video and sound system. The design of the pavilion is subservient and complimentary to the original Wells House, set back from the front façade of the 1892 house and with lower roof lines and a delicate connecting bridge between the two structures. The project was completed in September, 2016 and is LEED Silver Certification.

Green Building/Sustainable Design

  • Complete envelope analysis of the existing building to ensure protection of the existing masonry
  • Heat pump, system with minimal duct work strategically located within basement, floors and ceilings to maximize the preservation of original interiors, provides heat and air conditioning to the historic building
  • Increased thermal efficiency while respecting original structure: Added exterior insulation below grade; Minimal spray foam insulation within first floor to preserve walls; Added cellulose and Roxsul in attic and upper floor; added Interior storm windows
  • Complete structural upgrade of existing building to meet today’s codes yet maintain interior layout
  • Added interior egress stairs, elevator and mechanical shafts used existing utility spaces to minimize demolition of historic interior
  • 1892 building upgraded to be fully code compliant for fire protection, fire alarm, life safety
  • Materials selected to meet LEED standards for indoor air quality
  • Original hand carved interior woodwork restored or repaired with same material
  • Original light fixtures restored and brought to UL rating and re-installed
  • New high efficiency light fixtures installed throughout renovated and new spaces
  • A waiting room within the Pavilion replicated millwork from bedroom that was lost in original building due to location of new elevator
  • Pavilion maximized daylighting, utilizes large overhangs for shading and weather protection, and incorporated dormers and cupolas for additional daylighting
  • Pavilion utilizes local materials, including larch milled from UVM forest