With the Common Ground Fair going full digital force this weekend, we wanted to introduce you to one of BrightBuilt Home's builders who also just so happens to be an organic farmer! Meet John Roscoe, of Roscoe Builders, who is based in Sullivan, Maine, where he splits his time between current construction sites on MDI and the farmstead on the mainland. I mean.... can we have baby goats on ALL of our job sites, please?
Check out what John has to say about his background in high-performance home building, as well as his other loves of farming, growing, and adventuring throughout Maine.
What is your history with building high-performance homes? How did you get started?
I came to construction and high performance home building as many outdoor enthusiasts in this state do...through the side door. I spent my twenties and early thirties pursuing outdoor adventure, expedition kayaking and guiding sea kayak trips along the coast of Maine. I found myself drawn to construction in the off season. I soon realized that the steady work of fine home construction was fulfilling, and where I wanted to commit my energy. Over the last 15 years I have been lucky to work with some exceptional people who have been advancing building efficiency standards, and creating beautiful homes. As the building codes have stubbornly caught up with the building science, and the absolute need to build the most efficient homes possible, high-performance and passive standards have become more mainstream. From 2005 to 2017 I was a foreman with Peacock Builders building exceptional architect driven designs with a heavy leaning toward “green building” and maximum efficiency. When I started Roscoe Builders in 2017 I was fortunate enough to begin working again with Kaplan Thompson Architects. Their commitment to passive and near passive design is inspired and beautiful. I am driven by a desire to build beautiful homes as energy efficiently as possible.
What brought you to BrightBuilt?
Working with Kaplan Thompson opened the door to BrightBuilt. I have been interested with the concept of modular construction as it has evolved and become as efficient, and design driven, as site built homes. Working with BrightBuilt is a natural, and comfortable fit.
What specifically do you find appealing about the off-site construction approach?
Factory built modular construction has advantages. Over the years I have found myself framing complicated homes in adverse winter conditions and wondering if there wasn’t a more efficient approach. I love the challenge, and I am sure I will be there again, but there is a lot to be said for climate controlled construction when the schedule dictates a December start. Its also pretty advantageous to be able to start site work and structure building simultaneously.
Aside from building, we understand you also are a MOFGA certified organic farmer. Can you share some insights on what that is like?
When I am not on the job site or at the desk I can be found farming with my partner Jenny. Our mixed vegetable operation is based on a reduced tillage system focused on improving soil health. We have operated Wild Tilth Farm since 2010, and our vegetables have been MOFGA Certified Organic for the past five seasons. We were fortunate to have been part of the MOFGA Journey Person program which gave us access to a community of farmers who are endlessly giving of their vast and varied knowledge. The experience was nothing short of amazing. MOFGA is to the world of farming what NESEA is to the built environment. With organizations of like- minded people there is hope that our global future might be brighter.
What are your other interests you pursue when you are not on the job site or the farm?
We still try to get out in our kayaks whenever we can; though not for a month at a time anymore. We enjoy taking our dogs and goat herd for long walks through the woods, and more recently working in the forest with our Haflinger horses.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain. Vote like the world depends on it!
Thank you, John! Looking forward to featuring the BrightBuilts you’re building on MDI soon!