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Wild Horse


The West Coast team was on site this spring raising what can only be described as a cathedral-like horse barn. One of the most intense barns New Energy Works has designed & raised, this one with the added challenge of being in the Alvord Desert in southwest Oregon.


Wild Horse


The Alvord is actually a (mostly) dry lakebed that stretches for miles: flat and lifeless with a chapped sandy surface.  It’s worth the visit, but be prepared, there's only one gas station and no grocery stores for 100 miles.


Wild Horse


The team spent two weeks on site raising the frame in 40 mile an hour winds, blazing hot sun some days, and snowstorms on others. Still, when picking giant bents, you can’t bring a timber framer down when their passion and spirits are high.


Wild Horse


“I had a lot of fun doing it. And I mean that. We got to play with some interesting crane rigging,” Darren Watson our west coast Timber Frame Lead shared, getting rather building geeky with glee. “Skookum with pulleys…two different points…spreader bar…and keeping it balanced. It was pretty neat.”


Right at home
“Lighting is an important part of designing a home from the inside out. Low voltage accent lighting highlights architectural features while stylistic fixtures identify the gathering spaces.”
-Diana Gerken Interior Designer - New Energy Works


When Mark and his wife set out to craft a timber frame home in central New York State, the journey started with finding the right piece of country real estate to build on. Once they had acquired the land to develop, it became time to design their new family home.


Right at home
“During the design process we often ask ourselves: How will they know where to go? Here the main entry is called attention to by a trellised walking path from the face of the garage to an expressive covered entry, which extends to be the most prominent extension on the main facade.” - Kyle Zinteck, RA New Energy Works


“We customed designed our home, so it is exactly what we wanted. My wife and I are not youthful anymore, so we had a clear idea of what we needed for the next 25 years or so,” Mark shared. “We have a large extended family, so we designed the house around our need to host large groups of people to accommodate our family when they visit.”


Simplicity of form


Rolling seaside hills serve as the backdrop to this barn styled home that was inspired by traditional timber frame barn designs familiar to the surrounding area. This home truly celebrates the simplicity of its form and takes the interior timber structure outward to the exterior.


Simplicity of form


“The western side of the home was purposely designed to be the primary entry to the house, and you approach that entry by car,” said Michael Schmitt AIA, the Architect on the project.  “Our idea was that space could be where the whole design revealed itself, where part of the exterior is pulled back to reveal some of the interior timber structure and express some of the frame from the inside on the outside. It is also where the garage is, so even guests would arrive on that side of the house and come up a few steps into the exposed barn structure and then into the interior.”


Simplicity of form


“The design idea was to express the barn frame from the interior out to the exterior in that one location of the home, but It also breaks down the monotony of a 100-foot by 30-foot barn,” Michael continued. “The visual actually erodes at that corner and becomes the barn frame, which is what we tried to express throughout the whole project, the beautiful simplicity of the barn’s timber frame.”













See more: Fine Homebuilding Magazine


Project Credits: 


Solar Partner: SunCommon

Timber Frame: New Energy Works

Engineer: Sellers Treybal Structural Engineers 


Now available in New York & Vermont

Coming soon to the West Coast U.S.A.


See our case study: The Solar Canopy | New Energy Works





Dibella's Truss


Recently our team revisited one of our favorite restaurant locations near our Farmington New York campus to install a decorative custom-made reclaimed Douglas fir truss.


Dibella's Truss


This flagship Dibella’s Italian Market location is in the nearby town of Henrietta and features extensive woodwork from our fine woodworking division NEWwoodworks, who have over the course of several years crafted a series of heavy timber craftsmen style tables, butcher block counters, and booth tabletops featuring reclaimed Heart Pine provided by our sister company Pioneer Millworks, as well as built in shelving & paneling among other features.


Dibella's Truss


This past year we retuned once again to the location to raise an expansive fully custom 44-foot-long freestanding parallel-cord truss that artfully divides the expansive dining space. The choice to use reclaimed 12x12 Douglas fir timbers with Heart Pine accents speaks to the idea of old-world craft which Debella’s embodies.




(585) Magazine recently covered one of our favorite recent Design + Build projects in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. This project combined all our related services, Timber Frame, Design + Build, HPEz, fine woodworking from NEWwoodworks, and our sister company Pioneer Millworks.








More from (585): (585) magazine - Rochester, NY (


Related Content:


Long-Term Lake Front | New Energy Works


Natural materials for a custom home: Design Q&A | Pioneermillworks



Project Credits:


Architect: New Energy Works

Builder: New Energy WorksHigh-Performance Enclosure: New Energy Works

Engineer: Fire Tower Engineered Timber 

Reclaimed Wood: Pioneer Millworks 

Fine Woodworking: NEWwoodworks 

GBD 2022


This New Energy Works project in North Georgia was recently featured in a feature editorial by our friends at Green Building + Design Magazine (GB+D) in the “Warmth of Wood” Winter 2022 issue that focuses on sustainable modern designs and the beauty & practicality of wood in the design + build industry.

Featuring an interview with our own David Shirley AIA, NCARB from our west coast team, the sweeping feature touches on almost every aspect of New Energy Works including design, timber frame, high-performance enclosures, fine woodworking from NEWwoodworks, and reclaimed wood from our sister company Pioneer Millworks.   



Photos by Garey Gomez


GBD 2022


GBD 2022


GBD 2022


On a recent weekend I visited 21 sites in New York from Friday night until Sunday evening.  I was touring with some west coast-based members of our timber framing team.  The goal is sharing, connecting, and learning from recent and ongoing projects as well as some from our long past.  I think I’ll write more about this trip in an upcoming post, as we were all deeply affected, with a Friday night ride on the Buffalo Heritage Carousel and ending with an acapella performance at Christ Church in Rochester and touring the Baroque period organ project there.


Buffalo Heritage Tesla
The Buffalo Heritage Carousel | New Energy Works Dana, Jonathan, Kelsey, and Bill riding the carousel in Buffalo
Organ Project
Tuesday Pipes – Organ, Sacred Music, and Historical Keyboards - Eastman School of Music (


The tour left us all pretty stunned.  Even for me, who had been part of these projects.  Seeing it all together like this was magic, if a bit overwhelming.

Towards the end of Sunday, we were at our longtime clients Tom and Karen’s place in the Finger Lakes when Tom said, “Hey our neighbor Larry stopped by and when he heard you were coming was adamant you guys visit him as well.”  Wow, a total warm wind of memory whipped right through.  Larry H.  We built for him in 1988.  And when his name comes up, so do the stories…


We work all over the country, but you already knew that.  And while there is no doubt that it’s great to get back home the night of a raising when it’s local to either our Western New York or McMinnville, Oregon shops, the truth is most of us like to travel, and that we get to do!  

Summer Photos


Out here on the West Coast, where I spend most of my time, we’ve had a summer of unreal views and sights (and sites). Someone asked me recently where we’ve been.  Lessee...  Yosemite, Leavenworth, Flathead Lake, Carmel, Lake Lapeer, Michigan…  Wait Michigan?  You bet.  


Most of our clients and much of our industry are looking for their timber frames in Douglas fir, so doing these out of our west coast shop makes a lot of sense as we are in the midst of Doug-fir-land here in Oregon.  We also feel strongly that whenever possible our timbers should be kiln dried.  It just makes a better final product.  And yes, we’re in the middle of kiln country as well.


So, sending a large set of hammer beam trusses and bents to a beautiful Michigan lake fits.


Summer Photos


Summer Photos


As does Yosemite, where we are returning next week to finish the exterior timbers on the top of this hill.  


We’re fortunate to have a variety of landscapes within New York State. Those who are passionate about the outdoors, mountains, lakes, and the accompanying passions of skiing, hiking, water sports, and more, can find a bit of it all “upstate”. The Adirondack Mountains, the Finger Lakes Region, and even Western NY each offer opportunity for these pastimes. Shane and his family found their East Coast calling near Old Forge in the Adirondacks. 


Upon purchasing a special plot of land, planning and projects began. Beginning with a garage that included a living space, the family then spruced up the grounds, rebuilt the boathouse, and in the final stage, turned attention to creating the main house. 

porch view
A deep wrap-around porch standing on stone pillars dominates one side of the home overlooking a pristine Adirondack lake. Materials and tones match across the property from garage, to boathouse, to house with two-tone brown cedar shakes, Saratoga granite, and timber trusses under gables.


Design project


This particular design project utilizes six salvaged trusses that were reclaimed from a church demolition and serve as the bones for the “A” frame shape of the 17/12 pitched roof.  Our architects sketched the trusses in such a way that the two areas created a twin main volume, connected by a glass breezeway.

Taking inspiration from modern design aesthetics, we incorporated steel and strapping on the reclaimed trusses to accentuate the existing hardware and character of the wood.  Each volume was then treated with a different finish material in order to provide a visual delineation.

This 3,600 Square foot design offers a split floorplan with the great-room, kitchen and accompanying loft on one side, while the bedrooms occupy the other.


Guest Author: New Energy Works, Dave Cratty

We all have those dreams of wanting to leave it all behind and live off the grid.  Find a place in the Adirondack mountains, on a remote lake, and just surround yourself with nature and the outdoors.  The question is, how do you deliver and raise a beautiful timber frame lake house to a location that no roads have touched?  The answer, by boat.  

external shot


Our New Energy Works timber frame crew spent seven tireless days, traveling back and forth by barge to deliver, off load and raise by hand, this beautiful 1361 square foot bungalow.  The homeowner’s plan to utilize this location in the warmer seasonal months, created a unique opportunity to use a 3x tongue and groove design for the walls, while every door frame and window were outlined with timber.  The layout offered an open floor plan and offering visitors an unobstructed views of the private lake from this cozy, secluded cabin.

Timber Frame In the Adirondacks--The View


Timber Frame In the Adirondacks


Timber Frame In the Adirondacks


No, it is not built into an earthen bank, rather this traditionally inspired timber frame ‘barn’ has had a financial bank built into it. Welcome to the newest branch of LNB (Lyons National Bank):


Waving corn fields and tight rows of soybeans have given way to smooth grass, colorful signage, and numerous clusters of homes within the Town of Farmington in Ontario County, NY. Grow though the Town has, respecting and celebrating their rural roots is of utmost importance to the community. When LNB approached the Town about a site that was home to the second oldest structure in the County, a farmhouse that has stood for two centuries, there was some skepticism. But at the core LNB is about community. The Town became excited by the bank’s proposal: LNB wanted to embrace the old homestead, the Hathaway House, endeavoring to preserve, celebrate, and open it to the community as part of their new branch. 
(More on the history of the home and property was provided by the Hathaway Sisters, who shared stories, photos, and personal memories around the old homestead, as celebrated by LNB here.)   

The Canalside waterfront entertainment district in Buffalo NY, a popular destination for locals and visitors, will add another attraction this summer: a fully restored 1920’s carousel! The carousel will be housed within a gazebo-inspired timber frame pavilion with glass walls.


“The timber frame is an 80’ octagon with a clerestory. A 1500 lb steel octagon ring in the center will allow timber rafters to connect and light to come down from the clerestory,” explains Owen MacDonald, our lead timber frame engineer for the carousel. “We’ll have plenty of equipment for the raising: a large scissor lift, all-terrain forklift, two large cranes…and lots of muscle.”

We’re excited share more of the story on our long-time banking partner, LNB (Lyons National Bank), and their newest community branch which we raised just up the road from our Farmington, NY shop.

The first bent is raised for the new LNB Farmington NY branch, early 2020. Photo (C) Jim Kerins.
June 2020 the new LNB Farmington branch is making quick progress.

While the branch is quickly heading towards completion, we wanted to re-cap some of the processes involved in getting there:

LNB has a focus on people and is always very involved in the local communities, ethos that parallel our own. The Farmington branch site includes a historic home that is being preserved and refreshed. A new timber frame, connecting to the historic home, will accommodate the bank’s main operations.

Professional Photography: Susan Teare Photography

It's a very unique structure, with amazing views. The New Energy Works team took a complex project and made it look easy. The clients love it! They enjoy the sense of place and the level of craftsmanship in their new porch.” – John Steel, Steel Construction, builder for High on the Hilltop.


The clients were determined to turn an existing timber frame home into their full-time residence with some general remodeling work and a significant rework on the kitchen and entry. They wanted to take advantage of the view of the Green Mountains of Vermont with outdoor living space. Following the natural topography and exposed bedrock of the landscape, a timber frame “bridge” and large screened porch was added. 

5,000 feet above elevation, a 5-month build window, US Forest Service rules controlling everything from color to shape to size to the anthropology of the site…This project required extraordinary planning, prefabrication, and architect/builder/client coordination. The cabin is located on Odell Lake which sits atop the Cascade Mountains of South-Central Oregon, God’s country by all of our definitions. Dan Hill, architect and co-founder of Arbor South Architecture the design & build group that spearheaded this west coast cabin project, provided more of the story in a guest post below: 


Photo (c) Loren Nelson Photography.
Photo (c) Loren Nelson Photography.


Daniel Hill, founder, architect, and certified master builder: Arbor South Architecture in Eugene OR. Pictured with canine companion, Willow.
Daniel Hill, founder, architect, and certified master builder: Arbor South Architecture in Eugene OR. Pictured with canine companion, Willow.


The site is located on the west side of Odell Lake in the beautiful Cascade Mountain Range in an area with small, early to mid-century cabins under land leases by the US Forest Service. Our client had purchased the cabin and land lease with the intention of remodeling the existing 1940’s cabin. It became clear that the old structure had too many issues–including extensive mold (sick house), no perimeter foundation, multiple structural, electrical, and plumbing problems–to salvage or remodel.


LNB (The Lyons National Bank) recently broke ground for a new branch in Farmington, NY. The site includes a historic home that is being preserved and refreshed. A new timber frame, connecting to the historic home, will be raised to accommodate the bank’s main operations.

The historic Hathaway House (left), new bank space (center timber frame “barn”), and timber frame drive-thru pavilion (right).

“As a company, we’ve long been clients of LNB; we admire their deliberate focus on the individual and business needs of each community they join–and their commitment to doing right by the planet,” said Bryan, project lead from our timber frame engineering team. “We’ve been privileged to work with LNB on several of their branches and we’re excited that they’re opening just down the road from our headquarters in Farmington.”

Below: A previous project with LNB for their Canandaigua NY branch included a timber frame core crafted with reclaimed Douglas fir timbers sourced by Pioneer Millworks.

The finishing touches are complete! This timber frame lake home in the Finger Lakes started with our design team and wrapped up with our build team over the Summer:



New Energy Works (NEW) has done a phenomenal job for our family from the design concept to the finished lake house. In the very beginning, the team made a point to learn what was important to us and what we envisioned. Throughout the process, NEW made sure those things that were important to us were their focus.” – Jim and Tina, homeowners.


The home has quickly become the hub of family gatherings for multiple generations. Open in a 180-degree expanse, on a point locally known as Allen’s Point, our design group explained that the home’s layout is intended to make the most of the sweeping lake views.

The owners of this timber frame lakeside retreat enjoyed the original lake farmhouse on the site for many years. When it became apparent that their beloved lake house had outlived its use, they made the bittersweet decision to deconstruct it in favor of a new home.




The land, the lake, and home’s impact there was a driving force in the design. Our design team started with respecting the local vernacular and maintaining existing trees and then included advanced enclosure and mechanical systems, FSC-certified® and reclaimed wood flooring and siding, roofing made of recycled wood fiber and rubber, and a geothermal heat system—all resulting in energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact.


In keeping with local vernacular, the road side facia of this cottage home is modest and welcoming.
In keeping with local vernacular, the road side facia of this cottage home is modest and welcoming.


Project enclosure systems are one of the biggest areas to benefit from high-performance building techniques, and there are several options: SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) and our Matrix & Matrix-S Wall system, to name a few. As we push for better envelopes and efficiencies with every project, we’re applying decades of experience in creating turnkey timber frame structures to crafting prefabricated wall systems.




“When you buy a car, no one shows up at your house with all the parts and builds your new car in your driveway, right? So why build walls on-site?” asked Eric, our Timber Frame General Manager.


A project’s design is further developed in building modeling software where potential problems can be identified and solved immediately, prior to fabrication and prior to being on-site. Redundancy assures accuracy: we believe in building it twice—virtually then actually. Creating these systems off-site allows for a climate-controlled environment, reduction in material waste during construction (off-site and on-site), and increases the efficiency/speed of site production. All while minimizing our coworkers’ time out of town.




“That’s not a glulam!” I said, incredulously. 

“It is!” Eric insisted with a laugh, raising his hands in defense.

Seeing as Eric is one of the most sincere and honest people around, I figured he had to be right. “Okay,” I replied. “Let’s talk glulams.”

Glulam use around the world has developed into some crazy, creative, and nearly unbelievable structures:


Glulams have been incorporated around the world for very intricate and challenging designs, such as this pavilion project for the 2015 Mulan World Expo by X-TU’s Architects in France.
Glulams have been incorporated around the world for very intricate and challenging designs, such as this pavilion project for the 2015 Mulan World Expo by X-TU’s Architects in France.


Some of the basics on glued laminated timbers (glulams) that I commonly hear: they come in just about any size and shape (meaning they can make spans that solid timber simply doesn’t grow to); they can achieve geometric shapes and structural performance that is otherwise unattainable with solid timber; they’re inherently stable and dry; they have visible layers of wood. As a visual person the look is always top of mind for me which is where this conversation started:


The project that started this conversation…what do you think of the curving bottom chord of this timber and steel truss? Solid or glulam? (Check out the end of this post for the answer.)
The project that started this conversation…what do you think of the curving bottom chord of this timber and steel truss? Solid or glulam? (Check out the end of this post for the answer.)


I had taken to saying this project was moving at “monastery time” for Mount Angel Abbey’s Benedictine Brewery. Meaning, of course, it was progressing at its own pace, and not overly concerned with a particular speed or efficiency the secular and commercial world might expect. It had been three years since Chris Jones, the project manager and enterprise guy for the monks and I had started talking, excited at the idea of doing a traditional timber frame raising with people from the monastery, the community of Mt. Angel, friends and coworkers, and more. I had this crazy vision of 50 or so monks in flowing red robes with pike poles and ropes.

On a recent Saturday, it (almost) all came true. No robes. This was likely a good thing.




One hundred volunteers gathered early on November 11th, listened thoughtfully to a strategy introduction, a safety meeting, and got at it. November in Oregon is dicey at best, but I really laughed as I watched the weather forecast. Here’s a screenshot from a day or so ahead of time:




I couldn’t help but acknowledge the amazing timing of sunny weather to some of the brothers. “We worked really hard on that one,” they laughed.


Of the people who showed up to help, about 50 or so were from Mount Angel Abbey, the monastery at the top of the hill where we were working. A willing and fun group. My son Jake, who was running the drone video, said he was surprised at how normal they seemed. Okay. I had to agree. Normal, with a bit of a prankster-ish edge, I’d add.


On New Years Day, 2015 a devastating fire claimed the St. Pius X Church in the Town of Chili, New York. As church leaders and hundreds of parishioners gathered the resounding desire was to rebuild. Fast forward to December 2016, and after raising the necessary funding to rebuild, the church’s future took shape. Hanlon Architects designed a large, open interior volume with visible timber framing. Working closely with Hanlon and the Nichols Construction Team, our timber frame engineering team applied their know-how to refine and finalize the timber truss design.





“With a 36’ clear center aisle, supported with hammer beam style trusses and 33’ long keyed beam rafters to support the flanking shed roofs, this is truly going to be a magnificently expansive space for many to enjoy,” shared Bryan Bleier, timber frame engineering project leader for the St. Pius X roof system.




I don’t travel and I really don’t like to fly. However, now that our West Coast facility has been running for 5 years I finally made the visit to the Pacific Northwest. It was under the promise of good food, good skiing, and good company that the visit was sold.


Hint: there was good skiing.
Hint: there was good skiing.


Of course there were important business reasons to visit as well. For one, we have a manufacturing facility in McMinnville. Second, most all of the wood we use in our timber frame division is sourced from the area. This visit was an opportunity to put names to faces, connect with people and see how wood is processed before we get our hands on it.

We started off the visit in McMinnville (MAC) on Monday. It was a chance to see our facility and connect with some of the timber frame guys that live on the West Coast. We also met some engineers, kiln operators, and folks from just across the way that buy and sell a ton of wood. These meetings were all about relationship building.

The MAC shop is nicely setup and fully functional. It is well organized and ready for continued success. I enjoyed re-connecting with Darren and Randy especially as they play important roles in the operations of that facility.

Monday night I was treated to a delicious burger at C-Bar in downtown Portland. I believe the burger was called a Chef Burger and what I remember most about ordering was the “Absolutely No Changes” tag line that was included in the description. I forgot all that was on it but do recall how good it was. This alone met the promise of good food but more on that later.

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