Our Construction Guidelines

Our Construction Guidelines


In August 1993, The Main Street Landing Company commissioned William Maclay Architects and Planners to develop sustainable design principles for the Main Street Landing project. William Maclay, John Quinney, Blair Hamilton and the Main Street Landing design team worked on that draft. The draft, developed and refined during the early months of 2000, reflected the involvement of the Main Street Landing development and design team and environmental design consultants, William Maclay and Andy Shapiro of Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. These guidelines built on the work of many practitioners and sources in the sustainable design field.

The environmental goals, guidelines and strategies that follow were developed to assist the Main Street Landing Company with developing Burlington Waterfront projects that incorporated realistic, attainable and cost-effective sustainable design strategies. The overall intent of this effort was to minimize the environmental impacts of construction and demonstrate opportunities for implementing emerging and existing environmentally responsible technologies and methods. The more specific intent of the document was to identify sustainable design strategies that could be utilized by the design and construction teams in the Main Street Landing Waterfront Project.

Read more about our Design and Construction Principles

5 Basic Guidelines

With all of our projects, we strove to meet 5 basic guidelines. 

Sensitivity of the Design to Water. Although this project is set back from the water's edge, the site plan functions as a crucial link between city and water. The building shapes are filled with allusions to water elements such as boats, waves and fish.

Quality and Harmony of Design. The building shapes are not arbitrary but were shaped by forces moving across the site and the provision of public spaces. The buildings incorporate variation and individuality adding interest to the eye and landscape but also a great deal of harmony through common circulation systems, recurring forms such as curves and towers, and details such as lights and railing colors.

Civic Contribution. It was critical that the Main Street Landing Project demonstrate that a private project could feel public and not like an exclusive enclave. The project included not only mixed uses and incomes but created linkages and a transportation hub, demonstrating that a private development could back to the city.

Environmental. Stormwater runoff is captured in a cistern and then filtered a stormwater garden before reentering the city system. Insofar as possible materials were evaluated for environmental impact: Walls are insulated with dense pack cellulose; toilet partitions are made from recycled milk bottles; roof terrace tiles are made from recycled tires. A central, gas fired, heating and cooling system serves all three buildings.

Collaboration/Diversity. This project revolved around collaboration between the three architects, client and the countless meetings with groups and individuals to analyze the site and the city's needs before beginning design. The design has continuity, which allow the public to feel comfortable to flow through and around the site, but the actual buildings reflect the diversity of each architect's individual interpretation of the master plan and allow for a range of uses and incomes.