One of the most celebrated homebuilders in America, Tedd Benson and his company, Bensonwood, are true champions of the traditional timber-frame home — with a modern twist.
Ask any member of the timber-frame community who has had a major impact on reviving the art of traditional timber framing, and you’ll most likely hear the same response time and time again: Tedd Benson. Tedd literally wrote the book on timberframing. In fact, his books were instrumental in America’s timberframe revival.
Tedd began by studying old barns and houses before building his first few timberframes, recreating the joinery he found in those historic spaces. Along the way, his work attracted dedicated woodworkers into the hill country of southwestern New Hampshire and Benson Woodworking Company was formed. Together, these coworkers and adventurers rediscovered the long-forgotten craft of framing buildings with heavy timbers, as they worked to meld centuries-old craft with the needs of contemporary buildings — insulation, plumbing, electricity, and communication systems.
Bensonwood’s efforts yielded a near endless series of innovative ideas. As Bensonwood has grown, the relentless drive toward better building strategies has continued.
Today, while Bensonwood is still known for its exceedingly artful timberframe homes, it is also, arguably, the most innovative homebuilder of hybrid and non-timbered, panelized homes as well. Through its fabrication of highly insulated and finished panelized assemblies, and its proprietary Open-Built® strategies that make the home flexible and adaptable to the owners’ needs over time, Bensonwood has become acknowledged as the premier designer/builder of energy-efficient, high-performance homes across the US and Canada. Among these are a LEED Platinum, Net-Zero residence in Maine that creates as much energy as it consumes, and a Passive House in Vermont that requires no furnace.
Now, forty years after his start, Tedd’s line of green, prefab Unity Homes is now bringing sustainable, high-performance amenities to the masses — a responsibility Tedd feels very passionate about. “If a civilization is defined by anything, it’s the quality of the homes that people lived in during the height of that civilization. As professional homebuilders, we have a responsibility to create the highest quality buildings we can, and to create a legacy for future generations,” he says.
And consumers, he says, have the same responsibility to build smart. “It is so important for people to be focused on the underlying qualities of the building — the structure, insulation and architecture — so, my advice to our clients is that you can always upgrade your amenities, carpets and furniture, but you have this one shot to make a really high-quality building. And that should never be squandered.”
Bensonwood has more than 80 people working toward one common goal: to create better homes and commercial structures for a more rewarding living experience and a sustainable future.