This blog is about the process of renovating a vintage Airstream trailer using sustainable (‘green’) practices & materials, and sharing the many lessons learned, challenges faced, resources found, and inspirations sparked along the way.
I am currently working for a construction management company in NYC and am based on Long Island, but throughout the last fall & winter I’ve been a student at Yestermorrow Design / Build School in Waitsfield, VT, completing their certificate program in Sustainable Building & Design. One of my motivations in working on this renovation is to for it to be my final project for the certificate. I’m excited at the opportunity to explore what it means to renovate a mobile home structure that has all of its systems and useable living space within 160 square feet! And through this exercise, I expect to learn more about what it means to live modestly and responsibly, while enjoying the freedom and empowerment that will come with it.
For the moment, the scope is to begin by financing and purchasing a vintage Airstream, do any initial cleanup and tear-out, determine needed parts and a working budget, develop an interior design, and to implement plumbing, electrical systems, and complete basic structural renovation.
I chose the Airstream because I have a passion for travel and independence, and because the ‘Airstream lifestyle’ encourages simplicity & interaction with nature and other people. I believe that it is valuable to explore how one can rescue a relic of domesticity from the automotive age from the landfill, and help reposition ‘The Silver Bullet’ as an iconoclast in promoting a more ecologically thoughtful lifestyle.
Through my classes at Yestermorrow, I’ve already learned a lot about sustainable building & design (more on those experiences later), but really just enough to know that I can delve into it much further through a hands-on project like this one. I love working with my hands, but I’m very much a beginner at everything I’ll be learning through this process, so I hope that the experiences offered here will help others to find their confidence, get inspired to explore new insights, or enjoy a few moments of entertainment. I’m happy to share what I learn and have to consider, each step of the way.
Long Island, NY
June 18th, 2012
[UPDATE: The above is my original introduction, but the recent transition from this being a school project to a primarily more personal one is outlined here. Of course, feel free to check out the archives and latest posts to follow along with this story!]