I spent the morning touring Monticello and its trails and gardens yesterday. #thomasjefferson #UVA #inspiration #monticello
While I’ve toured Monticello numerous times before, there was a lot more that I appreciated this time around given that I’m taking a class on Sustainable Building Design and Construction. Jefferson was years ahead of his time when it comes to sustainable architecture. The tour guide informed our group that Monticello was most likely the first house in the U.S. to use skylights, and Jefferson included them to maximize the use of natural sunlight inside. He also hung large mirrors across from windows to naturally brighten rooms. Using triple-sash windows, residents and visitors could easily open up one or two panes to facilitate air movement or even create a doorway to go outside. Jefferson tried to maximize the use of space by building beds into alcoves and using the space above beds for closets and storage. He also designed an innovative rainwater collection system to supplement his water supply.
In keeping with Jefferson’s ideals, the Visitor Center is also a USGBC LEED Gold certified building. I hope to return to Monticello soon for Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Gardens Tour.