Langlais Sculpture Preserve gets energy efficiency updates

Fri, 05/08/2015 - 2:30pm

    The 90-acre Cushing homestead of Maine artist Bernard Langlais will soon be gifted to the Georges River Land Trust as the Langlais Sculpture Preserve, but first it's getting an energy efficiency makeover.

    "The Georges River Land Trust is thrilled to work with Colby College and Kohler Foundation to celebrate Bernard Langlais's legacy," Gail Presley, the Land Trust's Executive Director, said in a news release. "Langlais was inspired by the Maine landscape, so this preservation project is focused on conserving natural resources as well as his work."

    While the Land Trust leads stewardship of the land, creation of trails, and restoration of perennial gardens, and Kohler preserves the ten large wooden sculptures that will remain on site, Evergreen Home Performance is upgrading the 18th century farmhouse.

    Home to Bernard and Helen Langlais for more than a decade, the house presents a perfect location for conservation and programming – as well as a number of efficiency challenges.

    "Like a lot of old buildings, the Langlais house was long on charm and history, but short on comfort and efficiency," said Brian Robinson, the Evergreen Home Performance Energy Advisor who assessed the property and engineered upgrades. "Fortunately, these buildings have the potential to function quite similarly to modern homes, once they're fully upgraded."

    In the first phase, Evergreen improved the attic with air sealing and cellulose insulation, and installed a durable, operable attic hatch. These upgrades will keep warm conditioned air from leaking up and out during the heating season, and, in the summer, keep super-heated air from leaking down into the cooler interior.

    Phase two will likely include basement encapsulation to eliminate moisture problems and insulating walls to continue maximizing comfort and efficiency. "The first phase of energy efficiency upgrades have addressed the critical needs for keeping the house warm," said Presley. "We hope to be able to raise the funds to complete the second phase to assure the house will be dry and comfortable, and keep the Langlais legacy alive for many years to come."

    On July 12, Georges River Land Trust is hosting their 24th annual Gardens in the Watershed Tour and this year's tour-goers can get a sneak peek of the Langlais property, sculptures, and more-efficient farmhouse during. For more information on the Preserve or the Garden Tour, visit or call 594-5166.

    For more information on energy efficiency upgrades like those Evergreen Home Performance installed at the Langlais house, visit