The History of Bensonwood
Bensonwood's history begins with the history of building in New England. The durable, honestly crafted buildings framed in heavy timbers and held together by mortise-and-tenon joinery were the dominant form of construction in America until the late 1800s. But the craft of timberframing eventually died, due to new building methods, the westward expansion and the increasing need to build quickly.
In 1974, Tedd Benson observed these remarkable structures — many of which had stood for more than two centuries — and reasoned that the ancient craft of timber framing could be made viable again with modern tools and would yield great benefits in durability and beauty in contemporary homes.
Tedd began by studying old barns and houses before building his first few timber frames, 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.
Their 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 timber frame 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. And to make these building advances accessible to more people, Bensonwood created its 3B Matrix™, a series of Open-Built components that offer a myriad of design possibilities while greatly reducing the design and engineering costs normally associated with high quality construction.
Bensonwood has more than 65 people working toward one common goal: to create better homes and commercial structures for a more rewarding living experience and a sustainable future.