Pat Shingleton for Monday, June 3, 2013

In the 18th and 19th centuries, a barn was the first, largest and most costly structure needed for the family and a “barn raising” was an event that brought neighbors together to build it. The Amish still embrace this effort, and as noted in a previous column, Home Energy Efficient Team borrowed the barn-raising idea to gather neighbors to weatherproof local houses four years ago. The Boston Globe noted local residents join construction experts to insulate pipes, install weather stripping and weatherize homes for the winter. Homeowners pay for the necessary materials as well as refreshments for the “barn-raising event” parties. HEET organizers have been successful in improving the energy efficiency of homes and in educating residents to maintain an environmentally healthy home. Fastcast: Comfortable.