Blog : adaptDESIGN Green Story: Redefining Green Architecture

By Theresa | May 8, 2014 | in

AdaptDESIGN, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, takes pride in bringing sustainability into every aspect of their architecture firm. Robert Cook and Paul Fowler, cofounders of Adapt, specialize in designing beautiful homes that complement the land they are built on. By focusing on three fundamental aspects of architecture - creative practicality, durability, and regionalism – Adapt designs homes that please environmentalists and architecture lovers alike.

For Cook and Fowler, creative practicality comes with constant assessment of the size, scale, and program of each project. By considering how a building will naturally fit into a site, Adapt can maximize energy efficiency. For example, many homes designed by Adapt have large southerly windows that take advantage of passive solar heating. According to Cook, creating energy-efficient buildings is not a far fetched dream; “it’s just good design. We design homes that fit the build site.”

AdaptDESIGN creates homes that can be enjoyed for years to come. By building with durable, high-quality materials, homes last for many generations. This reduces waste and benefits both the environment and the homeowner. When choosing building materials, Adapt prefers to work with local business owners. This cuts down on transportation costs and improves the local economy. By combining creative practicality, durability, and regional purchasing, AdaptDESIGN has incorporated sustainability into the backbone of their business.

Adapt implements green building practices in a variety of ways. Cook and Fowler have created a high-performing building envelope that uses the power of the sun to passively heat the homes. Adapt also regularly incorporates alternative energy sources into their designs, including geothermal, solar, and wind. Adapt’s environmental efforts are above and beyond the industry standard. They operate on the idea that their designs should be on a “2030 level.” “By 2030, we believe that energy efficient homes will be the norm,” explains Paul. “By pushing ourselves to think forward, we are building cutting edge homes for sustainable living.”

Cook and Fowler have also incorporated sustainability into their own lives, both at work and at home. The Adapt office is furnished with rescued furniture, and the southerly placement of the office allows Adapt to work without using electric lights. Cook and Fowler often carpool, bike, or walk to work. The architects also take pride in giving back to their community. As a business, Adapt regularly works with Strawberry Banke, and recently supported a sustainable building project in Nicaragua. Fowler sits on the Mayor of Portsmouth’s Sustainability Committee, and Cook has volunteered with the York Energy Committee. Both are involved with Plan New Hampshire, an environmental planning nonprofit.

GREEN DREAMS

AdaptDESIGN is currently working on plans for ready-to-build net-zero home designs. Net-zero homes will roughly use the same amount of energy that is created on site on an annual basis. Along with being environmentally friendly, these homes can be incredibly cost effective. Net-zero homes are the future of eco-friendly home design, and Adapt is ready for the challenge of making their dreams a reality. Cook and Fowler are excited to continue learning about green building developments and to incorporate new ideas into their designs.

This Green Story was written as part of the Green Alliance sustainability certification process. You can read the full evaluation and report card at the adaptDESIGN Green Alliance page.