A New York City-based engineering firm has acquired green building consulting firm Fore Solutions of Portland. Fore Solutions founder Gunnar Hubbard says the move will expand the reach of the firm's work on sustainable design.
Hubbard will stay on board with Thornton Tomasetti as a principal and will lead its new Building Sustainability practice. He says officials with Thornton Tomasetti approached him about eight months ago looking to add his firm's skills to its services. He wouldn't disclose the terms of the deal or a purchase price.
Hubbard founded Fore Solutions in 2003 and since then the company's work has received international attention. Its projects include a LEED-platinum certified Hannaford store in Augusta and the new Bosarge Family Education Center at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, another LEED platinum building. Mainebiz named Hubbard a member of its 2011 Next List.
As part of Thornton Tomasetti, Fore Solutions will continue its ongoing work, including projects in Boston, China, the Middle East and Sweden, Hubbard says. "We'll be doing the same work but with their platform," he says. "It's a really neat opportunity for a Maine-based firm to…create a better-built environment."
Thornton Tomasetti has 550 employees and offices in the United States, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, according to a press release. The company's work includes building design and performance, construction support services and historic property restoration. The company first explored green building strategy in 2007 and added a sustainability department in 2010. Acquiring Fore Solutions will "greatly advance" its work in energy-efficient buildings and meet clients' needs for sustainable construction.
Hubbard, a licensed architect, and his staff of eight will remain on Fore Street in Portland, and the office will likely add more employees, including a couple soon. He'll also eventually oversee sustainability teams at other Thornton Tomasetti offices, potentially in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and London.
The acquisition holds "more potential for bringing more work to Maine," says Hubbard, and allows the company to expand the scope of its work. Joining up with a larger firm also provides stability, for himself and his employees, who will receive better salaries and benefits as a result of the acquisition. "The economy has been challenging the last few years. It's a nice comfort," he says. "We'll be able to do really great work. They want us to thrive."
And Hubbard says the office will still pursue projects in Maine. "We're going to be as local as we can be," he says. "We very much want to support the Maine community."