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November 28, 2018

Portland architecture firm makes Architect magazine's Top 50 'sustainability' list

Courtesy / Kaplan Thompson Architects Jesse Thompson, left, and Phil Kaplan are the principals of Kaplan Thompson Architects. The Portland-based firm is the only Maine company on the just-published ARCHITECT magazine's Top 50 in Sustainability List.
Courtesy / Kaplan Thompson Architects Rendering shows the Pikes Hill home, a high-performance, net-zero 1,989-square-foot home built in 2017 that needs just a single heat pump per floor for heating and utilizes the gas stove only to take the edge off the coldest of nights.
Courtesy / Kaplan Thompson Architects Parris Terraces, a 13,700-square-foot housing project in Portland, represents a unique effort to create affordable housing for people making up to 120% of the median income without subsidies, either local, state or federal. The homes will sell for less than $225,000 in a market where no other home or condominiium is available for purchase at less than $275,000, according to Kaplan Thompson Architects. The project is expected to be completed in 2019.

Kaplan Thompson Architects of Portland is the only Maine company on ARCHITECT magazine’s Top 50 in Sustainability List.

The ARCHITECT 50 program is an annual ranking done by the magazine, which is the official journal of the American Institute of Architects. Scores calculated in three categories — business, sustainability and design — were used to calculate the rankings.

Kaplan Thompson Architects, a small firm with 11 employees, ranks 38th on the list of 50 firms of all sizes located throughout the country.

“We have been committed to sustainable design since we started the firm 12 years ago. It’s gratifying to be recognized for this commitment and we’re honored to have our work reviewed by such an esteemed panel of judges,” said Phil Kaplan, a principal of the architectural firm.

The sustainability rankings are calculated based on participation in the American Institute of Architects’ 2030 Commitment Program, the percent of projects that met or exceeded the 2030 target, employee certifications, building certifications, and a green project that exemplifies the firm’s commitment to sustainability. The 2030 Commitment Program is a voluntary initiative in which AIA member firms pledge to make multi-year action plans and implement steps to advance the goal of producing carbon-neutral buildings by the year 2030.

Integral to the Top 50 ranking is the firm’s participation in the design of a new campus for The Ecology School in Saco, which is committed to both Living Building Challenge and Living Community Challenge certifications, two of the most advanced measures of sustainability in the built environment today.

Scheduled to start construction in winter 2018, the new campus will include a dormitory and commons situated on a 105-acre organic farm with produce, livestock, and orchards, which will anchor lessons in sustainable agriculture and food systems.

Other notable Passive House-certified projects in the Portland area designed by the firm include Bayside Anchor apartments and Friends School of Portland.

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