sustainable design

"Sustainable development meets present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs".  UN Conference 1987.


The fundamental goal of green building is to minimize the environmental impact of the built environment. I am committed to mastery of the basic concepts of sustainable design and construction by focusing on the tools and strategies necessary to design and construct high-performance buildings and communities. These include:

  • The language, philosophy and principles of sustainable design. 
  • How green building can translate the promises of sustainability into reality. 
  • Reduction of building-related carbon emissions to counter the increasing impacts of climate change. 
  • Building codes, standards, and guidelines that give green buildings further definition. 
  • Basic principles of green design are considered by working “from the outside in”, starting with community and site then progressing inward through the various layers of the building envelope. 
  • Green aspects of lighting, heating and cooling that define the indoor environment.
  • Water conservation, safeguarding indoor environmental quality, material conservation, and on-site renewable energy. 
  • Comprehensive understanding of first principles of physics commonly referred to as “building science”. 
  • Constant pursuit of quality is vital to the success of sustainable design and construction. 
  • An understanding of the limits of design.



As a person who values learning and teaching, I enjoy sharing my acquired green building knowledge and experience. Outlets for doing so include:

  • Co-founder of AIA Maine’s Committee On The Environment.
  • Author of the AIA Maine newsletter’s “Green Column” since 2008 (visit the Writings page to explore).
  • Teaching the “Building Envelope” course through the Sustainable Design Institute at Boston Architectural College (BAC).
  • Teaching “Sustainable Design in the Built Environment” at College of the Atlantic (COA).
  • Presenting at numerous workshops and conferences. Some of these include: AIA Maine COTE, USGBC Maine “Green Eggs”, GreenBuild (USGBC’s national convention), University of Maine, Augusta and College of the Atlantic.
  • MAINSTREAM GREEN HOME DESIGNS published by MaineHousing. Feature article and content focusing on First Place Award in the Mainestream Green Home Design Contest.



  • I am a longstanding member of Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) and regularly attend NESEA’s BuildingEnergy conference in Boston, the premier gathering for sustainable design, green building, and renewable energy professionals in the Northeast. 
  • I am an adopter of the Architecture 2030 Challenge whose mission is for all new buildings, developments and major renovations to be carbon neutral by the year 2030.
  • In 2015, I represented AIA Maine as invited participant in the Northern New England AIA Committee On The Environment Leadership Summit.
  • In 2006 - First Place Award in the Mainestream Green Home Design Contest sponsored by the Maine State Housing Authority. 



In recent years, my practice has focused on green, affordable houses. The basic premise is an emphasis on sustainability by building smaller houses with a very-tight, well-insulated building envelope; “right-sized” heating system; durable, low-VOC materials; advanced framing techniques (use less wood); and, simple building forms. All of these choices are simple, smart and affordable.

Since 2006, I have been working toward the completion of 51 green, affordable, workforce houses on Mount Desert Island (see Ripples Hill and Northeast Creek housing projects). 

In 2013, 363HOUSE, a new, near net-zero energy, fully accessible house in Portland was completed that has been the recipient of several awards. See Awards page or visit the blog.

In late 2015, construction of a new, net-zero house built to the Passive House standard was completed in Lincolnville, Maine. Pending a few remaining details and basic landscaping, I hope to have photos and project information posted on this website soon!

BILL OF RIGHTS FOR THE PLANET.   William McDonough - 2000 (The Hannover Principles). 

  • Insist on the right of humans and Nature to co-exist in a healthy, supportive, diverse, and sustainable condition.
  • Emphasize the full life-cycle of what we create. 
  • Accept the consequences of design decisions upon human well-being, the viability of natural systems, and their right to co-exist.