By Katrina Lane
July 15, 2020
The BrightBuilt Barn, designed by Kaplan Thompson Architects and built by USA-based Bensonwood, is demonstrating what the next generation of sustainable building practices could look like. The net-zero building is designed with future adaptations in mind, allowing the building to change over time, adapting to both use and the environment.
By Camille LeFevre
April 13, 2020
They started researching comfortable, energy-efficient homes and found BrightBuilt Home in Portland, Maine. Kaplan Thompson Architects launched the modular-home company in 2013. They created it "to address a growing desire in the marketplace for high-performance homes," says Parlin Meyer, director, and a Certified Passive House Consultant.
By Lucy Wang
November 11, 2019
From the use of structural insulated panels to achieving net-zero energy capability, these New England firms are paving the way for energy-efficient prefab construction.
By Jesse Ellison
May 2, 2019
Cappelletti and Mottram are among a number of local pros putting their efforts into eco-conscious subdivisions, a trend that has taken off in California, where all new homes must be net-zero by 2020. Freeport’s Kelsey Brook encompasses 15 homes, including a few net-zero, modular ones by Portland’s BrightBuilt Home, that are required to meet one of several green-building standards.
By Erica L. Bartlett
December 17, 2018
ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS, or ADUs, are coming back into fashion, and that’s a good thing for Maine. If you’re not familiar with the term, you might know them as in-law apartments, granny flats, carriage houses, basement or garage apartments. But the names don’t tell the story behind ADUs or all the benefits they offer.
By Tim King
August 2, 2018
Phil Kaplan and his firm, Kaplan Thompson Architects, introduced many Mainers (including myself) to the idea of combining pre-fabricated building components as an effective way to create super-efficient, net-zero energy structures (without going broke in the process) when they introduced the BrightBuilt Barn project in 2008.
By Parlin Meyer
August 2, 2018
Few people who embark on the adventure of building a new home have done so before. If you are venturing down this road, there are key things to know before the first shovels hit the ground. And a significant portion of this knowledge lies in the financing process.
By Kate Gardner
June 1, 2018
Brightbuilt Home, based in Portland, has added an in-law flat/ guesthouse option to its offering of netzero energy homes. According to the company, the predesigned dwellings are made to benefit multigenerational households and short-term renters. The units, which can be moved to other sites after being installed, start at $135,000.
April 10, 2018
For three years, Marian and Alex Starkey lived in a 1916 foursquare in South Portland that was charming, but chilly. “We were paying over $500 a month to keep the temperature barely tolerable,” says Marian. She issued an ultimatum: “If we’re going to stick it out in Maine, I want to build a warm house.” After accepting an unsolicited offer on their SoPo place, they had only a few months to secure a plot and construct their new home. The prefab path was a no-brainer.
April 3, 2018
Prefab homes are not new, as Sears Roebuck taught us many years ago. They also are not new in Maine, which is and has been home to several modular home manufacturers for decades.
But while these homes may prove highly durable and energy efficient, they often were fitted out with inferior materials, particularly when it came to floor covering, siding, tile work, cabinetry and finishes. No longer.
By Jen DeRose
December 1, 2017
The clients chose BrightBuilt Home’s Little Diamond design because they felt that it captured the classic aesthetic of a New England Cape with a twist of modern spaces and finishes. Simultaneously unimposing but a little bit grand, the design strikes a balance between the old and new, melding coastal vernacular with innovative building ideas.
By Melissa Coleman
September 1, 2017
The home’s tight, double-thick wall construction, triple-glazed windows, and solar array set the standard for Kaplan Thompson’s BrightBuilt Home modular designs, and after six years it’s still a prime example of the benefits of a tight, well-insulated roof.
June 14, 2017
In 2006, architects Phil Kaplan and Jesse Thompson began building their first high-performance structure, a 700-square-foot, net-zero-energy barn in Rockport. Interest in modest, affordable homes started growing after the 2008 global financial crisis, spurring Kaplan Thompson to launch a sister firm, BrightBuilt Home, in 2013. The Portland-based company now produces elegant modular houses for those wanting energy independence and uncomplicated construction...
By Sarah Stebbins
February 28, 2017
A classic Maine aesthetic meets efficient construction techniques and net-zero energy consumption in this gracious home, available as a building package from BrightBuilt Home. The proposed 1,750-square-foot modular structure, slated for construction in Yarmouth’s new 35-acre Village Run neighborhood, offers an open floor plan, passive solar heating, solar water heating and electric systems, and energy-efficient
By Tim King
April 1, 2016
And, if you speak with a growing number of Maine home builders, designers and architects, that’s a good thing. Blame it on our high fuel costs, cold climate, old housing stock or increasing awareness about the correlation between energy consumption and climate change, the winds of change are a’blowing across our state. Slowly, but surely, Mainers seem to be starting to understand how their homes function and are taking steps to reduce how much energy (and money) they’ll need to stay comfortable throughout the year.
October 1, 2015
KAPLAN THOMPSON ARCHITECTS and BRIGHTBUILT HOME are moving from their offices at 424 Fore Street to the second floor of 102 Exchange Street. The new 4,000-square-foot space will include separate workspaces for both companies, separate materials libraries, multiple conference rooms, and shared spaces.
By Janet Mendelsohn
February 2, 2015
The first night the Schuit family spent in their new modular home on Peaks Island last February, their then 6-month-old daughter slept through the night for the first time. “Coincidence? Maybe,” said Kelli Schuit. “But it’s a very quiet house...
By Sophie Nelson
February 1, 2015
Falmouth Foreside has a kind of classic, buttoned-up beauty about it, but it also has water, which can infect people with lightheartedness—maybe even joy (at least in the summer) at their stroke of luck to be living so close to the ocean. Alex and Marian Starkey felt this way when they found property in Falmouth Foreside within their price range. On a street with houses of all sizes and neighbors of all ages, the young couple is finishing construction on a Kaplan Thompson–designed BrightBuilt net- zero-energy home. Although they aren’t boaters themselves, the Starkeys, along with many others in the Foreside, regularly take their dogs for walks at the Town Landing public beach, a skip and a jump from their new house.
By Whit Richardson
May 13, 2014
Parlin Meyer, director of BrightBuilt Home, which specializes in pre-designed modular net-zero energy homes, said she receives as many as 20 inquiries a week from people interested in building net-zero energy homes. BrightBuilt Home is a subsidiary of Kaplan Thompson Architects in Portland...
September 1, 2013
KAPLAN THOMPSON ARCHITECTS recently celebrated the launch of BrightBuilt Home, a new collection of nine home designs that are affordable, energy efficient, and quick to construct. These high-performance homes come outfitted with solar panels on the roof, which can provide up to 100 percent of the energy needed for the household. As of July, nine homes have already been constructed, including five modularly constructed houses, and building had begun in states as far ranging as Virginia and Vermont.
By Lloyd Alter
July 3, 2013
A decade ago, architect designed prefab (preferably modern) was all the buzz, with Allison Arieff and Bryan Burkhart's book Prefab inspiring designers and the Dwell Home by Resolution 4 being seen everywhere...
By Melissa Coleman
February 1, 2011
Keith Collins is the owner of the BrightBuilt Barn in Rockport, Maine, a super-insulated, highly weather-tight structure that is “net zero,” meaning it creates more energy than it uses and over time will, in fact, erase its own carbon footprint. Designed by Kaplan Thompson Architects, the barn was featured in MH+D almost two years ago. I checked in with Collins to see how it’s performing.
January 16, 2009
The BrightBuilt Barn, located in Rockwood, Maine, is one of the super energy-efficient prefab designs of the year. A highly covetable structure, this barn/studio is not only a net-zero house — meaning it strives to leave no carbon footprint — it is also seeking LEED Platinum certification. While the current prototype was designed as a studio/workspace, the barn is constructed on 4-foot modules...