Lavallee Brensinger Architects
- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: Ryan Fecteau
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
When it comes to high-value, sustainable construction projects, owners seek out strong partnerships with architectural firms. Getting the best out of a new building or renovation means working together from start to finish. Lavallee Brensinger Architects, with offices in Charlestown, Massachusetts and Manchester, New Hampshire, is one such trusted partner. For nearly 40 years, the distinguished architecture firm has worked with business and building owners to turn around customized designs, catering to the needs of end users from conception to completion.
Led by a team of professional architects, Lavallee Brensinger offers the leadership, experience and resources to provide quality designs to clients. Richard Pizzi and Chris Drobat lead the company as CEO and president, working alongside vice presidents Steve Clayman and Joe Britton. Among a team of six principals, Ron Lamarre has been with the company since 2010. Overall, Lavallee Brensinger has a team of 55 people and Lamarre takes pride in the company’s ability to provide personalized design services to a wide range of clients.
The company performs a broad scope of architectural design work. Lavallee Brensinger specializes in education, health care, senior living and corporate and civic buildings. The firm’s portfolio includes higher and secondary education, hospitals and medical offices, public libraries, corporate offices and senior living communities.
“We have folks in each niche that have truly become experts in the field,” says Lamarre. “What is interesting about our work is that a lot of these niches spill into one another. When it comes to sustainability, it is an imbedded process. When we do a project, everything is geared toward sustainability, down to the smallest details.”
Each project is highly client-centric. Repeat designs are a rarity for Lavallee Brensinger. “We have a lot of repeat business because our clients know they are going to get something different,” explains Lamarre. “We do not work in only one aesthetic.”
Many of the company’s employees, particularly design principals and executives, have been with the business for more than 20 years. Their experience in the industry and established relationships with clients help to boost repeat business and foster trust with project owners.
While this consistency is an important component of Lavallee Brensinger’s success over the years, the ability to evolve plays a role, too. The firm has invested in state-of-the-art rendering software that allows the team to create detailed 3-D building models on every project. This software promotes real-time collaboration, a more informed design process, and interactive work sessions with clients.
A distinct portfolio
Lavallee Brensinger has taken on architecture, facility planning and interior design for a range of private organizations and municipalities throughout the region. A majority of work is directly for owners, although some contracts are through design-build general contractors as well as integrated project delivery. Working throughout New England and into New York, the company’s portfolio is as diverse as the markets it serves
“One of the projects we are most proud of is the work we have done to-date for IDEXX Laboratories in Westbrook, Maine, managed by John Harper,” Lamarre explains. “The company is fundamentally committed to energy conservation and sustainability. To that end, their new corporate headquarters has been awarded LEED Gold Certification through its use of daylighting, energy conservation and green roofs, coupled with low-toxin, locally sourced and largely recycled materials.”
“Wells High School in Wells, Maine, is also being designed for sustainability,” he continues. “I was proud to be a part of the first Efficiency Maine program and now this project will also be an Efficiency Maine sponsored project.”
In Manchester, New Hampshire, Lavallee Brensinger transformed the previously nondescript Hillsborough County Superior Courthouse building into a contemporary, highly sustainable civic landmark. Recipient of both the AIA Honor Award for Excellence and the Governor’s Excellence Award in Energy Conservation, the project is currently seeking LEED Silver certification. Sustainability is a major focus for the firm. With each architectural design, Lavallee Brensinger seeks to provide an efficient plan making best use of reusable and renewable materials.
Several years ago the firm was working with Plymouth State University on some recreational center renovations, including the replacement of two existing gymnasium floor systems. Rather than simply dispose of over 20,000 square feet of regionally sourced athletic wood flooring, Lavallee Brensinger received permission to repurpose the flooring at a local independent school residence hall project the firm was designing at the time. The dense maple flooring proved to be an excellent flooring application for the radiant geothermal heating system used.
Lavallee Brensinger is always seeking out new ways to improve services, efficiency and sustainability. “My favorite thing about my job is that every day I am finding new ways to do the same thing,” Lamarre says. “You could say that we just design buildings, but we do something new and different each day.”
Over the coming years, the company is looking to expand. With eyes open for a new office location, Lavallee Brensinger Architects will continue to provide the same reliable expertise that clients have come to count on for nearly 40 years.
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