Work begins on Appledore’s new sustainable offices

Construction has begun at Portsmouth’s Pease International Tradeport on the new corporate facility for Appledore Engineering Inc.

Sited on five acres at 177 Corporate Drive, the 12,500-square-foot office building is one of the first buildings at Pease to integrate sustainable building and site design principles, the company said. AEI, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in January, will relocate to the newly constructed building in July.

Working with Team Design Inc. architects and TRB Development Group, AEI said its goal is to incorporate sustainable building technologies and materials that will reduce energy use, while also providing a work environment that is bright, comfortable and inviting for employees.

The use of foam insulated roof panels, thermal pane and low emittance (Low-E) windows, and a state-of-the-art HVAC system — Variable Refrigerant Flow, or VRF — will allow Appledore to develop an energy-efficient building that exceeds standards established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers. Other sustainable building materials include carpeting and ceiling tiles, which are easily replaced and recycled, and interior finishes with a low volatile organic compound content.

The centerpiece of the shingle-style, cottage-inspired building is the main foyer, with a 17-foot fireplace and exposed-beam cathedral ceiling. Overlooking the area will be an employee exercise loft.

Work space for the firm’s staff will have 18-foot cathedral ceilings and large windows around the perimeter of the engineering wing, providing natural light. A conservatory-style conference room also will enhance the use of natural lighting.

Building grounds, which overlook wetlands, will incorporate low-impact development technologies, including pervious pavement, a gravel wetland detention area and drought-tolerant plantings that do not require an irrigation system.

AEI Vice President Brad Mezquita said the headquarters were designed with employee input, which he called “our greatest resource.”

“Our goal was to design a building that felt like a ‘home away from home,’ while meeting the diverse needs of our employees,” he said. “From a yoga room to showering facilities for our running enthusiasts to an outdoor patio that all can enjoy, I feel that we’ve designed a warm, inviting environment for our employees.”