Sustainable By Design: Adaptive Reuse

Posted on by Lauren M

One of the most sustainable practices that can be incorporated into how we live, work and interact with our built environment is that of reuse and preservation.  Utilizing existing buildings and materials and repurposing them for new functions keeps construction waste out of landfills and minimizes development impact on sites and neighborhoods.  Adaptive reuse also serves to enhance a sense of place by incorporating elements from the past into the present and future.

Located in picturesque Quechee, Vermont, the Simon Pearce glassblowing factory, flagship restaurant and retail store is a beautful example of how historic preservation can sustainably create both inspired and functional spaces.


This masonry building, directly adjacent to the Ottauquechee River, was renovated in 1981 by Simon Pearce, an Irish glassblower who brought his craft to the states and converted the 19th century woolen mill to a glassblowing factory.  The renovation included the addition of a restaurant and retail space, as well as the incorporation of a new hydroelectric turbine, tucked beneath the building to utilize the site’s natural resources to provide power to the factory.

It's a fantastic site that showcases great architecture and green technology; for more details and images, visit Simon Pearce online.