Energy conscious design has been the cornerstone of our  building process since 1980...


when richmond gardner first began installing solar green houses.

The incentives and payback periods for sustainable building technologies have varied since then, but throughout the years we have always held true to one principal.  Our focus is to create functional residential spaces that bring beauty to the world, joy to their owners and make the best use of resources. 

Whether you want to live a more sustainable lifestyle, or you are interested in the cost savings associated with owning an energy efficient home, our team balances high performance building technologies with a deep appreciation for architectural importance, comfort, charm and character.  



and blended with our focus on building partnerships and delivering custom experiences. 


To bring the highest level of professionalism and integrity to our work, we consciously engage on a limited number of projects throughout the year.  This ensures a personalized experience for our clients and underpins our emphasis on getting the details right.  Our commitment to excellence and superior customer service has earned us a range of long-term clients who have chosen to engage our services multiple times over the course of many years.  Our approach has also resulted in exceptional relationships with a variety of specialty contractors. 

© Susan Sancomb Photography

© Susan Sancomb Photography

Richmond Gardner Builder was founded in 2001 to provide beautiful, high-performance custom homes to the coastal Rhode Island market.  The company is the culmination of Richmond’s 20+ years’ experience in general contracting and fine-home building, his artistic training, and unshakable passion to build responsibly for the benefit of our environment. 

A graduate of Hampshire College with a degree in sculpture, Richmond has always been drawn to working with his hands.  While Richmond was an avid student in a range of subjects, it was this innate desire that led him to pursue the creation of large installation sculptures -- and eventually the art of building.  

Richmond began his construction career as an installer of solar greenhouses. The entry-level position enabled him to produce tangible, useful structures, and afforded him the opportunity to work outdoors.  It was a match made in heaven, and his passion for energy-efficient building was born. Unfortunately, this first role coincided with the initial wave of solar tax credits in the U.S., which fell off precipitously  a few years later as the economy dipped into a recession. 

The path to sustainable building would be a circuitous one, but his purpose was set.

Over the course of the next decade, he worked in residential construction in Boston and coastal Rhode Island honing his skills as a fine home builder.  The craftsmanship required to integrate custom details and achieve impeccable quality were well-suited to Richmond’s aesthetic values and talents, and he grew into roles of increasing responsibility with other firms.

During this period, Richmond also seized the opportunity to indulge his love of the outdoors through a one year sabbatical, where he interned at Tiger Mountain in the jungles of Chitwan National Park and in the Himalays in Nepal and India. The cultural experience sparked new ideas on building practices and materials, and furthered his desire to help push U.S. home design and construction toward a smarter and more sustainable future.   

When State support of sustainable building technologies showed renewed interest after 2000, Richmond seized the moment and opened Richmond Gardner Builder to pursue his dream.  He’s been our lead "True Believer + Green Building Fanatic" ever since. 

New construction, multiple projects

During the last 15 years, Richmond Gardner built me two custom homes. Both were solidly, economically, and conscientiously completed -- on time. At no time during the construction process, did I feel my needs or wishes were overlooked, even when I requested last minute alternations. Richmond was unfailingly accepting of my changes, challenging them appropriately and with good spirit only when he thought I did not understand the cost and design consequences. I sold the first project after it had appreciated greatly in price, and I felt that I couldn't afford not to. I live happily in the second today. If I build again, I will consider myself lucky to get near the top of Richmond's commitment list. I can recommend him without reservation. 

Eliza Collins

We've worked w Richmond over 15 years on a variety of home remodeling and expansion projects. He has proven to be a highly skilled craftsman, a very creative problem solver, and completely trustworthy!
He has a great eye for design and is superb at blending new materials with older structures. He has an effective management and communication style and is mindful of time and budgetary constraints. Richmond is reliable, honest, with an easy going, down to earth, and playful personality. We continue to rely on him and recommend him without any reservation to our friends and neighbors.

Dan + Marie Sprague

Renovation, multiple projects

Home addition

Richmond constructed a significant addition to our home. The work consisted of the demolition of an existing portion of the home, excavation of cellar and foundation, construction of a master bedroom suite, guest bedroom and bath, as well as a deck. 
Working closely with our architect on the project, Richmond performed the work in a professional manner. He managed our expectations reasonably, and my wife and I are very pleased with the final result.  

James Aukerman


Richmond is reliable, responsible, extremely productive, and possesses a high sense of quality.  He really has a cabinetmaker’s eye, and takes justifiable pride in his work. On the projects where we've worked together, he added aesthetic as well as construction value.
Aside from the high quality level that he establishes on a job, I enjoyed working with Richmond for his honesty and his integrity. I would wholeheartedly recommend him for whatever project he is being considered.  

Donald S. Richardson AIA