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Architect Spotlight - DA | AD

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Architect Spotlight - DA | AD

“Our focus is on client needs and how best to serve their needs.”  – John Abernathy, Partner of DA|AD

Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, DA|AD (Dryden Abernathy Architecture Design) specializes in a variety of architecture projects, including single-family, multi-family, commercial and multi-use developments. However, they have significant experience in urban fill: small scale projects on small lots in the middle of urban areas.

The company was founded in 1999 by John Abernathy. In 2001, he was joined by Nick Dryden, and since then they have focused on community and the idea that great design is not sacrificed in the name of functionality or budget. They have since become known as a leading design firm in Nashville.

Their commitment to community led them to take a significant leadership role, along with LP Building Products and HARDAWAY Construction, in the recent rebuilding of Lighthouse Christian School, a preschool facility that was destroyed in the May floods that ravaged Nashville. That project was highlighted on the hit show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Since the founding of DA|AD, honors for their design haven’t been rare. They’ve received recognition from the Urban Land Institute, Nashville; the Historic Commission of Metropolitan Nashville; the American Institute of Architects, Tennessee; the Masonry Institute of Tennessee; and others.

DA|AD’s focus on client service includes obtaining the critical certifications consumers sometimes desire. “We have a multi-family project being built that is Pre-Certified LEED® Gold,” Abernathy said. “We were going for silver but overachieved.”

He also said the firm designed the first multi-family Earthcraft certified development in Tennessee. This certification focuses more on environmental issues, such as water conservation, air quality and similar factors.

Such certifications are not necessarily the goal, but their strict standards are met as the result of DA|AD’s focus on high-quality, detailed design and an eye for careful planning and execution.

For more information about DA|AD, call 615.248.3223 or visit

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