Many problems with underlying variational structure involve a coupling of volume with surface effects. A straight-forward approach in a finite element discretization is to make use of the surface triangulation that is naturally induced by the volume triangulation. In an adaptive method one wants to facilitate "matching" local mesh modifications, i.e., local refinement and/or coarsening, of volume and surface mesh with standard tools such that the surface grid is always induced by the volume grid. We describe the concepts behind this approach for bisectional refinement and describe new tools incorporated in the finite element toolbox ALBERTA. We also present several important applications of the mesh coupling.