Allegretti Architects has practiced sustainable design for more than twenty years, specializing in conservation, integrated solar design and other sustainable technologies. Passive solar principals are incorporated in appropriate ways to achieve up to eighty percent reduction in fuel used for space heating. Other sustainable features of these projects include rainwater and greywater harvesting, xeriscape landscaping and active solar collection for power generation as well as domestic water heating.
Allegretti Architects will assist customers with HERS ratings and certifications required for energy tax credits and deductions. Allegretti is a member of the US Green Building Council.
Setting Priorities for Green Building Design
Allegretti Architects believes that genuinely sustainable architecture must produce a positive return on investment. The most visible and alluring technologies are often not the most economically effective applications. Solar panels, photovoltaics, and water capture systems are highly visible and perhaps even exciting. It is often however the most common and least noticeable practices where the biggest bang for the buck can be realized in sustainable architecture.
A clever architect may find the greatest energy savings with conservation in the form of heavy insulation, tight vapor barriers and careful detailing. Efficient windows and doors can also represent sensible investments. These methods are often put to use with little additional cost and should be the first solutions to be considered and implemented.
The second most effective category of resource-conserving strategies is passive solar architecture. When site conditions are suitable, a passive solar orientation can provide substantial return with modest expenditure. This type of solar application can be as simple as locating more windows on the south side of the home than on the other sides. If the incoming sunlight can fall n masonry surfaces, then energy can be stored and released slowly. Passive solar design can be accomplished with no moving parts and therefore requires not only a modest investment but also low maintenance expense.
Finally, for those who seek maximum performance, active resource systems may be appropriate. Methods to be considered will include solar domestic water heating, solar photovoltaics, greywater recycling and rainwater harvesting. Allegretti Architects suggests however that these engaging applications should be properly considered only after the home design has taken full advantage of conservation and passive technologies.