Zero net energy home.



Our proposal for this project, submitted by Howard Alan Architects, Inc. and the Gustitus Group, Inc, suggested an integration of food and Architecture. Our design would allow the dwellers to have the freedom to grow food on their floor as well as in a common growing area on the lower roof, thus providing fresh, healthy food on a daily basis. We believe cities are ready for this mode of living now as more people are looking for ways to live healthy, efficient lives. Other forms of cost effective energy eco-systems would be utilized in this development to bring the building into a sensible balance with a comfortable and healthy living environment.



A two-story addition to a two-story single family residence in Chicago.  The design makes available south passive solar heating using the existing brick wall as the heat storage mass.  The space is used as an extension of the present dining room and a greenhouse with a powder room at the first floor.


This is 1150 SF residence floor over a similar size basement floor. Exterior walls are constructed using Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF). Both floors are radiant heated with solar heated water supplied by solar thermal panels mounted on the roof. Passive solar feature delivers winter Sun’s heat to the mass of the concrete floors for heat storage and evening use. This building is built into the existing hill at North end of the property to take advantage of Earth’s near constant temperature.


This proposal is about transforming a section of a busy street serving 2 and 3 story commercial/residential buildings and turning the street into a public place for certain hours of the day and night. It is to provide a the missing public square, bringing people together, to further enhance social interaction, to begin forming a community in a defined environment, less noise, glare and with a degree of openness yet not enclosed. Yearly festivals, open air dining, outdoor store sales, seasonal farm produce stand every week and just walking and talking with out cars.


Presented here is a design to reshape the roof of this 2-1/2 story building to collect passive solar warmth and daylight by orienting the glazing to the South. This configuration will raise the ceiling height to a desirable height, (Present height is 7' at the center of the North-South ridge line.)


A proposed 4 story commercial/residential building for a Chicago urban property w/ ground floor commercial space connected to the adjacent building doubling the retail space, 2nd & 3rd floors providing dwelling units for University students, and the owner's unit on the 4th floor. The exterior walls, floors and roof are constructed using insulated concrete forms that will provide superior building insulation and reduction of air infiltration. A “green” roof will provide additional winter insulation and summer cooling as well as an outdoor garden for the inhabitants In addition there will be 2 solar heliostats capable of bending sun light bringing daylight into the buildings otherwise dark interior.


This residence is designed as a combined passive solar and solar hot water collector for domestic and thermal use. The north face, facing the street shows the building designed in context with the physical neighborhood. While the south face is configured to capture sun energy, and be mostly invisible to the street.


Designed in 1988 this energy conserving 15 story, 60 unit live/work building with 4 penthouses uses a roof mounted heliostat to direct daylight down into a 50' diameter interior atrium. Natural ventilation is used by streaming outside air through louvered grilles at the base of the apartment complex into the atrium and out the registers at the top of the building. All living units have the ability of cross ventilation. The open interior atrium forms a connecting place for people in the building. Other features include commercial occupancy at the ground floor, inside parking, and strategic placement of windows. Exterior walls are constructed from lightweight curved panels, pre windowed. A 100' x 200' property with access from 2 sides is necessary for the design shown, but the concept can be reconfigured many different ways to integrate with other urban properties.


As part of the Design Team of the Consortium, DUSAF, responsible for the design and contruction of the entire Fermilab complex. I conceived the First Design of the Central Laboratory, pictured here. This design adhered closely with the first building program developed by Robert Wilson and his staff. The Administrative officed at the top of the building with direct access from the vertical elevators. While the laboratories for visiting and in house physicists occupy the middle levels. The ground and lower floors are for general usage, i.e. auditoriums, cafeteria and coffee lounges, staff gathering rooms, lecture halls, entrance / reception area, visitor gathering areas, etc.


Midwest Center for Anthroposophilcal Studies, Chicago, IL. This is the 2nd design for a new building serving the needs of the society’s members. This new reinforced concrete building provides spaces to serve a retail shop that markets anthroposophically related books and products: a small theatre for society’s productions, a 2 story gathering hall and w/ balcony. A large green house space for a biodynamic vegetable and flower garden., teaching rooms and a members salon. “Green” or Sustainable design principles provide a healthy environment and reduced fossil fuel usage. Solar electricity, reuse of rainwater for garden and cleaning needs. Controls of intense west summer sun are provided by the design of the southwest building facade's glazing system.


Copyright Howard Alan 2005