Designing for a healthier planet

At Altieri, our commitment to sustainability is not just a practice, it's a principle that has guided our work since the 1960s, long before sustainability was popular, yet the relatively high energy consumption of HVAC systems was impossible to ignore. Our pioneering energy-efficient designs are continually evolving to meet accelerated demands to decarbonize the built environment. We are taking bold steps to help eliminate embodied carbon from buildings and infrastructure, supporting our clients with systems that lower demand, boost efficiency, and balance first cost economy with energy costs and lifecycle considerations.

Rockefeller Creative Arts Center
On-site photovoltaic array at the David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center supports a net zero energy consumption goal. Architect: FXCollaborative © John Muggenborg/NYT

From the beginning our dedication to environmental stewardship has driven positive change in our projects. By meeting California’s stringent Title 24 building code introduced in 1978 and advancing cutting edge museum performance, The Getty Center became the first existing building in the United States to achieve LEED certification – awarded 8 years after opening and based on Altieri’s designs from a period preceding the introduction and implementation of the LEED process (piloted in 1998). Fast forward through decades of environmentally responsible design and over 40 of our projects have achieved LEED certification.

Today the bar is higher than ever before. While significant projects have earned LEED Platinum including Barnes, the first major art and education institution in the country to achieve the highest LEED certification (2012) and Glenstone, earning not only Platinum certification for the Arrival Hall, but 2 Gold certifications for the Pavilions and the Café (2021), project owners who care about the future are seeking to meet or exceed ever more demanding criteria to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

We are moving forward with decades of lessons learned, meeting today’s challenging imperatives driven by climate change with more advanced energy strategies. We were an early signatory of the MEP 2040 Commitment and have strategies for Altieri projects to achieve decarbonization and net zero. Issued in 2021 by the Carbon Leadership Forum, the MEP 2040 challenges the industry to significantly reduce embodied carbon emissions associated with MEP systems.

We advocate for our clients and the environment by engineering innovative strategies to minimize the impact of building systems and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, designing the best solutions for each project, and helping clients evaluate building, campus, and off-site strategies including geothermal heat pump systems, electrification, off-site photovoltaic fields and/or solar farms, and more.

The MEP 2040 Challenge

All systems engineers shall advocate for and achieve net zero carbon in their projects:
operational carbon by 2030 and embodied carbon by 2040.

2023 David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center

David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center
The project achieved LEED Platinum with 88 points making it the highest scoring LEED v4 BD+C New Construction in NY State and tied for the third highest scoring LEED v4 BD+C New Construction in the country. @ John Muggenborg/NYT

An ambitious adaptive reuse project, the new arts center provides a flexible facility for performance events, exhibitions, and education housed in the historic Orangerie at The Pocantico Center. The sustainable design features have the Center on track to achieve net zero.

“The Altieri team actively partnered with us to develop a holistic design that incorporated passive strategies and integrated systems – environmentally responsible strategies that went beyond the standard system approaches. We greatly value Altieri’s exceptional sensitivity to aesthetics as well as performance and sustainability.”

Sylvia Smith, FAIA, LEED AP, Partner Emerita, FXCollaborative Architects LLP

The Obama Presidential Center

Twbta Obama Foundation
Rendering courtesy of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners and Obama Foundation

The Obama Presidential Center is pursuing ILFI (International Living Future Institute) Zero Carbon, SITES Silver, and LEED Platinum certifications for all buildings and facilities that are part of the Center. A key component of meeting these goals is the use of an all-electric geothermal heat pump system with energy sourced entirely from non-fossil fuel burning off-site photovoltaic panels.

ILFI Zero Carbon Standard One hundred percent of the operational energy use associated with the project must be offset by new on- or off-site renewable energy. One hundred percent of the embodied carbon emissions impacts associated with the construction and materials of the project must be disclosed and offset.

Glenstone Museum 09

We design state-of-the-art infrastructure systems for highly controlled, architecturally challenging environments, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, low voltage systems, decarbonization and net zero services, comprehensive master planning and investigative work, and energy modelling.