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Allen Associates Recognized for Green-Building Expertise

Three awards highlight construction company's commitment to sustainable living.

To transform a Goleta tract home into one more appropriate for intergenerational living, Allen Associates pushed out the rear wall of the left wing by six feet. As part of its green design, the exterior walls are fiber-cement board and batt siding, and a 5 kW roof mounted solar photovoltaic system provides almost 100 percent of the home’s electrical needs.
To transform a Goleta tract home into one more appropriate for intergenerational living, Allen Associates pushed out the rear wall of the left wing by six feet. As part of its green design, the exterior walls are fiber-cement board and batt siding, and a 5 kW roof mounted solar photovoltaic system provides almost 100 percent of the home’s electrical needs. (Allen Associates photo)

Allen Associates, a Santa Barbara-based general contractor that has been incorporating green-building practices in its residential and commercial projects for more than 25 years, has received recognition for its work from two different award programs.

Central Coast Magazine’s Green Business Award

The first acknowledgement comes from Central Coast Magazine, a regional lifestyle publication with distribution from Santa Barbara to Monterey. Allen Associates, which received the magazine’s Green Business Award along with six other local companies that “put their passion into practice,” was nominated by readers of the magazine and then evaluated by an independent panel of environmental experts.

In receiving the award, Allen Associates was recognized for being the first builder to create solar homes in Santa Barbara during the 1970s — laying the foundation for green development on the Central Coast. One other notable achievement that helped the company become an award recipient is that Allen Associates holds the title as the only construction firm to receive the “Green Residential Building Award” from the Santa Barbara Contractors Association every year since 1998.

“Allen Associates has been a leader in the green community for decades,” said Megan Birney, energy program senior associate at the Community Environmental Council and one of the judges. “Their work throughout the community is honorable and their homes and businesses are models of green buildings.”

Green Builder Magazine’s Home of the Year Awards

Two of Allen Associates’ recent residential building projects have received recognition from Green Builder Magazine’s Home of the Year award program.

Every aspect of the modular, prefabricated Santa Barbara Breezehouse incorporates green-building elements, from the basic design to the operating systems to the finish products.
Every aspect of the modular, prefabricated Santa Barbara Breezehouse incorporates green-building elements, from the basic design to the operating systems to the finish products. (Allen Associates photo)
The first of the company’s projects to receive an award is the Santa Barbara Breezehouse, a modular, prefabricated home installed on East Pedregosa Street on the Upper East Side. The home was named the Breezehouse by the architect because its unique, prefabricated modules are centered on a site-built, glass-enclosed breezeway that provides light and ventilation to the main living and dining areas, blurring the boundary between interior and exterior spaces.

Designed by San Francisco architect Michelle Kaufmann, the majority of the home was prefabricated in Kaufmann’s factory near Tacoma, Wash. Allen Associates’ crews prepared the site for the modules’ arrival; constructed the foundation, exterior decks and the “breezespace” that connects three of the four prefabricated modules on site; and made sure the final home met all of the owner’s expectations.

The second project Allen Associates was recognized for was the intergenerational remodel of a Goleta tract home. This project is an excellent example of how to turn a 1960s tract home into a showcase for green building. A primary design goal was to create shared intergenerational living spaces so a daughter could provide support and companionship for her aging mother while also creating separate living spaces for privacy. This goal was met by adding only 260 square feet to the existing home and creating separate spaces that include a grand room, master bedroom and office. Another design goal was to bring in more natural light and create a feeling of spaciousness throughout the home.

Both projects are highly energy-efficient, produce significant amounts of their power from solar energy, and incorporate numerous green-building products to create healthy, durable indoor and outdoor living spaces.

Green Builder Magazine “is the only publication in the market today that is focused exclusively on residential sustainable development.” The magazine is distributed to “over 100,000 of the most active and influential building professional firms in the country.” The goal of this new award program is to highlight sustainably built projects in the hopes of raising standards for homes constructed by other builders and for the residential home-building industry as a whole. Allen Associates’ projects were two of 12 award winners from across the country selected for the breadth of their overall green commitment.

Click here for more information.

Karen Feeney is Allen Associates’ green resources manager.

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