lafleche turned what was an amorphous master bedroom into a cozy retreat by creating an alcove for the bed and installing bookcases for family photographs and favorite books.
In the not-too-distant future, “most home buyers will be coming
from a generation that cares about sustainability,” says architect
Treff LaFleche. “They will demand energy-efficient and cost-effective homes.” And LaFleche is determined to provide them.
He currently has 11 projects, from small home renovations to
graduate and faculty housing at Boston College, in the works, all
being done to the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards.
Some, like his own house, will get the minimum rating, while
others strive to be zero-net-energy — that is, they will generate as
much energy as they consume. If all goes according to plan, one
large house renovation will earn the highest LEED rating, platinum.
In the last few years, there has been a paradigm shift,
accelerated by the economic downturn, in how sustainable design
is viewed, LaFleche says. “Before that, it was wonkish to talk about
global warming.” Now, it’s mainstream.
His clients are asking for more green technologies, and if they
don’t, he tries to convince them such moves would be in their best
economic interest. “Every home will eventually be sold,” he says.
“So the homeowner is an investor,” and investing in sustainable
design is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to
do. “LEED certification is a seal of measurable performance that
will make your house more valuable to buyers,” he says. “It’s a new
level of quality.”