Founders of Alter Eco — Joe Lombardi and Brian Falcon

Joe Lombardi  is a registered architect in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Michigan & Florida. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects, Pennsylvania Society of Architects and holds certifications from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) as well as Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Certification (LEED AP). He graduated Cum Laude with a BArch degree from Temple University in 1987 and received his first state architectural registration in 1989.

At a young age he discovered an interest in the process of conceiving an idea, putting it on paper and implementing the construction of it in both practical form (designing and building speaker cabinets and musical instrument road cases) and artistic expression (wood carving, sketching & jewelry making). While also developing a business sense by selling these items to local musicians and in local shops.

Joe’s architectural career was fueled by a passion for the investigation and development of the use of new and underutilized existing proven products and technologies which increased comfort, while providing energy and construction efficiency in Residential and Commercial design & construction.

Over the past 26 years of architectural practice he has been able to balance the ability to provide services to a homeowner wanting to renovate their home to meet the changing needs of their family as well as a large commercial client that is expanding a several hundred thousand square foot entertainment venue. He attributes this to the sense of teamwork that is promoted between the owner, contractor and architect as well as listening intently to the client’s needs in order to reach the programmatic, aesthetic and budgetary goals for the project.

He has Implemented and managed office CAD systems, created and managed Master Detail Library & Project File database systems and developed and maintained a proprietary specification & contractor database system.

He served as adjunct staff at Philadelphia University from 1997 to 1998 where he taught a 3d CAD visualization course.

He also has studied guitar, recorded and performed original music in and around the Philadelphia area for over 40 years with notable shows at the World Café & Troc Theaters in Philadelphia and The World Café Queen Theater in Delaware.

He is a husband for over 28 years and father of two children.

Brian Falcon has always been passionate about sustainable living and design. He is a registered architect in Pennsylvania, and became a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED®AP) in 2004, to focus professionally on sustainability and energy efficiency. In 2008, he founded the Berks/Lancaster Green Building Association to help local, like-minded professionals collectively expand their green building skills at the grassroots level.  Most recently, Brian has become a Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC), as certified through the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS). This program incorporates high performance building science principles and passive house techniques to create the best path to Net Zero and Net Positive Energy buildings.

To improve the efficiency of project design and construction processes, Brian is highly experienced with Building Information Modeling (BIM) software. BIM is used to create a digital 3-dimensional representation of a project with multiple layers of intelligent data which may be analyzed at any time during the design, construction or occupancy phase of a building. Building the project virtually ensures accuracy and improves the understanding how building components and assemblies work together, which greatly reduces “unknowns” and other inefficiencies during construction. In addition, BIM provides a highly effective way for those not used to reading conventional construction drawings to feel fully engaged as part of the design team.

Brian is married with four children. He is a nationally licensed soccer coach and has coached all four kids. The family enjoys camping and connecting with nature whenever possible. At home Brian leads the family in exploring the world of permaculture to learn how to live more holistically by designing and building fun and multi-functional projects on their property which provide food, energy, aesthetics and natural habitat for beneficial animals.

Show Highlights

  • Zero energy readiness.
  • Alter Eco’s success, selection process, and standard/program choices.
  • Passive House vs Net Zero Ready Homes for advanced energy modeling.
  • Best practices, programs(LEED, Passive House, DOE), certification and chapter benefits.
  • Misconceptions on implementing sustainable programs, how architects can steer the ship, and the concept of trade ops.
  • Advantages of having architects who can simplify details with sustainability in mind during the building process.  
  • Trends of a 2,500 sq. home feeling like a 4,000 sqm.
  • Electrification and designing all electric buildings and homes.
  • Selecting prefabbed, cut off site, more modular components or whole systems on projects.

“We kind of proved in our first homes that we built, that we can achieve this level of a home at the same cost as a code-built stick-built home.”

-Joe Lombardi 

“If you’re excited and passionate about sustainability or preservation, whatever it is wholeheartedly, chase that down with every ounce of energy you have. You might sound goofy sometimes asking questions you think are silly or, or whatever. I would say don’t ever fear that. Embrace that. Embrace the beginner’s mind, whatever you’re doing, because it’s only going to help you learn along the way and be more successful.” 

-Brian Falcon

Joe Lombardi and Brian Falcon Transcript

Joe Lombardi & Brian Falcon’s Show Resource and Information

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