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San Diego Urban Village Focuses on Energy Efficiency, Sustainability

July 31, 2013 By Linda Hardesty

CivitaSudberry Properties has established a 230-acre smart energy community in San Diego as a model of sustainability and energy-efficiency. Developers of Civita, the urban infill neighborhood, are collaborating with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to incorporate an array of technologies, such as energy generation by using fuel cells, solar arrays, and electric vehicle charging stations.

Smart grid technologies may allow portions of Civita to operate independently of the grid and keep electricity flowing to critical parts of the community during outages.

Homebuilders in Civita must specify Energy Star appliances and exceed California’s current Title 24 energy requirements by 15 percent.

Circa 37, an apartment neighborhood in Civita, (pictured) is nearly 20 percent more energy efficient than required by the state. Sudberry achieved this through a variety of measures, including extensive use of energy-efficient lighting, windows and HVAC systems, a 145 kW solar array that powers 80 percent of the common area electricity consumption, and cool roofs that minimize heat transfer. Street lighting throughout Civita features light-emitting diode (LED) technology.

In addition, Civita will use 50 percent less water per person than traditional suburban developments, thanks to its compact development and water-saving innovations. The community’s irrigation system relies on computerized weather-based control systems to minimize water use, and Civita will be augmenting its water supply with reclaimed water. The landscaping design also calls for clustering plants according to water usage.

Sudberry Properties is also building a multimillion-dollar pedestrian bridge across Friars Road to provide access to San Diego’s light rail trolley so residents can save energy by using public transportation. Additionally, Civita is incorporating a ride-sharing program featuring a fleet of smart electric drive vehicles through car2go. And currently, there are six public electric car charging stations onsite, with more to come as development progresses.



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