SAN DIEGO, July 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- While Civita's pioneering residents are still settling in, the 230-acre Mission Valley urban village is living up to its promise to become a model of sustainability and energy-efficiency.
"Recent technological advances are enabling us to select from a vast array of sustainable techniques and practices that are new to the marketplace," said Marco A. Sessa, senior vice president, Sudberry Properties, who is spearheading the urban infill development.
"We're collaborating with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to make Civita a 'smart energy community,' and incorporate an array of innovative 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 according to SDG&E," said Sessa.
Homes and commercial buildings at Civita are all being designed with an emphasis on energy-conservation and sustainability. Homebuilders must specify "Energy Star" appliances and exceed California's current and very stringent Title 24 energy requirements by 15 percent.
Sudberry Properties has even topped that at Circa 37, their first apartment neighborhood in Civita: it is almost 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 at Circa 37 and throughout Civita features light-emitting diode (LED) technology. A recent Forbes.com article reported that such LED street lights can deliver electricity savings of up to 85 percent over incumbent technologies. These fixtures are also dark sky friendly, eliminating stray light and reducing overall light pollution.
"Civita will use 50 percent less water per person than traditional suburban developments," said Sessa, noting that it will be considerably more water efficient than required by code thanks to its compact development and water-saving innovations."
The community's high efficiency 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.
"Every aspect of the community, is being studied from a sustainability point of view," said Sessa. "The majority of storm water runoff from residential areas in Civita and parts of Serra Mesa will be directed to a unique bioswale system in Civita's central park. The bioswale, which has the appearance of a natural streambed, will remove silt and pollution from the runoff through natural biofiltration."
The Civita plan emphasizes reducing automobile trips. Sudberry Properties is building a multimillion-dollar pedestrian bridge across Friars Road to provide direct, easy access to San Diego's light rail trolley. As the development continues, residents will have easy pedestrian access to a variety of shops and employment opportunities within the community. Streets and sidewalks are being designed with a host of features that encourage pedestrian activity. Additionally, Civita is incorporating a ride-sharing program featuring a fleet of smart electric drive vehicles through car2go. Currently, there are six public electric car charging stations onsite, with more to come as development progresses.
Called "a perfect model for the future growth of the region" in a recent New York Times article, Civita has already earned major regional and national recognition for its sustainability, smart growth, and environmental leadership, including the 2009 California State Governor's Award for Environmental and Economic Leadership (GEELA), California's highest environmental honor. www.Civitalife.com
Barbara Metz, Metz Public Relations
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SOURCE Sudberry Properties