Want to receive email alerts on the latest news?
* Required Fields
UC Davis West Village Rising as the Largest Planned Zero Net Energy Community in the U.S.
130-acre mixed-use development to house 2,000 students; 4-megawatt SunPower solar power system to generate equivalent of 100 percent energy demand

DAVIS, Calif., May 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The largest planned Zero Net Energy development in the U.S. is readying for its debut this fall.

Under construction on the University of California, Davis campus, UC Davis West Village is combining advanced energy efficient design features with a 4-megawatt (MW), high efficiency SunPower solar power system to achieve the largest planned Zero Net Energy development in the nation.

UC Davis West Village is the product of an innovative public-private partnership between UC Davis and West Village Community Partnership, LLC, a joint venture led by San Francisco-based Carmel Partners with their partner Urban Villages of Denver.

"I applaud UC Davis, SunPower Corporation, Carmel Partners, and the CEC for their collaboration, dedication, and leadership in developing the largest zero net energy project in the United States," said Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.  "This is a demonstration of California's excellence in sustainability, and should set an example for the rest of the nation."

"West Village is a paradigm shift in creating both a great place to live and a model Zero Net Energy community," said Nolan Zail, senior vice president for Carmel Partners. "Our guiding principles include environmental sustainability and quality of place. West Village will include housing, recreation and retail options, providing a convenient and eco-friendly lifestyle for students, faculty and staff.

"Using aggressive energy efficiency measures and on-site renewable energy generation to meet community energy demand, this holistic approach offers new solutions in the design and construction of large-scale sustainable communities," Zail added.

The first phase of the 130-acre project, to be completed this year, will include apartment housing for 2,000 students, an education center for Los Rios Community College, recreation and study facilities, a village square surrounded by neighborhood-serving retail, and 343 single family homes for sale to faculty and staff. Two initial student housing components of the community, The Ramble Apartments and Viridian, will welcome residents September 2011.

UC Davis West Village integrates sustainable design to enable those living in the community to reduce their reliance on automobiles, limit energy consumption and enjoy the benefits of the local climate. Building designs optimize solar orientation, utilize energy efficient appliances and incorporate materials from renewable sources.

A 4-MW solar power system that is manufactured, designed and installed by SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWRA, SPWRB) will generate the equivalent of 100 percent of the community's electricity demand. The system is comprised of both rooftop solar power installations as well as solar canopies installed in parking areas.

"The guaranteed performance of high efficiency SunPower technology, which generates more electricity per square meter than any other photovoltaic product on the market, will reliably deliver enough clean, emission-free power to ensure West Village achieves its zero net energy goals," said Jim Pape, president of SunPower's residential and commercial business group. "We applaud the aspirations of this unique community, and are confident it will serve as a model for similar developments around the world."

According to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the SunPower system will produce enough power to avoid more than 2,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, equivalent to removing 9,000 cars from California roads over the 25-year life of the system.

In addition to the SunPower system, UC Davis West Village integrates energy conservation elements to reduce energy use that exceeds current building standards by 50 percent.  Every apartment building is built with energy-conserving components including solar reflective roof materials, radiant barrier roof sheathing, high efficiency light fixtures, exterior walls with added insulation, and high efficiency air conditioning systems and appliances. On-site water retention is maximized and materials from renewable sources are incorporated. Architectural elements such as roof overhangs and extensive use of sunshades over windows are designed to respond to the specific solar exposure of each building.

Increased efficiencies will be achieved by providing UC Davis West Village residents with tools to enhance control of their own energy use, including programmable energy management systems and SunPower monitoring, which provides information on solar system power generation and electricity usage.

In addition to SunPower, PG&E, Chevron Energy Solutions, UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center and Davis Energy Group have all played a role in the Zero Net Energy planning and feasibility studies on this project. The project also draws on the nationally recognized expertise of UC Davis, particularly from their research centers including the UC Davis Water Efficiency Center, the UC Davis Energy Institute, the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center, the UC Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center, the UC Davis California Lighting Technology Center and the UC Davis Biogas Energy Project.

UC Davis West Village's Phase I components include:

  • The Ramble Apartments. Two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments for students are configured in ten distinct courtyards positioned along a central winding pathway.
  • Viridian. One- and two-bedroom apartments overlook the village square and retail space.  
  • The Center. An adjacent 15,000 sq. ft. recreation and amenities facility provides a fitness center; conference and study areas; game and theater rooms; recreational pool, lap pool and spa.
  • Retail space. West Village has 42,500 sq. ft. of commercial space for neighborhood-serving retail and university offices surrounding the village square.
  • Community college. This new facility opening Jan. 2012 will house the Sacramento City College Davis Center of the Los Rios Community College District -- the first community college center ever built on a University of California campus.
  • Single-family homes. 343 for-sale homes will aid in recruiting and retaining faculty and staff. Homes planned for purchase in 2012.

About UC Davis West Village

UC Davis West Village is the largest planned Zero Net Energy development in the U.S., utilizing aggressive energy efficiency measures with on-site renewable power generation that meets the energy demand of the community, West Village creates a new model for environmentally responsible living in a large-scale community. Located on the campus of the University of California, Davis, the development broke ground August 2009, and is a public-private partnership between UC Davis and the West Village Community Partnership, LLC, a joint venture led by Carmel Partners with their partner Urban Villages. Phase I construction is underway.  Ultimately, this mixed-use community will provide housing for 3,000 people, including students, faculty/staff and their families; community college facilities; a recreation and amenities center; village square with neighborhood-serving retail; and open space, mixing bike/pedestrian systems and functional green space. The Ramble Apartments and Viridian will welcome initial residents September 2011. For more information about UC Davis West Village, visit: www.ucdaviswestvillage.com

About Carmel Partners

Based in San Francisco, Carmel Partners is a national, full-service real estate investment company specializing in acquisition, development, renovation and property management services. Founded in 1992 by Ron Zeff, Carmel Partners also maintains offices in Irvine, Denver, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and Honolulu. On the forefront of sustainable development, Carmel Partners leads a joint venture for UC Davis West Village, an innovative public-private partnership and the largest planned Zero Net Energy development in the nation. Senior Vice President Nolan Zail has led the Carmel Partners team at West Village from its initial concept through its current development. For more information, visit: www.carmelpartners.net

About Urban Villages

Based in Denver, Colorado, Urban Villages is a real estate and investment company committed to industry-leading sustainable and responsible development. www.urban-villages.com

About UC Davis

For 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matter to California and transform the world. Located close to the state capital, UC Davis has 31,000 students, an annual research budget that exceeds $500 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges — Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science — and advanced degrees from six professional schools — Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. For more information, visit: www.ucdavis.edu

About SunPower

Founded in 1985, SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) designs, manufactures and delivers the planet's most powerful solar technology broadly available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company's experience and proven results to provide maximum return on investment. With headquarters in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. For more information, visit www.sunpowercorp.com

SOURCE SunPower Corp.

For further information: photos, interviews and tours available by request, Spencer Moore, +1-415-317-7100, smoore@chasepr.com, or Julie Chase, +1-415-710-7108, jchase@chasepr.com, both of Chase Communications, for SunPower Corp.; or Ingrid Ekstrom of SunPower, +1-510-260-8368, iekstrom@sunpowercorp.com