Innovation That Matters

Solar-powered community to include 500 homes

Property & Construction

Solar energy may offer myriad compelling benefits, but its use in homes is still far from widespread. California developer Comstock Homes is now developing what it calls the nation’s first single-builder solar-powered community, however, just 10 miles from downtown LA. Comstock’s Villages at Heritage Springs will include more than 500 residences set on 54 landscaped acres in Southern California’s Santa Fe Springs. A variety of sizes, styles and floor plans will be available, ranging from 1,390 square feet to 2,166 square feet, two-story townhomes to three-story houses with optional loft. Regardless of the size, energy efficiency will be at the heart of each Villages home, with features such as double-pane, low-emissivity (Low-E) windows; energy-efficient lighting, heating and air-conditioning; cool roof tiles; and a tankless water heater. Perhaps even more significant, however, is that all homes will feature SunPower solar roof tiles to power their lights, appliances, TV and other electronic devices, allowing them to exceed the National Energy Standard by 50 percent, Comstock says. With a wireless monitoring system for energy-use tracking, the SunPower system can save consumers up to 60 percent on their electric bills, including credits for extra energy production. The development is expected to be finished next year, according to CoolerPlanet, with single-family home prices ranging from USD 500,000 to USD 750,000. There is another large, solar-powered development in California already, CoolerPlanet points out—a 650-home community from Lennar Corp. in Roseville. Either way, with all the many reasons to decrease dependence on fossil fuels, both provide a large-scale example of the possibilities. A model to be emulated in sunny places around the world! (Related: Thin, flexible solar panelingSolar panels, measured and designed remotelySolar panels shaped like clay roof tilesFree plans for eco homes.) Spotted by: Jim Stewart



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