Los Angeles Announces First Zero Net Energy Multifamily Affordable Housing Development
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Silver Star Apartments is the first Zero Net Energy multifamily affordable housing development in Los Angeles. Promise Energy designed and installed a Solar Photovoltaic system that covers both roofs on the project, and even incorporates vertical solar facades as a unique design element, visible from the project’s courtyard.
According to proudgreenbuilding.com, the 49-unit building in south Los Angeles will provide homes and supportive services for formerly homeless veterans. Silver Star is LEED Platinum and Energy Star Homes certified, and aims to meet the “Living Building Challenge” Energy Petal Certification as well.
The site reported that Silver Star recently won the Sustainable Innovation Awards Project of the Year for 2017 from the Los Angeles chapter of the US Green Building Council. Dominique Hargreaves, Executive Director of the US Green Building Council Los Angeles said, “We appreciate the time and energy it takes to deliver these types of high-performing projects. The jurors of the Sustainable Innovations Awards appreciated the innovations that you documented and agreed that your project was way beyond rating system requirements or code and really demonstrated excellence in design and construction as well as providing much needed supportive housing.”
ACOF engaged Promise Energy at the very beginning of the design process to collaborate with FSY Architects, and energy consultant Green Dinosaur to make the building as efficient as possible, and then fit enough solar PV to offset 105% of all site energy use, to make the building net positive. Special attention was paid to the solar orientation of each façade, and during the design process, the roof was expanded, and finally solar panels were placed vertically on the building to enhance production in order to meet the project’s aggressive sustainability goals.
According to promiseenergy.com, a variety of efficient features were incorporated into the apartments including:
The units were not only designed to operate very energy efficiently, but also to engage tenants in their energy consumption patterns. Apartment iPad displays will allow tenants to see how much energy they’re using, and how much energy their solar panels are producing. Each apartment has separate solar panels on the roof directly wired to their meter.