Civita, Sudberry Properties’ 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 of Sudberry Properties.
“We’re collaborating with San Diego Gas & Electric 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,” Sessa said. “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.”
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 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 state law. Sudberry achieved this through a variety of measures, including extensive use of energy-efficient lighting, windows and HVAC systems, a 145-kilowatt 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 technology that saves energy and are dark sky-friendly, eliminating stray light and reducing overall light pollution.
“Civita will use 50 percent less water per person than traditional suburban developments,” Sessa said. “It will be considerably more water efficient than required by code, thanks to its compact development and water-saving innovations.”
Every aspect of the community is being studied from a sustainability point of view, Sessa said. “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,” he said. “The bioswale, which resembles a natural streambed, will remove silt and pollution from the runoff through natural biofiltration.”
The Civita plan emphasizes reducing automobile trips. Sudberry Properties is planning a 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. Civita also features a ride-sharing program featuring a fleet of smart electric drive vehicles through Car2go. 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 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, California’s highest environmental honor.
For more information visit civitalife.com/sustainability.html