$300M Zero Net Energy Project Opens at UC Davis

The first phase of West Village at University of California, Davis, the largest planned zero net energy development in the country, has just made its debut.

Davis, Calif.—The first phase of West Village at University of California, Davis, the largest planned zero net energy development in the country, has just made its debut. With completion of the $300 million initial segment of the sustainable mixed-use community, the developers—a public-private partnership between UC Davis, Carmel Partners and Urban Villages—have delivered 315 new units of student and staff housing to the market.

Studio E Architects is the designer behind the seven-building project, which in addition to the residences at the Ramble Apartments and the Viridian, features 42,500 square feet of ground level retail space and a 15,000-square-foot recreation center reserved for West Village dwellers. The development’s most prominent feature, however, is green.

With a high efficiency 4-megawatt solar power system, West Village will give as much as it gets—energy, that is. The solar panels, located on the buildings’ saw-toothed rooftops, will allow the compound to return 100 percent of the amount of power it uses to the electrical grid, thus, the property’s ZNE status. In addition to the panels, the property will achieve energy savings through extensive sun-shading and energy efficient lighting and appliances in the residences.

West Village dovetails perfectly with the California Public Utilities Commission’s new Zero Net Energy Action Plan, a directive for all new residential construction to be developed as clean energy-powered, energy-efficient facilities by 2020, with all new commercial construction falling in line by 2030.

Studio E is presently designing the next phase of the student housing that will be sprout up at West Village. When all is said and done, the environmentally friendly mixed-use community will encompass an aggregate 662 apartments, as well as 343 single-family homes.