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Featured Developments: Plaza Point

Arcata, CA

Montgomery Crossing — Lemoore, CA

Plaza Point — Arcata, CA

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Plaza Point is a 29-unit, 3-story, mixed-use multifamily affordable housing project for seniors combined with commercial market-rate properties in Arcata, CA. There are 4 units of prime commercial real estate integrated into the building design. The housing features common social areas, gardening spaces for residents, a fitness center and a community kitchen. It is located in a rural, downtown area, that provides residents optimal walkability without the need to drive.

The concept for this handsomely-designed project was Smart and Simple. Focusing on a quality building envelope, demand for supplemental energy sources such as heating/cooling and lighting are reduced. The building’s density (3 stories with shared walls between units) and increased insulation above requirements by code, especially roof insulation, help to reduce demand. More critically, passive heating and cooling through smart design strategy, the building’s orientation, proportions, and carefully designed fenestration assist in reducing energy demands and creating an interior that preserves and maximizes natural light.

This, all electric project uses maximum efficiency systems including mini-split heating, which allow individual control and eliminate ductwork vulnerabilities, operations and maintenance, and improve air quality. Each apartment has its own wall-mounted energy monitor as well.

This project participated in a range of nationally recognized measurement and verification programs for energy-efficiency and green building including: LEED (Platinum Level) , EPA’s Energy Star for Homes certification, NAHB National Green Building Standard (Emerald Level), Department of Energy’s Builder’s Challenge (now called Challenge Home), Enterprise Community Partners Green Communities, and PG&E California Multi-Family New Homes.

The energy required to power the systems of the apartment, including its plug loads and lighting is almost entirely provided by the on-site photovoltaic system mounted on the roof. At 82% net zero energy consumption, this project is one of the most efficient that USDA has yet to finance.

USDA is not the sole financier for the project, and it should be noted that projects like this often involve public/private finance partnerships. Because of the mixed use nature of the building, its commercial piece also opened up other possible financing sources, and long-term operations and maintenance budgeting possibilities than traditional multifamily housing.

Green Certification

Initiative Information

Last Modified:03/20/2014 
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