West Village at UC Davis, reportedly the nation’s largest zero net-energy community, just had its official ribbon cutting and Studio E was there to enjoy the festivities.
Our seven buildings circle a village square and include 123 units of student and staff housing, ground level retail space and a large recreation center for all of the residents. Every building employs a super-insulated envelope, extensive sunshading and an impressive array of electricity generating solar photovoltaic panels. The strategy of lowering the energy need with the best energy efficiency techniques and making room for the appropriate amount of energy generation is what gets the project to the all important sweet spot of making all the energy it needs.
Of course any development, if it is to be a place that enhances people’s lives, can’t solely be a machine that generates energy. As important as the sustainable design is in the conception of West Village, equally important was to make a community. At West Village a community is made around a connected pedestrian network of open spaces that invite casual meetings and lingering. As the shops and restaurants come along in the near future we anticipate that the village square will be an active and engaging centerpiece in the life of the community.
We are proud to have been a part of something this important. Congratulations to the development team and the University for starting this process ten years ago and for sticking with it when many others have not been able to make it happen.