Pardee Homes has been an industry leader in green building strategies for decades and is not slowing down now
By JIMMY AYALA
Since 1921, Pardee Homes has been committed to building premier master planned communities and improving the quality of life for our residents. During that time, the homebuilding industry has been challenged to create award-winning communities while adhering to stringent environmental processes and standards.
The latest change comes from California’s update to its building standards codes, known as Title 24, to reflect the state’s push for Zero Net Energy (ZNE) building and its desire to remain the nation’s leader in green building practices. While some developers have undoubtedly been reluctant to embrace the new and more extensive energy laws, at Pardee Homes, we have used the regulations as an opportunity to maximize efficiency as we improve and market new homes to potential buyers while carrying on with business as usual.
“At Pardee Homes we strive to set the bar in environmentally friendly homebuilding,” said Jimmy Ayala, division president for Pardee Homes San Diego. “We make it a priority to anticipate new regulations and, when possible, converge buyer desires with green building practices.”
In 1998, Pardee Homes was among the first to market green building standards with the creation of our LivingSmart® package – a selection of high-end energy saving appliances, building materials, and comfort and control options homebuyers may select from as add-on features when building their dream home.
Although all our homes meet the state’s building code requirements, our LivingSmart® package was designed to showcase how we exceed these minimum requirements and to provide a selection of higher-end customization options for homebuyers to select from. This program has been wildly successful over the course of its 20-year run, and new features are continually being added to the suite as California changes its building code standards.
One such example of California’s latest change is the mandate by the California Energy Commission that almost all new homes must include solar starting in 2020. Whereas much of the public was surprised with the Commission’s decision, Pardee Homes’ newest communities had already been planned with solar in mind.
Our 415-home, 204-acre Weston community located just east of San Diego has a minimum of six solar panels for each home to offset energy needs. These homes became available for purchase in 2017, three years before the solar mandate took effect and approximately six months before the California Energy Commission would approve the new regulation.
While some have met the Commission’s mandate with skepticism, and worry that the added expenses associated with solar may turn away potential buyers, Pardee Homes has seen the opposite. When marketed correctly, by promoting longer-term cost savings, we’ve seen that buyers in our communities where solar is available have praised us for planning homes that are forward thinking and protect the environment.
Most importantly, we’ve seen that solar, coupled with our optional LivingSmart® package, has been an important selling point for the savvy homebuyer who sees these Title 24 inspired features as a way of reducing their energy bills.
With energy costs skyrocketing across the State, buyers have eagerly embraced the additional installation costs after discovering that these features can typically save them more than twice the cost of installation in energy savings over the lifetime of their 30-year mortgage.
As the State continues to update its homebuilding codes to ensure new buildings produce enough renewable energy onsite to offset their annual energy consumption, homebuilders will find that by embracing Title 24 they will achieve new marketing and selling advantages. For instance, regulations that require the use of LED lights, whole house fans, and high performance insulation help reduce electric demand and benefit the consumer.
At Pardee Homes we continue to look towards the future for other possible changes to Title 24. We anticipate even further changes in the coming years. To stay ahead of the curve, we are exploring opportunities such as new smart home technologies that can be integrated directly into the home to help owners track energy consumption and modify their use.
Pardee Homes remains committed to embracing green building standards. We believe that this diligence in forward thinking not only allows us to more swiftly adjust to changes in building standards, but also helps us build the highest quality homes for our customers.
Jimmy Ayala is Division President at Pardee Homes San Diego. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org