Sustainable Homes in Silicon Valley

Landsea Homes builds high-density housing in the Bay Area

By Julia Edinger

There is high demand for housing in the Bay Area. The influx of new tech companies in the Silicon Valley has put immense pressure on those in the housing industry to provide a variety of products that allow people to live and work in the region. Landsea Homes has risen to this challenge with The Vale in Sunnyvale, California.

The community offers two product types, Nexus and Echo, to appeal to a wider range of buyers with varying needs. The strong economy and jobs market continues to stimulate the region’s growth, so Landsea saw this as an excellent time and place to build.

The community’s family-friendly amenities appeal to a wide range of buyers in the Bay Area.

“Although Landsea Homes wasn’t the original developer of The Vale, we recognized this was an ideal opportunity to provide much-needed housing in the mecca of tech employment in the Bay Area,” explained Josh Santos, President of the Northern California division of Landsea Homes. “In a place that was so under-supplied with new home offerings and rents soaring through the roofs, we knew it would help supply that severely underdeveloped market.”

Echo is one of two product types offered at The Vale.


Building Better Together

One special aspect of this project is the emphasis on collaboration as a crucial part of the project’s success.

Dahlin Group Architecture Planning programmed the architectural plans for the community before Landsea purchased the community. DAHLIN had worked with the builder before in Landsea’s Kingswood community, so the Landsea team was familiar with DAHLIN’s attention to detail.

The homes are HERS-rated and GreenPoint Rated for a healthier home.

“As we got to know the product through the due diligence process, we just knew it was going to be a huge success,” Santos detailed.

The challenge for the Landsea team in the creation of this community was adjusting to the mechanics of building high-density housing. On limited, valuable land, the design was to be carefully followed. The team had to work very closely with the civil engineer to account for utility spaces and ensure the design’s success.

The three-story rowhomes maximize space with open plans and high ceilings.

The location itself also lent an important partnership to the project. The City of Sunnyvale worked closely with the Landsea team to provide guidance and support in making the outcome align with the vision.

“The City of Sunnyvale has been, by far, one of the best partners of all municipalities we work with,” Santos explained. “Anytime we ran into a situation to make a change or adapt a process, they always had open ears and were quick to resolve the issue.”


Difference in the Detail

The two product types, Nexus and Echo, feature unique three-story rowhomes. Nexus features a slightly larger plan with a contemporary, modern architectural style. Echo offers a contemporary farmhouse style in contrast to Nexus’s prairie style.

“The idea is that, when we build something to last forever, that we’ve done it in a responsible manner that is of benefit to both homeowners and neighbors.” – Josh Santos, President, Northern California division, Landsea Homes

“The exterior architecture is the jewel of this community,” Santos described. “It’s one of the best-looking communities in the market and in the Bay Area, and we get constant praise and feedback from visitors, homebuyers, and those in the industry for the high-level detail of our exteriors.”

Dahlin Group Architecture Planning’s attention to detail ensured the design’s success.

Additionally, 15-foot tall ceilings in the third story’s master bedrooms — a rare feature for a three-story row project — are certain to impress.

While the target buyer may be someone who works in Silicon Valley, the amenities appeal to all ages, including families. The amenities in the community are centered around the clubhouse, known as The Nucleus. Each building has its own park and children’s playground. One of the parks that the team built was actually dedicated to the City of Sunnyvale, a nod to the importance of this collaboration.

The Vale is centered around The Nucleus, the community’s clubhouse.
Landsea Builds for Tomorrow

One of the important features of this community is that it is sustainable. Not only did the team meet the GreenPoint checklist and exceed California Title 24 requirements by 15 percent, the community also implements the Home Energy Rating System scores to raise standards.

“Sustainability is such an impact, not only for the people who choose to buy and occupy our homes but also the people who live around or near our communities,” Santos described. “The idea is that, when we build something to last forever, that we’ve done it in a responsible manner that is of benefit to both homeowners and neighbors.”

Landsea is currently operating in several other communities: Catalina, Siena, and Skylark at Sanctuary Village, in Santa Clara, Milpitas, and Newark, respectively. In the coming months, the builder will announce even more projects that will be coming to life soon. Landsea will continue to impact and enhance communities with its product offerings.

Julia Edinger is the Editor for Green Home Builder Magazine. She can be reached at

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