Mogavero Architects

Colegio Zero-Net-Energy Village earns California Energy Commission’s EPIC GRANT 

The California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded an EPIC Grant to Mogavero Architects for the purpose of developing a zero-net-energy multifamily affordable housing project in the Central Valley. As worsening climate conditions plague California, the need for resilient, energy-efficient, affordable housing is critical. A prerequisite to funding was to create a design that could be 100% zero-net-energy every day from 4-9 p.m. (365 days a year), no easy feat in Visalia, California where brownouts are becoming more prevalent, especially in the hot summer months.

In partnership with Self-Help Enterprises, Colegio Zero-Net-Energy Village utilizes cutting-edge carbon-reducing strategies and provides 94 units of affordable housing to the city of Visalia. This zero net energy, all-electric, mixed-use, transit-oriented affordable housing community will serve as Self-Help’s prototype version 2.0, designed with every sustainability measure in mind, and highly replicable.

In order to achieve the goals set forth by the CEC, Renner Johnston, AIA, LEED AP, and Erin Reschke, LEED AP, implemented numerous carbon-reducing tactics including the elimination of 68,000 pounds of structural steel; 77,000 square feet of cement-based siding; and 77,000 square feet of gypsum base subfloor. Overall, the project achieves a 37% annual reduction in operational carbon and a 25% reduction of embodied carbon.

Additional strategies were utilized to achieve zero-net-energy daily from peak hours of 4-9 p.m. EV-Choice management, time of use laundry incentives and storage tanks for pre-heated hot water allow for load shifting. Colegio will provide resiliency in the event of a natural disaster through “islanding” allowing residents to maintain power even when the grid goes down. Residents will not accrue large electricity bills for this feature, in fact, they will pay a flat fee per month, never to exceed $30.

To receive a second round of funding for the EPIC Grant, Mogavero Architects is competing against 2 other firms in the Central Valley Region. ARUP, a global leader in sustainable design and a consultant to the team through the design process, analyzed and delivered an energy report to share with the CEC. The information compiled in this report was used to create a video summarizing the project and the steps taken to ensure its energy efficiency. Thank you, ARUP, for your invaluable support, the following video has been submitted to the CEC as we now wait to hear if we will be awarded additional funding to turn our vision into reality!

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