San Diego-Area Green Development Recognized by National Building Industry

With 20 percent of the mixed use Del Sur community completed, The National Association of Home Builders yesterday named the project its Mixed Use Development of the Year.”What makes Del Sur unique is the size and scale of the community and the affordability of the ‘green’ features” said Ray Tonjes, chairman of NAHB’s green building subcommittee.When complete, Del Sur–located twenty minutes from downtown San Diego–will include 2,500 market-rate homes, 469 low-income homes, business and commercial space, a transit center, fire station, two schools and more than 1,900 acres of dedicated open space shared with sister community Santaluz.The Ranch House, the community’s information center, according to the San Diego Business Journal, is one of only 73 projects that have been certified Platinum out of 1,422 LEED-certified green projects worldwide. It was built with materials recycled from the construction site and other dismantled homes and projects. Insulation is made of old bluejeans. Countertops are created from compressed sunflower husks and cabinets are made from wheat in addition to energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, appliances, lighting, and eaves that collect rainwater for landscaping re-use.Del Sur mandates that almost every home incorporate drought-tolerant landscaping, tankless water heaters, hot-water-on-demand systems and water-saving landscape irrigation systems among a core set of sustainable features. The development has exceeded its goal of 20 percent of the homes incorporating solar energy systems with some neighborhoods reaching 40 percent.More than 92 percent of construction waste communitywide has been recycled. So far the community has diverted close to 10,000 tons of construction waste away from landfills. Waste lumber is turned into mulch. Waste gypsum is used as a soil amendment. Old concrete is used in road construction.