Picture From FootHill Commons, courtesy of Swinerton Builders Ellis Family Apartments, courtesy of Asian Neighborhood Design Picture From FootHill Commons, courtesy of Swinerton Builders

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    = A Green Affordable Housing Coalition case study


  • Murphy Ranch , developed by First Community Housing, provides affordable housing for 100 families near downtown Morgan Hill. Not only does the project incorporate best practices for health, energy efficiency, resource conservation, and renewable energy, but it successfully demonstrates innovative strategies for making projects more transit friendly.

    Valley Oaks Villas, designed and built by MCM Design Build Group in Napa, demonstrates the builder's commitment to building healthy and affordable owner-occupied workforce without relying on outside subsidies.

    Acalanes Court is a 17-unit family-oriented affordable housing project in Walnut Creek, developed by Satellite Housing. In the process of going green, the project overcame budgetary and design challenges arising from the site's freeway proximity, steep slope, and awkard shape.

    Betty Ann Gardens is a 76-unit project in San José, developed by First Community Housing. It demonstrates that Green Building is compatible with mainstream construction practices and affordable housing project budgets. The project is one of the few to incorporate formaldehyde-free medium-density fiberboard for cabinetry and trim. The Community Center incorporates shingles made of 100% recycled materials, reinforced vinyl, and cellulose fiber.

  • Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center was awarded Fannie Mae Foundation's Maxwell Award of Excellence for Affordable Housing Design for its Bernal Gateway Apartments project.

  • Emeryville Resourceful Building Project is a three-unit affordable housing project in Emeryville, California, that incorporates resource and energy-efficiency measures; use of recycled, durable, non-toxic building materials; and job-site recycling.

  • Folsom/Dore Apartments is an urban infill affordable housing development in San Francisco's SOMA neighborhood. This 98-unit project was developed by Citizens Housing Corporation to provide housing and resources for low and very low-income residents. The building exceeds Title 24 by 20% with the help from features such as the photovoltaic (PV) system for the common areas. The interior finishes include materials that are low-VOC and recycled content.

  • The Fruitvale Avenue Project is an example of East Bay Habitat for Humanity's priority towards building sustainable housing. The project features four single-family detached homes in East Oakland and incorporates many sustainable elements to reduce energy consumption and waste. Like all Habitat projects, the Fruitvale project relied heavily on donated materials and volunteer time.

  • Northgate Apartments (.pdf file) is a 43-unit project in North Oakland, sponsored by Resources for Community Development. The project is a good example of “smart growth:” an in-fill development project that makes maximum use of a constrained site and incorporates a variety of Green Building techniques, including virtual elimination of vinyl.

  • Nueva Vista Family Housing (.pdf file) from Global Green USA. A cutting-edge example of how a dedicated affordable housing developer can incorporate many green features into a project while working within a limited budget.

  • Plaza Apartments (.pdf file) is an 106 unit Single Room Occupancy (SRO) in San Francisco from the Public Initiatives Developement Corporation.


  • Urban Ecology has a Bay Area infill developers portfolio of exemplary projects based on their infill development standards, a sustainable development toolkit, City profiles, and their quarterly Urban Ecology magazine.


  • Joustra Residence from County of San Mateo Recycle Works . A detailed report on the green features and benefits associated with this home and office renovation.

  • Siegel House, Village Homes, Davis a report that describes some of the home's successes and failures, and how the UC Berkeley students discovered and evaluated each.

    • Wine Creek Road Home, Healdsburg This modest California retreat evokes the spirit of local vernacular buildings and was designed to take maximum advantage of the site and climate to make the house comfortable while minimizing energy use and environmental impacts.


    • Ecology House, San Rafael The Department of Housing and Urban Development funded 11 unit apartment building designed, constructed, and maintained for people with extreme environmental sensitivities.


      • Adeline Street Urban Salvage Mixed-Use Project This mixed-use property with two ground-level commercial units and two residential units above, maintains and enhances the character of the original house by using salvaged material and dramatically restructuring some of the spaces.

      • Argonne Child Development Center, San Francisco Argonne Child Development Center is San Francisco 's first solar-powered school. Since Argonne shares its site with San Francisco 's largest community garden, neighbor and community participation were essential to the design of the project. The new school building incorporates the surrounding gardens and play areas to stretch the concept of a classroom.

      • Building Deconstruction for Reuse and Recycling, San Francisco from Smart Growth Network. Learn why, except for the mandated high wage expense, this building project may be regarded as a best-case deconstruction scenario.

      • Camp Arroyo Environmental Education Camp, Livermore Siegel & Strain Architects is an innovative design firm with a commitment to environmentally sustainable design. The firm has won more than twenty design awards since the early nineties for projects that range from housing to historic to institutional projects to environmentally sustainable design and research.

        • DeAnza Community College , Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies. A showcase of energy efficiency and resource conservation.

        • GAP Corporate Campus, San Bruno from Loisos and Ubbelohde. The building complex is at least 30 per cent more energy-efficient than required by California law, making it one of the nation's most energy efficient commercial buildings.

          • Georgia Blach Intermediate School , Los Altos (.pdf file) from Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Developed to give school boards, administrators, and architects an overview of how one school achieved energy and money savings through the incorporation of high performance design features into their construction and renovation project.

          • Hewlett Foundation Headquarters from County of San Mateo Recycle Works . The first building in California and only the fifth in the nation to receive LEED™ v. 2.0 GOLD certification rating. This site details the project highlights.

          • Hidden Villa Hosteland Summer Camp, Los Altos Hills

          • Jasper Ridge Field Station from County of San Mateo Recycle Works . The Leslie Shao-ming Sun Field Station at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve is the commercial winner for the First Green Building Award in the County. This site details project team members and design highlights.

          • Real Goods Trading Company's Solar Living Center, Hopland

          • San Mateo County Forensics Laboratory A highly secure and technologically innovative laboratory facility designed to provide a superior workplace, flexibility to accommodate changing needs, and advanced resource efficiency.

          • Santa Rita Jail, Alameda County from Powerlight® Solar Electric Systems. Includes the largest rooftop solar electric system in the nation.

          • Shorebird Park Nature Center, Berkeley from Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront. A new green center that will provide an office, a Visitor's Center and additional teaching space. This site details the center’s environmental features, including straw bale exterior walls and passive solar design.

          • Thoreau Center for Sustainability, San Francisco This design addresses sustainable development within the constraints of a historic landmark structure.

            • West Valley Branch Library, San Jose from City of San Jose Environmental Services. The first public building in the City of San José to achieve LEED Certification. The new library achieved points in every major LEED category, including sustainable site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation and design principles.

            • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation from Global Green USA. This is the first building in California and only the fifth in the nation to receive USGBC LEED v. 2.0 Gold.

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