Villa Alegre Apartments
244 Villa Alegre St, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Santa Fe Civic Housing Authority completed the first 111 affordable LEED® for Homes units in the Santa Fe area: Villa Alegre Phase 1 and 2. The project broke ground in June of 2010 and achieved LEED Platinum certification in November of 2011. The project is a single-family attached (townhouse) project consisting of 44 one- and two-story buildings that have between two and six units in each building. Phase one of the project consists of 60 family units plus a community center; phase two consists of 50 senior housing units, one caretakers’ unit, and a community center.
Included in Green Insight’s scope of work were Enterprise Green Communities, LEED for Homes credit verification, testing during construction and QAD review, energy efficiency recommendations, building material assessments, review of construction documents, specifications, and project submittals.
The overarching goal was to create a sustainable project that had the smallest environmental footprint possible. This was more difficult than one might think because so many community members had their own ideas on what was sustainable. One also has to keep in mind that Santa Fe is a fragile high desert environment with less than 12 inches of rain a year. By the end of our design charrettes, we determined that focusing on energy and water efficiency would achieve our goals on multiple different levels and make the most appropriate use of the grant money obtained.
Garnering public support for this project was an essential success. We wanted to develop quality constructed units (especially within the Low-Income Housing standard) and maximize housing opportunities in the Santa Fe historic downtown area. The City of Santa Fe requires a neighborhood meeting (referred to as “Early Neighborhood Notification”) when a development has a certain magnitude, such as our Villa Alegre. We ended up having not just one required meeting, but several, to really listen to neighbors and respond to their input. We advised the project team on how to achieve their green building goals, facilitated charrettes, and participated in City of Santa Fe oversight meetings that included the Mayor, City Council Members, City Employees, and others.
The project focuses heavily on reducing energy use by incorporating a geothermal exchange system with ground source heat pumps and a 240-kilowatt photovoltaic system. The units also feature ENERGY STAR windows, high-efficiency lighting fixtures, compact fluorescent bulbs, and high-density, blown insulation. Other energy efficiency upgrades include instantaneous water heaters, programmable thermostats, high-efficiency furnaces, and air conditioners, and mechanical ventilation to enhance indoor air quality. As a result of incorporating energy-saving products and technologies, all the units in this project achieved a 32 or better Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index score and will be ENERGY STAR qualified.
Our project success
What our clients are saying
“Green Insight is always available on-site and in real-time. Their ability to turn things around and keep a project on track distinguishes GI from competitors. They are also creative and willing to roll with the punches. In my world, things don’t always work out perfectly but the team at Green Insight is always open to finding creative solutions to figure out the most timely, cost-efficient way to resolve issues.”
Project Manager, Pavilion Construction
“Green Insight’s team is responsive, available, and provides a tremendous sense of security. We recently had a project where the goalposts changed quickly and often during the approval process. We were able to get our project approved, but I honestly don’t know how that would have gone if we didn’t have the backup and knowledge that Green Insight provided.”
Director of Development, Landmark Homes
“When it comes to green energy consultants, Green Insight takes the stress away like no other. They bring an unbeatable combination of value-engineering, industry knowledge, and out-of-the-box creativity for solutions that work. What I value most about working with Green Insight is the relationship – which is more like a partnership that has been one of the key drivers in our success. They take the stress away. And frankly, this has been the best relationship that I’ve had with somebody in this business.”
Owner, Trailhead Homes