Case Study: North Santa Fe Apartments - A LEED Platinum Oasis in Vista, CA


Tucked in the vibrant city of Vista, California, the North Santa Fe Apartments stand as a testament to sustainable, affordable housing. Completed in 2016, these apartments have earned a coveted LEED Platinum certification, with 201 points. This high-performance development exceeds California's energy code standards by an impressive 40%, ensuring not only environmental sustainability but also long-term cost savings. Designed and installed by Adroit Energy, Inc., the apartments are a shining example of how energy efficiency can lead to comfortable living, lower utility bills, and a brighter future for its residents.

Elevating Sustainability in Housing:

The North Santa Fe Apartments are a part of the SDG&E California Advanced Home design program, boasting high efficiency that reduces operating costs and keeps residents comfortable in all weather conditions. This approach helps mitigate utility costs, allowing households to allocate their resources to building a better future.

The apartments feature a range of sustainability-focused elements, including Energy Star appliances, heat pumps, and pin fluorescent lighting. A solar thermal system, consisting of eight SunEarth EP-40 Flat Plate Collectors, efficiently preheats water for the central hot water boilers. Additionally, photovoltaic panels adorn the roof, contributing to at least 50% of the common area's electric load.

Exceeding California's Energy Code Title 24 Standards:

The North Santa Fe Apartments, a LEED Platinum project, are a proud creation of Community Housing Works, a nationally recognized non-profit developer. With a total of 150 apartments across eight buildings, this development outperforms California's Energy Code Title 24 standards by an astounding 40%. It is not only a testament to eco-conscious living but also a symbol of comfort and cost-effectiveness.

The funding for this exceptional project comes from a range of sources, including a 62-year ground lease from the City of Vista, construction and permanent lending from Union Bank, and low-income housing tax credits. Additional financing support is provided by the City of Carlsbad and NeighborWorks funds, later to be replaced by Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco AHP funds. The project's sustainability efforts also benefited from solar and energy program rebates, along with the City of Vista's support for community sewer upgrades.

Project Overview:

  • Project Name: North Santa Fe Apartments
  • Location: Vista, CA
  • Installation Year: 2016
  • Installer: Adroit Energy, Inc.

System Specifications:

  • Application: Solar Water Heating for Affordable Housing Complex (8 buildings; 150 apartments)
  • Solar Collectors: 8 SunEarth EP-40 Collectors
  • System Format: Solar Pre-Heated Water for Tenant's Water Heaters
  • Rated Power Output Per Thermal System: 327.2 ft² / 10.76 * 0.7 = 21.29 kW
  • Yearly Energy Output (kWh): 21.29 * 5.13 * 0.44 * 365 = 17,540 kWh

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Creating a Sustainable Future:

The North Santa Fe Apartments in Vista, CA, exemplify a perfect blend of sustainability and affordability. This LEED Platinum development provides its residents with not only high-quality, energy-efficient living but also an impressive reduction in utility costs.

The partnership between Adroit Energy, Inc., and Community Housing Works has shown that innovative design and solar technology can lead to eco-conscious, comfortable, and cost-effective housing solutions. The North Santa Fe Apartments are a shining example of how sustainable living can be accessible, comfortable, and environmentally responsible.


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