First Fully Solar-Powered Apartment Community in California Opens Smart-Growth Development Shows that “Green” is for Everyone
Poway, Calif. (June 5, 2007) – SOLARA, the first apartment community in California to be fully powered by the sun, officially opened today.This development represents a breakthrough in integrating solar in multifamily housing and establishes a new standard in sustainable design. “We designed SOLARA to be totally green from the inside out,” said Sue Reynolds, President and CEO of Community HousingWorks, the developer/owner of SOLARA.“The fact that SOLARA is also an affordable housing project proves that “green” is not just for high-end homes.” Most apartment developments to date that boast of using solar power use it for common area electricity or for pre-heating hot water.But SOLARA’s rooftop photovoltaic solar arrays produce enough energy to power the entire residential complex and, on some days, provides surplus electricity to feed the region’s power grid. . SOLARA was also built on smart-growth principles.Located near public transportation, shopping, civic services and recreational venues, the pedestrian-oriented development also includes a 2,100-square-foot community center master plan site that includes a 2,100 square feet of independent office space. Funding for the $16.3 million project comes from Union Bank of California, the City of Poway, the County of San Diego, the California Energy Commission (CEC) and National Equity Fund.
There were many different aspects to the art at Solara. Nina partnered with artist Aida Mancillas.
Together we made: Solar Quilts (seen above) Three rotating sculptures with recycled materials showing beautifully.
The Acorn Basket, which is a short destination from the Community Room connected by a path made of recycled glass.
The Recycle-Scope, a two person kaleidoscope.
The Cattail gate which points out that there is a waterway close by and a gate that accesses Hilleary Park. Rubbing Discs which are dotted along the paths and provide the basis for making a templated book for the AfterSchool Art Program called the 360.