The built environment has an impact on the way we live our lives — and on the way we interact with and experience the natural environment. Biophilic design is relatively new to the mainstream, but the concept has been around for a long time. We are inherently drawn to nature. We thrive when surrounded by natural wood and stone, when we breathe fresh air, when we experience the bounty of the soil, and when water is abundant and pure. We think better. We feel better. We interact better. We perform better. Biophilic design provides a framework to understand what we already know — that the built environment is at its best when it blends seamlessly with the natural environment.
Our goal with every project is to generate as much renewable energy as we can while conserving resources wherever possible. With public incentives and competitive pricing, achieving these results does not have to come at a premium. In fact, sustainable features can reduce costs over the long run by improving efficiency and reducing operating expenses. And there is growing demand for these forward-looking projects. This demand creates multigenerational returns through increased rents and reduced vacancy over many decades by differentiating a project in the market.
“For hundreds of years, we have mined resources from our planet with little to no consideration for the vibrancy of life. Our focus is on shifting toward a regenerative model. Sustainability is not enough. Our primary goal is to develop projects that generate more energy than we use, that rebuild soil, that filter and purify rainwater, while creating new jobs and infusing investment into the communities where we work.”
Founder and CEO
West Village is a residential neighborhood located adjacent to the core campus of the University of California, Davis. This 1,980-unit student and faculty housing campus is the largest net-zero energy community in the United States. The sustainable design of the campus reduces reliance on cars, limits energy consumption, enables energy production, and contributes to a healthy environment. A network of open spaces, parks, gardens, pathways, and courtyards provides the attributes and character of traditional biophilic design. The $400 million project was made possible by an innovative public-private partnership; it is supported with nearly $7.5 million in federal and state grants to study net-zero energy systems. Energy-efficiency measures have reduced projected energy demand by approximately 50 percent compared to current building-code requirements. Renewable energy will meet the remaining energy needs on an annual basis. For residents, down-to-earth design meets advanced technology with web and smartphone applications for monitoring energy use and saving electricity.