Construction costs for the 50-unit Heritage Oaks came in under budget, which allowed the developer, Central Valley Coalition for Affordable Housing, to invest the excess funds in upgraded materials and sustainable technologies.
Designed by KTGY Group with a “mountain” aesthetic, the project initially was slated to achieve LEED Gold certification, but the addition of solar panels pushed the project to the Platinum level. Heritage Oaks’ other sustainable elements include Energy Star appliances, high-efficiency lighting, water-conserving plumbing fixtures and landscape practices, and high-efficiency HVAC systems.
One of the team’s biggest challenges was sourcing sustainable materials from local providers, but the 1.52-acre site is located near community services, which maxed out the LEED site-sustainability category. The one- and two-bedroom units range from 652 to 902 square feet and feature universal design, including wide corridors, power-operated doors in the main lobby, and zero-step accessibility.
The Craftsman-inspired project is restricted to working seniors earning between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income and boasts “extras” such as a community center with a great room and two-story fireplace; a hobby/craft studio; and a “man-cave garage” with workshop benches, tools, and a dart board. Other amenities include a theater, gourmet kitchen, fitness center, and technology center. In addition, residents can grow herbs and vegetables in raised gardening beds.
Heritage Oaks received the 2013 Editors’ Choice Award for displaying the paramount achievements exemplified by all our winners—creative land use and financing, fine architecture, and sustainable construction.