Project Stats

Location: Playa Vista, Calif.
Developer/Builder: KB Home
Architect: KTGY Architecture + Planning
Opened: April 2014
Number of units: 93
Unit mix: three- and four-bedrooms condos
Sale price: $1,269,990 to $1,414,990

With the LEED Platinum–certified Skylar at Playa Vista, developer KB Home and architect group KTGY redesigned the typical three-story townhome to present better living arrangements to the 55-plus and multi-generational markets, while maintaining stringent energy-efficiency standards to save residents money.

The 93-unit condominium community is packed with green features designed to appeal to buyers' wallets and eco-conscious minds. In building to California's 2008 Title 24 code, KB Home actually achieved a level of efficiency ranked 42.7% higher than the code required, saving residents approximately 40% on their monthly energy bills.

The green features include a cool roof that reflects approximately 80% of sunlight, reducing the need for air-conditioning; large north-, east-, and west-facing windows with solar shading for natural daylighting; pervious pavers for biofiltration, to reduce the impact on the stormwater system; solar panels to power outdoor lighting to reduce HOA fees; optional solar energy to power individual units; low-flow fixtures and high-­efficiency irrigation to reduce water waste; all ­Energy Star lighting and appliances; and electric-vehicle charging stations. The developer also used locally sourced and recycled materials and managed to divert 98% of the construction waste from landfills by recycling construction materials.

All of these green features make Skylar stand out in the market, but the floor plans are what really steal the show. The first is the project's only two-level plan available with a four-bedroom layout. With direct access from the garage, the ground-floor suite, with an optional kitchen, is perfect for the boomerang kid or an aging parent. An in-unit stairway provides access up to the main-level living area, which also features three bedrooms, a den, the main kitchen, and the living room.

Two separate single-level units, offering three-bedroom layouts similar to that of the first plan but without the ground-floor suite, reside on the second and third floors. All three units have stairway access to the ground floor as well as convenient elevator access for those who can't take the stairs.

Each elevator provides access only to three units, providing a certain level of privacy to the homeowners.

Not only are the single-level layouts and elevator access perfect for the baby boomer market, but all plans include universal design elements to maximize functionality and comfort as residents' needs change over time.

The community is being completed in phases. In the first two weeks of phase one and phase two, 78% and 67% of units, respectively, sold out. After four months, 29 of the 36 units were sold, and 68% of their buyers were 55 or older. The final phases are expected to be completed by June 2016.