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Green Building & Sustainable Development

Ranch House at Del Sur Receives LEED Platinum Certification

The Ranch House at Del Sur, the information center for the newly opened master-planned community by Black Mountain Ranch LLC in north San Diego, last week was awarded a Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, a program of the US Green Building Council and the most widely recognized standard worldwide for sustainable, high-performance, low-energy-use buildings.

With a point score of 59 out of a total 69 points possible, the 3,000-square-foot Ranch House is the first private-enterprise, new construction building to achieve Platinum rating in California, and San Diego's first Platinum-rated structure.

"The Ranch House is to be commended for its LEED Platinum Certification," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "As a visitor information and resource center, the Ranch House will serve as an example to the community as well as raise awareness among consumers and new home builders. The Ranch House will be a model for master-planned community development."

Of the approximately 680 LEED-NC (new construction) certified buildings in the world, only 28 have achieved Platinum certification. Many Ranch House features are available as standard or options to the 2,500 homes under construction at Del Sur. In addition, the Ranch House is actively promoted as a showcase and resource to all San Diegans to encourage learning about - and committing - to environmental stewardship.

"We're honored that the Ranch House has been recognized by the Green Building Council with its highest rating," said Fred Maas, president and CEO of Black Mountain Ranch LLC, developer of the 1,800-acre Del Sur. "The Ranch House is the focal point of the Del Sur vision: celebrating heritage, craftsmanship and sustainability. Everything from the land planning to the recycling of construction waste to the use of Earth-friendly materials and techniques is part of the Del Sur green building strategy."

Fullerton Architects P.C., of Kalispell, MT provided architectural design services, in consultation with LEED consultant Hernando Miranda of Soltierra, Inc. in San Diego. Landscape architecture was provided by Vita Planning & Landscape Architecture and Wimmer Yamada and Caughey, and interior design was provided by San Diego-based Design Line Interiors. Standard Pacific Homes constructed the Ranch House at Del Sur, and Benchmark Landscape provided landscape installation services.

Resource Conservation, Recycling and Reuse

Through the incorporation of efficient appliances, weather-based irrigation and low-water plant palettes, combined annual estimated water savings are 70 percent, or more than one million gallons saved per year. A photovoltaic (solar) energy system provides about half the building's power, while natural lighting, EnergyStar appliances, and efficient ductwork save approximately 57 percent of energy annually. Wind credits offset the remainder of the energy use, making the Ranch House a net-zero consumption facility.

Approximately 89% of construction waste at the Ranch House was recycled, and materials were re-used on-site where possible. Cork in the flooring, sunflower husks in countertops, wheat waste in cabinets and ceilings, and salvaged timbers used in flooring and ceiling trusses are among the reclaimed or rapidly-renewable resources on display at the Ranch House.

The porous concrete driveway leading to the Ranch House aids with groundwater filtration and mitigates storm-water runoff. Electric vehicles, dedicated carpool parking spaces and bike racks offer and demonstrate a variety of resources for alternative transportation.

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