AmeriCare is proud to announce that Silvergate Rancho Bernardo, a proposed retirement community coming soon to Bernardo Heights, is going above and beyond today’s environmental design and construction standards. Included in the proposed design are a variety of innovative and sustainable features that far exceed today’s project development standards and requirements. Here’s a brief description of the 7 most notable features:
1. LEED Certification
From the outset, the project has been designed with the goal of attaining Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Certification for Building Design and Construction. LEED is the green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices, and in order to receive LEED certification, the Silvergate Rancho Bernardo project must satisfy prerequisites and go through extensive design and construction reviews.
2. Photovoltaic (Solar) System
Silvergate is proposing to install an extensive rooftop photovoltaic (PV) solar system in an effort to offset a significant portion of the community’s energy demands with clean, renewable energy. It is estimated this rooftop solar system will generate at least half of the project’s energy demand.
3. Centralized Greywater System
In an effort to reduce water usage and demand in the midst of today’s severe drought conditions, the project is proposing one of San Diego County’s first large commercial greywater system. The greywater system will collect, treat, and reuse water from showers, sinks and clothes washers for irrigation purposes on-site. The state-of-the-art, centralized system will utilize some of the most innovative water-wise technology available today and meet a vast majority of the project’s irrigation needs.
4. Drought Tolerant Landscaping
The landscape designs for the project include an abundance of drought tolerant and water-wise plants, which are best suited for San Diego’s current drought conditions. Use of natural grass has been minimized throughout the site so as to reduce the demand for water. The plans also incorporate the use of artificial turf in several of the community’s recreational areas.
5. Rainwater Catchment System
To reduce strain on the municipal stormwater drains, the Silvergate project proposes to include a rainwater collection system with biofiltration basins. The biofiltration basins allow stormwater to naturally soak into the soil and replenish natural groundwater reserves.
6. LED Lighting
Extremely energy efficient LED lighting fixtures will be utilized for both interior and exterior lighting needs. LEDs consume up to 90% less power than incandescent bulbs and are completely free of toxic materials.
7. Low-Flow Plumbing Fixtures
Silvergate plans to install low-flow sink faucets, shower heads, and toilets throughout the community, effectively reducing the anticipated water demands for a project of this size. Low-flow fixtures use significantly less water than older, traditional fixtures by using a high-pressure technique to produce a strong or equal flow of water.
All of these “green” features have been incorporated into Silvergate’s proposed plans, which are currently under review by the City of San Diego’s Planning Department. Unfortunately due to understaffing issues at the City, the approvals process has been delayed, however, we are hopeful the plans for this exciting new project will be approved by the end of the summer.