Birch Hills Apartments – Jamboree Housing Reduces Utility Costs Through Efficient Community Design

Multi-Housing News

August 19, 2014

Irvine, Calif.—Irvine, Calif.-based Jamboree Housing Corporation has reported that it has seen its utility costs drop year-over-year as a result of advanced construction techniques and efficient design in its newer Southern California communities. The reduction has equated to 1 percent drop in operating expenses from 2012 to 2013.

“Although there is a lot of discussion about the value of energy efficiency and the importance of having properties meet specific energy efficiency criteria such as LEED, it is encouraging to see the actual results of energy efficiency in the properties that we build and operate,” says Laura Archuleta, Jamboree president.

According to Jamboree’s annual operations review, electricity costs across its portfolio increased by 9.92 percent in 2013 despite a 17.17 percent hike in 2012. Utility costs such as water and sewer usage, dropped from a 12.67 percent increase in 2012 to a 2.31 percent increase in 2013, all of which has helped the company reduce its year-over-year operating expenses.

Jamboree currently has a $1 billion asset portfolio that includes the development and/or ownership interest in more than 7,400 homes across more than 75 properties in California, which includes about $233 million in affordable housing projects in its development pipeline. In Southern California specifically, the company has five properties that are LEED certified including the recently LEED Platinum certified Birch Hills Apartment Homes in Brea, Calif. and the LEED Gold certified Park Landing in Buena Park, Calif.

Birch Hills Apartments, an urban in-fill project, was completed in October of 2013 and is located in the La Floresta master-planned community. It includes 115 units in a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans, and its amenities include a  4,400 square-foot community recreation center, seminar room, conference room, media room, community kitchen, computer lab and classroom space, a pool, spa, barbecue areas, tot lot and vegetable garden. The community was constructed to include a photovoltaic system on an undevelopable slope of the property.  Rents are affordable to families with household incomes between 30 and 50 percent of the AMI.

The second property to recently receive LEED Certification, Park Landing Apartment Homes, was completed in September of 2013 an is highlighted by its green deck, which includes a LiveRoof system and an assortment of native and drought-tolerant plants, succulents and tall grasses that promote carbon sequestration and help to reduce the heat island effect of paved parking areas. The property is comprised of 70 units with units in one-, two- and three-bedroom options that are available to residents earning incomes between 30 and 60 percent of the AMI.

“We are proud of our energy efficiency achievements as represented by these two newly certified developments and we firmly believe that wise use of energy in all of its forms and measurements is here to stay in both the market-rate and affordable housing industries,” Archuleta says.

The other three LEED Certified communities in Jamboree’s Southern California portfolio are Bonterra Apartment Homes in Brea (LEED Gold), Courier Place in Claremont, Calif. (LEED Platinum) and Doria II Apartment Homes in Irvine (LEED Gold).