Birch Hills – Jamboree Housing Lowers Annual Property Operating Expenses by Raising the Bar on LEED Certifications

September 18, 2014

IRVINE, CA – Although electricity costs continue to rise and are a major part of operating expenses for its multifamily properties, Jamboree Housing Corporation reports that, based on an internal review of its 2013 operating expenses, the combination of energy efficient design and advanced construction techniques used in its newer developments does, in fact, reduce utility costs.

Irvine, CA headquartered Jamboree is one of California’s leading community development organizations specializing in affordable and workforce housing. Currently, the company has $233 million in affordable housing projects in its development pipeline and a $1 billion asset portfolio that includes the development of and/or ownership interest in more than 7,400 homes in more than 75 California communities.

According to the annual operations review, electricity costs for the company’s properties in 2013 increased by 9.92% compared to a 17.71% hike in 2012. As a result of the reduced energy and other utility costs such as water and sewer, utility costs went down dramatically from a 12.67% increase in 2012 to a 2.31% bump in 2013. Jamboree’s overall operating expenses for 2013 were 1% less than the previous year.

Five of Jamboree’s newer Southern California properties are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, two of which just received their certification – Birch Hills Apartment Homes in Brea, rated LEED for Homes Platinum (the highest rating), and Parking Landing in Buena Park, rated LEED for Homes Gold. The other three LEED properties are Bonterra Apartment Homes, also in Brea, certified LEED for Homes Gold; Courier Place in Claremont, rated LEED for Homes Platinum, and Doria II Apartment Homes in Irvine, rated LEED for Homes Gold.

“Although there is a lot of discussion about the value of energy efficiency, it is encouraging to see the actual results of energy efficiency in the properties that we build and operate,” said Laura Archuleta, Jamboree president. “We are proud of our energy efficiency achievements as represented by these two newly certified developments and we firmly believe that wise energy use in all of its forms and measurements is here to stay in both the market-rate and affordable housing industries.”

Completed in October 2013 and located in the new La Floresta master-planned community being developed in Brea by Birch / Kraemer, LLC, an affiliate of Chevron Land & Development, Birch Hills is an urban infill property adjacent to an 18-hole executive golf course. Energy saving components include:

A connected array of photovoltaic panels on the ground level to power and heat water common areas;

ENERGY STAR refrigerators, dishwashers, microwaves and lighting fixtures plus low-flow plumbing in each unit;

Efficient landscape irrigation and drought-tolerant/native plant materials.

Birch Hills is a walkable community near major retail, parks, community services, schools and robust employment. Designed by KTGY Group, this new property encompasses eight three-story buildings with 115 garden-style apartment homes and a full-service recreation building. Arranged around central courtyards and linked by tree-lined, pedestrian friendly landscaped walks, Birch Hills is adjacent to the Birch Hills Golf Course, a public executive course. The Spanish-influenced structures feature tuck-under garages for each of the 115 apartments along with additional surface parking areas for residents and guests. Rental rates are affordable to families with household incomes between 30% and 50% of the area median income (AMI).