Shea Homes hits energy crisis head on

provided by Shea Homes

hea Homes San Diego is tackling California's mounting energy crisis head on with the introduction of the new Shea High Performance Homes at its Scripps Highlands community in the hills above Scripps Ranch. According to Mark Brock, president of San Diego's top-selling home builder, the cutting-edge Tiempo and San Angelo neighborhoods at Scripps Highlands offer savvy buyers the most energy-efficient homes in the nation.

    Through its continuous efforts to improve its own products and business practices, Shea Homes San Diego has taken on a new leadership role, guiding the country's real estate industry into a new age of energy efficient building standards. Since 1999, the firm has worked with ConSol of Stockton, CA, to increase the energy-efficiency of its homes by 30 percent. Today, the builder offers these energy efficient homes at several of its new-home neighborhoods, including Woodbridge and Stonebridge in Chula Vista, Hillsdale Ranch in the East County, and Canterbury and Hanover Beach Colony in Carlsbad.

    At Tiempo and San Angelo, Shea has gone above and beyond the norm by combining its own premier building practices with the advanced technologies of two additional program partners to set a new standard for efficiency. Working with ConSol, AstroPower of Newark, DE, and Sun Systems of Scottsdale, AZ, Shea is building the most energy-efficient homes in the nation at these two sites. In addition to the improvements designed make the homes significantly more efficient than those built under strict California Title 24 guidelines, the Shea High Performance Homes offer solar water heating as a standard feature and solar electric home power generation via photovoltaic paneling as an option in 255 of the homes.

    “The world is changing and developing at an alarming rate,” said Brock, putting his company's vanguard building practices into a global context. “Times are demanding that people shift the ways we make and use energy. As home builders, we must follow suit by offering homes that meet society's maturing standards for energy efficiency.”

    Shea High Performance Home improvements also include sealed ductwork, which reduces heating and cooling costs, drafts and airborne dust, while increasing comfort. Typical homes often lose up to 20 to 30 percent of treated air to leaks that often go straight into the attic.

    In addition, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are designed specifically for each home to reduce costs and maintenance and enhance the living environment. Radiant roof barriers reduce cooling costs in the summer. Smart glass, or spectrally selective glass, keeps homes cooler, by reducing heat gain by 40 percent, and also keeps the homes warmer in the winter. As an added benefit, the windows reduce fading of interior furnishings up to 75 percent while letting in nearly all visible sunlight.

    Obvious consumer benefits include lower energy bills, less maintenance and an overall enhanced living environment.

    “We all must embrace the world's changing energy needs,” urged Brock. “We are, in effect, building the homes of the future. I challenge others in the industry to rise up to the task of rebuilding America's energy use standards, one home at a time.”

    Solar water heaters are also offered as an option by Shea Homes at Hillsdale Ranch, making it one of the first local neighborhoods to participate in the national Solar Roof Initiative, which promotes rooftop solar systems for energy cost-savings. The initiative seeks to install one million solar units by 2010.

    Shea Homes' energy-saving efforts have paid off in more ways than one. For the past two years in a row, the builder has won the SAM Award for outstanding energy efficiency. The award, sponsored by San Diego Gas & Electric and presented by the Sales and Marketing Council of the Building Industry Association of San Diego, is given to the builder demonstrating the highest commitment to exceeding energy standards. Shea was also commended both years for exceeding energy efficiency standards by more than 10 percent, for superior building orientation, architectural features, insulation, heating and air conditioning systems, lighting and advanced technologies.

    Shea's dedication to energy efficiency was also honored by the San Diego Regional Energy Office when they were presented with the 2000 and 2001 Regional Energy Leadership Award for its innovative energy-efficient home building practices. The San Diego Regional Energy Office recognizes innovative energy projects and programs that benefit the San Diego region.

    Shea Homes, which filled the No. 1 position in Marketpoint Realty Advisors' 2000 annual survey of San Diego home-building firms, is headquartered in Scripps Ranch. For more information on the builder or any one of its varied neighborhoods around San Diego County, phone (800) 834-SHEA or visit