16 Powerhouse is a mixed-use apartment building at 16th and P streets in Sacramento that is filling a gap in the midtown market by pairing highly sustainable, ultra-low energy use and spacious housing with first-floor amenities and businesses. Its developers were able to build in energy-saving features thanks to their local SMUD energy adviser, who served as part of their project team from inception through construction.

“Working with SMUD, we were able to integrate highly efficient features that are new in the Sacramento market,” says developer Bay Miry of 16 Powerhouse Investors LLC, a division of D&S Development Inc. “Without SMUD, the project wouldn’t have penciled out at the level of sustainability that we were envisioning. We’re currently seeking LEED Platinum certification.”

The public-private effort also involved the Capitol Area Development Authority (CADA), Tricorp Construction and Farmers & Merchants Bank — all local entities interested in adding to the Sacramento landscape. The building’s much anticipated tenants: Orchid Thai, Magpie Café, Sun & Soil Juice Co and Insight Coffee Roasters were selected by and drawn to the project because of the strong local focus and high levels of sustainability.

16 Powerhouse is a step ahead of other local mixed-use complexes when it comes to features like its “puzzle parking lift” system, the first automated parking system of its kind in the area. “A resident can park his or her car by pulling up into one of several car-sized elevator stalls, enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants on the ground floor then ride to their apartment in an elevator that uses electricity on its way up and takes advantage of gravity to generate energy,” says Miry.

Miry’s go-to energy advisor, SMUD’s Ray Nalangan, leveraged his SMUD colleagues’ expertise, as well as his own, to recommend energy efficiency features for the building.

An architect by trade, Nalangan works with commercial customers to deliver energy efficiency solutions through SMUD’s Savings by Design program. Through the program, SMUD provides energy analysis — long before ground is broken — and recommends options to help developers implement energy saving technologies and reduce energy costs. It’s the second project Nalangan and Miry have collaborated on.

“You feel good about being in the building because you’re a part of a development that is saving the environment and saving on your personal energy costs through such features as its cool roof and two types of solar energy,” Nalangan says.

The structure is so energy efficient that it exceeds the regulations outlined in the California Building Standards Code, or Title 24 by 55 percent. According to Nalangan, “It’s an extremely efficient building. We were able to save more than 200,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. That’s equal to so much CO2 that it’s like taking 195,000 vehicle miles off the road.” He adds, “Because of its unique sustainable qualities, 16 Powerhouse will be among the national leaders for a building of this type.”

It’s also one of the first local apartment buildings designed for “near zero” electric use in its common space—meaning it’s able to send power back to the grid when its own self-generating power systems yield excess electricity.

Other notable features include:

  • A cool roof with solar array
  • Upgraded insulation with high performance windows
  • A ductless mini-split system that allows residents to custom heat or cool each room
  • Six electric vehicle charging stations
  • Energy Star appliances
  • Solar hot water
  • LED lighting

“It’s the best of both worlds,” says Miry. “A little bit of luxury in the heart of Midtown and with the added benefit of being green.”

For more information, visit 16powerhouse.com. If you are considering any new development or major renovations for a commercial property, contact SMUD’s Savings by Design at www.smud.org/savingsbydesign.

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