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May 17, 1999

PATH National Pilot Project: Village Green Unveils Energy-Efficient, Affordable Homes

Village Green in Los Angeles's San Fernando Valley, one of the nation's first new communities to be built in association with the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing, opened its first models Thursday, May 13 in ceremonies attended by environmentalists, federal and city officials as well as celebrities such as actors Ed Begley Jr. and Ted Danson.

The first models are up a year after President Clinton visited the site to laud Village Green builders the Lee Homes and Braemar Urban Ventures for their innovative plans. The president also used the occasion to launch PATH, a private-public initiative to speed the creation and use of advanced technologies in order to radically improve the quality, durability energy efficiency environmental performance and affordability of the Nation s housing.

Village Green is one of five PATH national pilot projects, which serve as models for the U.S. construction and housing industry because of their new approaches to land planning and design and their incorporation of highly innovative technologies. Technical assistance for the National Pilots is led by DOE s Building America program with cooperation from the nine other federal agencies that are participating in the PATH program.

[Image:] The first Village Green homes will be available to the public by October. By the end of 1999, 60 of the planned 186 energy-saving homes will be built. Opening day visitors toured models that featured extra, thick insulation, gas-fired air cooling systems with no ozone destroying agents and solar electric roof panels that generate much of the electrical energy necessary to run the lighting and appliances.

Energy efficient equipment and materials include gas water heaters, which provide hot water and space heating during the winter; windows with special glass designed to block 87 percent of ultraviolet rays; and structural steel and engineered wood products, which reduce the amount of lumber needed as well as increase the efficiency of heating and cooling of the home.

The community is just a short walk to the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink/MTA Transit Station, encouraging homeowners to take the metrolink to work, leaving their cars behind. A child-care facility and a 25,000 square foot park with a tot lot and picnic area are within the Village Green neighborhood.

Partners in the construction effort include the United States Department of Energy, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Southern California Gas Company, as well as many private companies. These companies include BP Solar (photovoltaic roof panels), Robur (gas air conditioning) Frigidaire (appliances), PPG (windows) and Greenstone (insulation).

U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Dan Reicher delivered a message to the gathering from Vice President Al Gore who praised Village Green and its builders.

Vice President Gore said, "Village Green s new approaches to land planning and design, and its innovative technologies, make it a model for the U.S. construction industry. The Lee Group and Braemar Urban Ventures have demonstrated the power of partnership between private industry and government to improve our homes and environment."

The Vice President said, "Last year you unveiled the dream of advancing technologies in housing to improve the quality, durability, energy efficiency, environmental performance and affordability of new housing. As part of the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing, you have turned that dream into a reality."

Assistant Secretary Reicher said, "Village Green is one of five PATH plot projects sites nationwide which exemplify the best in energy efficiency and renewable energy technology."

Los Angeles City Councilwoman and environmentalist Ruth Galanter, said, "Village Green is living proof that the building industry can combine new environmental technologies with affordable housing right here in one of the largest housing markets in the nation."

Lee Homes President Jeff Lee promised that Village Green will be a standard for homes for the next century. In a prepared statement, he said, "Our association with PATH has allowed Lee Homes to build a better home while preserving the environment, which will result in dramatically lower monthly energy costs for our buyers. We re taking what we ve learned at Village Green as a standard for our homes of the future."

Braemar Urban Ventures President Avi Brosh said, "We re extremely grateful with the number of participants in this building effort, from government, public utilities and private sectors, who have brought dozens of new technologies to the housing market."

Village Green homes will feature three or four bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, and up to 1,709 square feet of interior living space and a two car garage. Prices begin at $160,000 with monthly payments as low as $1,000.

Content updated on 3/8/2005

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