The homes at Spring Mountain Ranch in Riverside County, California are beyond smart. They are ingenious. And they pay off.
Riverside was named the 2012 Intelligent Community of the Year by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) for its tech-based economy and growth, and Spring Mountain fits in well.
“The days of developers putting down roads, sewer and power lines without thinking about water use and energy conservation are gone,” says Steven Magee, executive vice president, land & development for iStar, Newport Beach, CA. iStar is one of the largest investors in luxury condominium, multifamily and master-planned residential developments in the U.S.
“We try to partner with builders who practice LEED and beyond,” Magee says. “If we are responsible developers, people will respond to that – especially here in California.”
The California market is unique in that most people buying new construction move from older homes. Those old places are inefficient.
Part of the high-tech sales pitch is to contrast the cost of buying the house with the on-going cost of ownership. High-tech may cost a bit more, but the return on investment (ROI) comes fast.
Tour the Tech Features
Winning with Water Preservation
That’s why they spent quite a bit more money providing single drip irrigation emitters for each landscape plant at Spring Mountain Ranch, a requirement that became code after the development in in Southern California’s Inland Empire was approved. “We could have fought it but we agreed. It was the right thing to do,” Magee says.
He sees the day, not too far away, when there will be no water features on a project that are not used for other purposes.
An abandoned well on the Spring Mountain Ranch property with nonpotable water is now used for irrigation. “It handles 90 percent of our irrigation needs,” Magee says. “It saves money. It conserves water.”
Lots were graded to recharge catchments rather than run off into the flood system. Soon, however, xeriscaping will be the rule and lawns passé.
Interactive Floor Plan: Including Tech Kitchen Option