Public tour expands to two days to showcase San Diego County’s most innovative eco-friendly residences
East County News Service
Photo: Straw bale home in Jamul
September 11, 2019 (San Diego) -- The San Diego Green Building Council (SDGBC), a nonprofit organization promoting sustainable building and community practices in San Diego, will host its 10th annual Green Homes Tour on Saturday, Oct. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 20. In response to growing public interest in the green movement and an abundance of groundbreaking projects in the region, the Tour has been expanded this year to two full days, showcasing a diverse collection of the most innovative eco-friendly homes in the San Diego region including several in East County.
The San Diego Green Homes Tour presents a unique opportunity for members of the public, as well as industry professionals, to step inside a diverse mix of private residences to get ideas, find inspiration and explore various green features in real-world settings.
With the newly expanded two-day format, the home sites will be broken down into two geographic zones to allow guests more time to visit home sites on each day. Saturday will include homes in central San Diego, East County and South County. Sunday will focus on homes in North County.
A few project highlights for the 2019 Tour include:
- A modern beach house in La Jolla that has earned LEED Platinum certification, the most widely recognized green building certification in the world.
- Water-wise and native plant gardens and certified Backyard Wildlife Habitats, including a backyard pool in La Mesa converted to a pond to attract native pollinators (photo, right)
- A newly constructed, multi-generational home (also in La Jolla) seeking LEED certification as well as the even more rigorous Net Zero Energy certification from the International Living Future Institute. (This project also features a greywater toilet system – the first in the City of San Diego.)
- A GreenPoint Rated home in Solana Beach that is striving to achieve Net Zero Energy through energy-efficient construction, rooftop solar and an ultra-tight envelope with high r-value insulation.
- Two custom homes featuring highly efficient strawbale construction. The first project, in Valley Center, is on a 16-acre regenerative, climate-appropriate farm, home to the Sustainable Living Institute’s permaculture education center. It will still be under construction during the Tour (the best time to see the strawbales before the walls are covered up). The other project is newly completed home in Jamul, featuring strawbale walls, earthen plaster, concrete floors for thermal mass, solar power, native landscaping, rain catchment and a graywater system for orchard irrigation.
- An urban infill, transit-oriented, affordable housing development in National City that has earned LEED for Homes Gold and LEED for Neighborhood Development certifications, as well as the State of California Sustainable Communities Program Silver Catalyst designation.
- A 1950s-era home that has been made off-grid capable in University Heights.
- An energy- and water-saving home with ocean-friendly garden owned by an Imperial Beach city councilmember.
- A new spec home development in University Heights featuring six detached units, currently seeking LEED Silver certification.
- Multiple retrofit projects demonstrating solutions to make existing homes more sustainable, including some that are DIY-friendly and/or made more affordable through rebates and incentive programs.
- Electric vehicles will also be highlighted at multiple home sites on the Tour this year.
Additional home sites are still being finalized and will be added to the Tour lineup in the coming weeks. Visit the Tour website for an updated list of home sites, including project descriptions and photos.
On the self-guided tour (which runs Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), attendees may visit as many of the homes as they like, meet with industry professionals and homeowners, and learn more about the latest green home design, construction and upgrade options. Each eco-friendly project features innovative, high-performance design features including impact areas such as energy and water conservation, building materials, indoor air quality, landscaping and sustainable building sites.
Tickets are available through the SDGBC website at $30 per person for both days ($20 for SDGBC members). Single-day and single-home tickets are also available, as well as discounted tickets for seniors and students. Children under 18 are free and must be accompanied by an adult.
The San Diego Green Homes Tour is made possible by a committee of industry volunteers and the generous support of Tour sponsors, including Western AeroBarrier, Leland Construction, Re-Find Kitchens, San Diego Real Investments Inc., Shortfuse Marketing and media partner San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles Magazine.
The San Diego Green Building Council is a 501c3 community benefit nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire, educate and collaborate within communities to transform the built environment toward true sustainability. The organization is a locally aligned community of the U.S. Green Building Council (previously known as USGBC Chapters), partner of the International Living Future Institute and host to the San Diego Living Future Collaborative. More information is available at http://www.sd-gbc.org.