Global sustainable development consultancy Arup is partnering with National CORE to implement next generation, sustainable design solutions at Palm City Transit Village, a 390-apartment affordable housing community in the Otay Mesa-Nestor neighborhood of San Diego. 

The landmark project has just received a historic $8 million grant, awarded to National CORE by the California Energy Commission (CEC). Arup is providing decarbonization design oversight, commissioning, measurement, and verification for this innovative development on the West Coast. 

Arup developed recommendations for advanced design strategies based on a $1 million grant National CORE received in early 2022 to create designs for the development. Now, the project team seeks to push forward and begin implementing those design measures in order to realize this low-carbon and resilient complex. 

The current design includes a microgrid, enabling the community to utilize solar power during the day and battery-stored solar energy during the evening, thus reducing its carbon footprint. The microgrid is also designed to support critical power needs of the community during a prolonged electrical outage relying only on renewable power. 

In a response to site limitations, the development will employ solar panels on building facades and will significantly reduce energy needs through measures such as advanced construction practices, external shading, phase-change materials, heat pump water heaters, smart thermostats, and smart electrical panels. 

The development also includes ground-floor retail space for local business owners and entrepreneurs. A community center will serve as a hub for onsite resident services, programs, and events. Additional amenities will include an onsite childcare center and outdoor recreation spaces for residents.

The Palm City Transit Village development will be built in phases, starting in 2025.

What they say

his grant award represents a vote of confidence in the intense and integrated design approach taken by the design team thus far, building on the impressive track record that National CORE has already set in sustainable, affordable housing.

Sahar Abbaszadeh

Associate, Arup

We’re proud of our longstanding record of innovation and leadership in sustainable construction. With Palm City, we are collaborating with the state, San Diego regional partners, and the nation’s top sustainability experts to create something never before seen. 

Mike Ruane

National CORE President