The Tucson Solar Village, as Civano was originally called, was conceived and constructed to have all buildings utilize solar energy in a large-scale community setting. In the first round of Tucson’s Code Committee consideration of adopting Civano’s energy code for all new buildings citywide, in mid-April, the vote failed for lack of Council member support. Additional education of City leaders is now under way.
On the table for discussion by the advisory committee is the continued use of the Sustainable Energy Standard (SES), first adopted in 1998 for Civano. The Standard requires a high-performance building envelop for our homes and buildings with beneficial use of solar energy for all buildings, residential and commercial. All uses of solar energy that are listed in the standard, including proper building orientation, are allowed.
“The promise of wide-scale utilization of solar energy in the future would be furthered by this single venture in a new approach to development,” said Robert Cook, past chairman of the Metropolitan Energy Commission. Thirty years in the making, the Civano project has now shown that energy-efficient homes, which include energy-saving solar features, can be built at little or no additional cost. Both Phase 1 (the original Civano neighborhood) and Phase 2 (Sierra Morado) are built to meet the SES insulation and solar requirements, as well as the other sustainability goals of the Civano IMPACT System.
The City has promoted the “Tucson Solar Village” and Civano’s comprehensive approach to resource efficiency since the 1990s. The time is now to spread the energy savings to our region and beyond! Our latest national IECC code (2012) now meets the building envelope and lighting efficiencies that have long been required by the SES. We have developed what we believe to be the best of all for solar utilization practices and Tucson has been declared the “Solar Capital of the World” more than once by community leaders.
Three decades of research have proven that high-performance solar homes can be built for little to no additional cost.
We are looking for community support at the next meeting as we request that the committee address these issues and make code modification recommendations to the Mayor and Council. Efforts to bring a vision to this point represent thousands of hours from city employees, volunteers, and state efforts with widespread international attention. We are working toward a community that with your help can put “Tucson, a Solar Village” on the map, as the premier community and energy savings model for the region and world.
We can do this! Our time is now!
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