“After growing these trees for about 6 years in pots, it is thrilling to see them actually in the ground. The 150 new trees expand our existing oak woodland with stock from the same oak species – something a local biologist pointed out is a key benefit for our woodland expansion. Since many of these new trees are already 4 feet tall, they are immediately adding to the beauty of our open, hilltop space. This is only one small aspect of our campus master plan, but it really highlights our unique Santa Barbara approach to retirement living,” said Tim Wetzel, executive director at Valle Verde Retirement Community.
The planting of the 150 oak trees is a portion of Valle Verde’s green building practices used in the construction of much needed senior housing in Santa Barbara. Valle Verde Retirement Community is also implementing the following green techniques to make construction more environmentally sensitive:
• Diverting over 90% of demolition and construction waste to recycling in lieu of landfill
• Installing low flow faucets and shower heads
• Installing tank-less hot water heaters for “on demand” hot water
• Maintaining erosion controls during construction
• Utilizing efficiency measures for the wood framing:
o Less than 10% waste and detailed cut lists
• Using of Fly Ash in the structural concrete
• Using low VOC materials, adhesives, and finishes
• Landscaping with native plants with low water needs
• Using a drip irrigation system in lieu of a spray system
In addition, Valle Verde Retirement Community has expanded a campus-wide Green Footprint program to reduce their dependence on electricity, decrease waste, improve air quality, compost green waste, use reclaimed water, and buy local produce.
Valle Verde’s Green Footprint program includes:
• 72,000 watt solar electric generation system
• Local produce – up to 85% of produce consumed on campus is purchased from local farms
• Natural gas bus for resident transportation
• Electronic medical center records
• Solar residential water heaters
• Reclaimed water for all irrigation
• Climate sensitive irrigation controllers for minimal water usage
• Drought tolerant, native plants
• Campus-wide recycling & waste reduction program
• Employee & senior resident alternative transportation programs
• Built Green practices on campus remodels
Valle Verde Retirement Community has been located at 900 Calle de los Amigos in Santa Barbara, CA since 1966. Valle Verde is a nonprofit retirement community committed to helping people live full, happy, and long lives. Valle Verde is owned and managed by American Baptist Homes of the West.
Additional information on Valle Verde is available by contacting Toby Ayars at 805-845-5682.