Sacramento Development Wins Highest Rating

Highlands, a multi-family development operated by Sacramento|Yolo Mutual Housing Association, received 121 points from Oakland-based Build It Green (BIG).

Making its first attempt at green certification, Sacramento|Yolo Mutual Housing Association scored 121, the highest rating given to a multi-family development in the area by Oakland-based Build It Green (BIG). The score for Highlands far exceeded the minimum score of 50, and most developments receive 99 or fewer for building green communities with energy efficiency, resource and water conservation, and good health practices.

"There was one customer home in Sacramento with 180 points and one in Yolo with 149 points, but no single-family homes or multi-family projects that beat the Mutual Housing score," said Dave Hegarty, president of Modesto-based DuctTesters, Inc. Christopher Becker, project manager for the BIG GreenPoint Rated Department, said nonprofit Build It Green began certifyng multi-family developments in 2007 and by this point has rated 6,540 units, along with 6,695 single-family homes since that program started in 2005.

Mutual Housing chose to go with BIG rather than LEED certification because BIG takes California standards into account and rates only single and multi-family homes. "The BIG program is California-specific and doesn’t give points for green aspects already required by state law," Hegarty explained.

Highlands is located on 3.5 acres in north Sacramento. It includes 90 units: 62 efficiency units, 16 one-bedroom, and 12 three-bedroom. Sixty-six units are for the homeless. The units include ductless heating, evaporative coolers, tankless water heaters, low-flow toilets, high-efficiency faucets and shower heads, Energy Star appliances, higher-than-standard insulation, and radiant barriers in the roof. Mutual Housing obtained utility rebates and used them to install solar panels for electricity and hot water.

Founded in 1988, Sacramento|Yolo Mutual Housing Association develops and operates rental housing for modest-income households. For more information, visit