UC Davis Fully Opens Net Zero Student Housing Community with 3,290 Beds

Sustainability measures include massive solar electric arrays and bike parking for each student

Special to the Vanguard

Davis, CA -For some it was the urgent need for student housing on campus.  For others it was the need for sustainability.

The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) recently hosted a grand opening for The Green at West Village, which includes 1.3 million square feet of student housing and amenity space.

The $575 million project adds nearly 3,300 beds to the campus in apartment style units, helping the university toward its goal to house 50 percent of its student population. Phase I opened in September 2020.

Situated on 35 acres, the project includes nine four-story apartment buildings along with indoor and outdoor community space and recreational fields. A 10,000-square-foot community building houses a fitness center, multipurpose room, and support services.

Sustainability was a driving force for The Green at West Village. With its expansive solar electric arrays, The Green contributes to the overall neighborhood goal of net-zero energy annually, as the project will generate as much energy as it uses within a year. In addition to the solar facilities, the design encourages bicycle commuting for students. There is a designated bike-parking area for each bed in the complex—nearly 3,300—which supports reduced areas for car parking.

“It was truly exciting to be part of an integrated team that helped UC Davis realize its housing goals, which sets the standard for the University of California system,” said Aris Garrison, Stantec design architect. “The objective to ‘make the best, for the most, for the least’ drove the design decisions. It’s inspiring to see the finished product, which demonstrates what is possible when public and private sectors work together.”

The housing project includes studios, as well as one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments. Each apartment has furnished bedroom and living spaces, bathrooms, full kitchens, and common spaces. There are also social and study areas on each apartment building floor.

The apartment community will be operated by Michaels Student Living Management. Collegiate Housing Foundation will hold the ground lease with the University of California. UC Davis Student Housing and Dining Services will provide marketing, leasing, and on-site residence life support services.

The Michaels Organization was the project developer, working with UC Davis in a public-private partnership. Global design firm Stantec provided architecture and interior design, buildings engineering, ICT, fire protection, acoustics, and landscape architecture services. CBG Building Company was the general contractor. All project costs are coming from the proceeds of a tax-exempt bond sale—the largest bond sale ever for a student housing project in the US.

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  1. Ron Glick

    “All project costs are coming from the proceeds of a tax-exempt bond sale—the largest bond sale ever for a student housing project in the US.”

    I wonder what the terms of the bonds are; the interest rate, the risk duration, the call and maturity dates? Also the investment grade of the bonds?

    1. Richard_McCann

      You should be able to get that bond info from your financial advisor because they are likely selling them on the open market. Also very likely that they are high grade muni bonds since they are backed by the UC. Likely standard muni bond terms.

  2. Lutz Fronicke

    These new apartments unfortunately look pretty depressing from the outside.  Why this anonymous uniform style?  Who decides the design of these projects? I assume paint in colors other than white and sloped roofs can’t be that expensive.

    I hope the new apartments fulfill the “net-zero” claims better than the first part of West Village.

  3. Bill Marshall

    Am stuck with the humor of the title of the article, depending how you ‘parse it’…
    UC Davis Fully Opens, “Net Zero Student”, Housing Community with 3,290 Beds [parsing, mine]
    Not sure we want “net zero student”… seems a bit draconian…

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