CHW is a nationally-recognized leader and pioneer in the field of sustainable, green design in new development, retrofitting of existing properties and the use of new technologies.

CHW’s sustainable design and construction practices seek to promote a healthy environment, thermal comfort and utility savings for our tenants and to develop high-performance buildings that reduce our carbon footprint, minimize the use of natural resources and lower utility and maintenance costs over time.


  1. Green Design: CHW built California’s first Zero Energy Home (ZENH) and has worked with the California Energy and Public Utilities Commissions to develop new programs like Virtual Net Metering. In 2005, before there was a LEED certification for apartment buildings, CHW used an integrated green process to design SOLARA, which is nationally-recognized as the first apartment building in California, and likely the nation, to be fully powered by photovoltaic solar technology. Completed in 2007, SOLARA reduced its carbon footprint by 95% compared to a similar sized non-green development and won multiple national and local awards for innovation.

2. Solar Power: CHW again became a leader in green as the first to receive a state MASH 2 Program grant to retrofit the 109-unit Las Serenas Apartments with solar power, saving many residents 30%-50% on their electric bills.  Senator Barbara Boxer recognized this accomplishment with a site visit to tour the community and meet our residents.

3. Solar Hot Water: The 83-unit community called Kalos in San Diego’s North Park community uses solar thermal and a high efficiency boiler for hot water and an innovative design that uniquely provides cross ventilation in a high density, urban-infill apartments complex.