Case Study: Sorrento Tower

SorrentoTower_pixProperty Profile
Location: 2875 Cowley Way, San Diego CA 92110
Building/Units/Stories: 1/198/14
Year Built: 1976
Energy Upgrade Program: Energy Upgrade CaliforniaTM in San Diego County
Owner/Developer: RAHD Group
Project Team: ICON Builders, Phase 3 Construction and Jeanne Fricot (EUC Multifamily Rater)

Savings Snapshot
Total Project Cost: $5,975,961 (Includes all building renovation costs including energy upgrades)
Program Incentive: $233,640
Percent Improvement: 10.4%

Project Description
Sorrento Tower is a 198-unit, high-rise community, dedicated entirely to providing housing to low-income seniors. Built in 1976, the building sits atop a hill providing breathtaking views of San Diego and the Pacific Ocean. Although the building was well maintained, at almost 30 years old, it was in need of a capital infusion to replace or repair all major components. The RAHD Group, a firm specializing in the development and preservation of affordable housing founded by Casey Haeling and Colin Rice, purchased the property, immediately commences and subsequently completed a large-scale renovation.

“It’s rare in construction and development when improvements can be cost-effective, good for the environment, enhance the property’s value and benefit the residents’ lives all at once. Energy Upgrade California allowed us to do just that!”

— Colin Rice, RAHD Group

Energy Upgrade Description
A wide variety of items were upgraded to increase the building’s energy efficiency. All windows in the building were replaced with dual pane, low-e windows. Light fixtures in the apartment units and in the first floor common area (lobby, office, meeting rooms) were replaced. The building’s central boiler was replaced with two new high efficiency domestic hot water (DHW) heaters as well as new 0.25 horsepower DHW circulation pumps with demand control. Finally, each apartment unit received an ENERGY STAR® refrigerator.

Benefits of Multifamily Home Upgrades
Overall building energy use was reduced by an estimated 10.4 percent leading to major cost savings. New lighting and windows brightened the dwelling units and common areas creating a more pleasant and comfortable living environment. Installation of new boilers ensures faster water delivery to residents, while also reducing gas consumption — benefitting both residents and the building owner.

Financial Overview
Energy Efficiency improvements were part of a larger acquisition/rehabilitation scope of work on the Sorrento Tower project. The RAHD Group used four percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits and bond financing to support the renovation and upgrades.


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