Chelsea is committed to incorporating sustainable elements into all of our projects, resulting in healthier, environmentally conscious homes for our residents. Some of the features we implement include renewable energy systems, energy-efficient appliances and lighting, low-water landscaping, and renewable materials.

Chelsea has developed nearly twenty LEED Gold- or Platinum-certified apartment communities throughout California and New Mexico. Through good planning and effective management, Emmerson Construction, our affiliated general contractor, has built these apartment communities to include such features as recycling more than half of construction waste and generating onsite renewable energy to offset the project’s energy consumption. One of Chelsea’s consultants, Brett Tullis with Sillman Wright Architects, noted that, "Chelsea's approach to sustainable design made it easy for us to work within the LEED Criteria.” Indeed, we often far exceed the original LEED criteria specified during predevelopment.



CityPlace, one of our LEED Platinum communities, features a variety of ecofriendly and conservational elements. The 72 unit development stands on an infill location and boasts a very high density level which exemplifies a primary goal of the project, rehabilitation of a blighted area.

The high energy efficiency at CityPlace exceeds the California energy building code by more than 40%. Among others, the implementation of highly rated materials in insulation, foam exterior, efficient windows and HVAC systems, as well as solar hot water all brought this project to the highest level of LEED certifications. The absence of invasive plant species and the presence of drought tolerant plants ensure low irrigation costs to complement the high efficiency irrigation system and fixtures. The wood framing was all pre-fabricated prior to coming to the site which eliminated much unnecessary scrap waste. For the products that were assembled on site, there was a highly resourceful construction waste diversion system which safeguarded the recycling of any unused material. Located adjacent to train and bus routes, CityPlace is conveniently located in walking distance to public transportation, further lowering the environmental footprint of the project itself and the tenants residing there.


Fairbanks Ridge

Fairbanks Ridge incorporates a number of environmentally friendly design features. Great care was taken when creating the landscape plan for this property. A xeriscape approach was implemented to provide quality landscaping that would conserve energy as well as protect the environment. Synthetic turf and drought tolerant native plant species were included for long term cost savings and water management.  Large, mature trees in 24”, 36” and 48” boxes were placed to provide solar shade for reduced energy usage. Trees adjacent to buildings are of a deciduous nature, to allow for solar warmth in the winter and cooling in the summer months.

The irrigation system has a state of the art water management controller. It uses an automatic mainline and valve shut off system in case of a break in the line or a valve that sticks in the open position. This safety alert will notify the user if the system is broken, thus managing the loss of water. A rain shut off device is built-in to automatically turn the system off in times of rainfall.

The landscape plan was modified to support the many solar components of the project. Tree size was changed as well as location of plants as to not conflict with the solar panels. The extensive solar system at Fairbanks Ridge handles the energy demands for the property’s common areas, such as outdoor lighting, laundry rooms and pool requirements. Our solar power systems operate reliably with little maintenance while providing clean electricity for the property.


Courtyard Terraces

Courtyard Terraces, an 88 unit senior housing project built by Emmerson Construction, has been awarded the LEED Silver Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED is a measurement tool for green building in the United States, recognizing buildings or communities designed using strategies to improve energy savings, water efficiency and environmental quality. Located at 4321 52nd Street in the City Heights community of San Diego, Courtyard Terraces is an urban infill development that is now home to seniors with income levels at 30-50% of the Area Median Income. Owned by a partnership that includes Chelsea Investment Corporation and Housing Development Partners, with the San Diego Housing Commission as an investment partner, this affordable housing property showcases the sustainable design protocol required for LEED certification.

"We set out to make a home for San Diego's senior citizens that not only met their physical needs but was a healthier, environmentally conscious place to live," said Charles Schmid, COO at Chelsea Investment Corporation. "Our mission is to incorporate sustainable elements in all our projects and we are thrilled to receive LEED Silver Certification."

The one and two bedroom apartment complex with underground garage is built with wood frame construction and standing seam metal roofing. Through good planning and effective management, Emmerson Construction was able to recycle or divert more than 66 percent of construction waste from local landfills.

All low-emitting materials were used throughout the building, including low VOC paints, coatings and adhesives as well as Greengard certified flooring. The project provides a large sunlit courtyard, centrally located recycling chutes, several community rooms, laundry rooms and sun deck. Drought tolerant plants with efficient irrigation contribute to the landscape scheme throughout the site. Coupled with the low flow fixtures that are standard throughout the building, reduced water usage is over 20%.

Energy saving features include solar panels on the roof, solar hot water, reflective cool roofing, occupancy sensors at community spaces to control electric lighting and natural ventilation opportunities to cut down on mechanical requirements. The renewable energy generated on-site covers almost 30% of the building's energy consumption. 

"Chelsea's approach to sustainable design made it easy for us to work within the LEED Criteria," said Brett Tullis LEED AP with Sillman Wright Architects. "Our original goal was merely to be LEED Certified however we were able to leverage our sustainable experience to exceed that goal and go for LEED Silver."

An integral part of meeting LEED sustainable standards is gaining the cooperation of the senior residents. Along with using the sustainable features at Courtyard Terraces, they can opt to take advantage of the close by public transportation or pedestrian travel, contributing to a more sustainable way of living.