Sustainably-designed and featuring over 40,000 linear feet of wall, roof, and canopy that is covered in panels from Metal Sales Manufacturing Corporation, the country’s largest planned net zero energy community is UC Davis West Village, a 205-acre project that will be home to 662 apartments and 343 single-family homes, along with commercial and recreational facilities.

Located next to the core campus of University of California in Davis, California, the mixed-use community is has been designed to allow faculty, staff, and students to live close to the campus while enjoying full participation in campus life and access to environmentally-friendly transportation.


The $280 million project is the result of a partnership between public and private funds that include almost $7.5 million in government grants related to the study of zero net energy systems. The design of the community is aimed at demonstrating, on a large scale, the practicalities of net zero energy as a living learning laboratory.

It is expected that West Village will consume 50 percent less energy than would be acceptable under the 2008 efficiency guidelines (California Building Standards Code, Title 24) and generate its remaining power needs through the use of a 4 MW solar photovoltaic system from SunPower.

The corrugated, and other styles of metal panels, from Metal Sales Manufacturing Corporation that have been used in construction, improve the energy efficiency of the buildings and reduce the need for cooling. They contain a high percentage of recycled materials, are listed with Energy Star, are 100% recyclable, have a long life span, and will contribute to LEED points.

Residents will be encouraged to reduce their energy consumption by staying below a cap that is placed on electricity and water that is included with rent by utilizing an mobile-accessible home energy monitoring and management system. They will be assisted by sustainable features in their apartments that include Energy Star appliances, ceiling fans, natural ventilation and daylighting, window blinds and exterior sunshades, water-saving and low-flow water fixtures, low-VOC paints and finishes, floors made of 50 percent recycled materials, and recycled quartz countertops.

Construction of UC Davis West Village is expected to be completed this year.