2012 Winner: Verdant Brainiac

The most scalable green renovation project, particularly one that is innovative and overcame significant challenges.

Who led the charge

Phil Silver                                     Board Member/Treasurer, 2311 4th St. Homeowners Association

Phil joined the HOA board of directors in June 1998 and soon recognized the significant financial and environmental benefits of efficient operations. Phil keeps the HOA focused on greater resource efficiency while keeping the association's finances strong and the dues as low as possible.

2311 4th St, Santa Monica, CA
Condominium Complex - 74,357 sq. ft.

The complex is a 61-unit residential condominium complex that has been implementing energy efficiency measure for many years. When the Homeowners Association decided to go even further, they had to overcome various technical, financial, and legal hurdles in order to obtain an 18 kW solar panel system. 

As an HOA, they could only retrofit common spaces but they have been able to impact the whole complex. Within the common areas, the grid-tied solar PV system has not only saved money but cut CO2 emissions by approximately 30,000 lbs per year. 

Tenant engagement has been a key factor, especially since none of the retrofitting affected tenant units. The HOA has been educating residents and encouraging them to be more energy efficient, highlighting the financial savings. Tenants are informed about new energy-saving features in common areas of the complex, such as CFL and LED lightbulbs, upgraded front load washing machines, and solar panels.


Amber Richane, LEED AP | Director, Callison

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"After cutting our common area electrical usage by 50% through efficiency upgrades our condo community decided to further enhance our sustainability by obtaining an 18kW solar PV system to satisfy 90% of our remaining common area electrical demand. Our PV system keeps 30,000+ lbs of CO2 a year out of the atmosphere and financially it saves us 20% compared to grid provided electricity."