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    Michelle Jackson, left, and Camille Galbraith wait at the light-rail station at the La Valentina buildings.


    Rick Clark, a 48-year-old interior designer, moved from Hawaii to the La Valentina complex on 12th Street between D and E. "The aesthetics are what attracted me to the building," he said.

  • Lezlie Sterling / Bee file, 2012

    People tour the town homes at the new La Valentina North development in the historic Alkali Flat neighborhood of Sacramento.

Alkali Flat’s La Valentina building wins national EPA award

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 - 6:07 pm

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Sacramento’s La Valentina building, a $25 million mixed-use housing complex in Alkali Flat, a 2013 Smart Growth Achievement award, the EPA announced Tuesday.

One of seven projects selected for a national EPA award, the La Valentina building opened in 2012 at the corner of 12th and E streets. The complex consists of two buildings connected by a bridge that contain 63 units of affordable housing as well as ground-level retail. It was awarded the best “Built Project” of 2013, the EPA said.

La Valentina anchors a busy corner of the Alkali Flat neighborhood – the city’s oldest. It sits across from the La Valentina light-rail station, from which it got its name. The property was formerly a contaminated brownfield, and had been vacant for more than 20 years.

“The winning projects show us that we can develop, grow local economies, and protect public health and the environment all at the same time,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, in a written statement.

San Francisco-based David Baker Architects designed the building to be one that operates for maximum energy efficiency. To do so, it employs a combination of solar panels, insulation and LED lighting. The combination of green technology allows the building to reduce energy consumption by 60 percent. Architecturally, the building uses recycled steel and a novel design where a wood-striped facade forms a curtain around the building for security and energy efficiency.

The project began in 2007 when a partnership between the city of Sacramento and Domus Development brought together community groups to hear neighborhood concerns and develop a new vision for the area.

The National Award for Smart Growth Achievement recognizes communities that use innovative policies and practices to develop in ways that protect the environment, provide housing and transportation choices, and strengthen their economies.

Call The Bee’s Edward Ortiz, (916) 321-1071. Follow him on Twitter @edwardortiz.

Read more articles by Edward Ortiz

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