Valley Developers Bring Sustainability to Luxury Build-to-Rent Communities to Attract Residents

It’s no secret that metro Phoenix is ground zero for the popular build-to-rent sector that features detached, single-story rental homes that are part of communities with amenities.

Now, local developers are adding sustainability to the mix to make those BTR projects more attractive to renters, by helping them lower their electric bills in projects across the Valley and beyond.

Long known as a Net Zero Energy developer, Ed Gorman plans to build rental communities totaling 720 units across the Valley — with projected $360 million in total development costs.

Gorman, the founder of Scottsdale-based Modus Cos., has been honing NZE technology for his multifamily projects over the past 18 years and now is bringing the same technology to the build-to-rent sector to help residents lower their electric bills by as much as 50% to 70%, he said.

The first project, Arcadia Views, debuts this month in Phoenix and will be followed by three communities in Buckeye totaling 228 build-to-rent units and 272 apartment units. Another 206 BTR units are being built in Casa Grande.

Gorman had teamed up with Tempe-based HercuTech for its prefabricated walls at Arcadia Views, but he said he’s now using his own technology for the other projects.

While he may consider HercuTech for other projects in the future, Gorman is using his own spray foam walls to gain efficiencies in the other BTR projects.

“These products coming to market were all designed before we tried HercuWall,” he said.

Goodyear development

Meanwhile Scottsdale-based Harvard Investments has aligned itself with HercuTech for its first BTR project in Goodyear.

Known as a developer of master-planned communities, Harvard formed a BTR division called FirstStreet.

Harvard’s FirstStreet is building a rental community with 251 single-level luxury homes at 2755 S. Estrella Pkwy, Goodyear, using HercuTech’s HercuWall technology.

Called FirstStreet Ballpark Village, the 25-acre community is expected to offer up to a 15% energy cost savings and 15% carbon emission savings each year, said HercuTech CEO Jason Rhees.

Because the panel and wall systems are produced at HercuTech’s plant, everything is fully automated, he said.

“Every panel that goes out to a job site is numbered in a numerical order the way it installed at the site,” he said. “When it’s delivered to the job site, there is zero waste associated with the material out there. Everything out there is used and designed around the slab, reducing the amount of waste by as much as two-thirds.”

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