Environmental Efforts

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SMAxECO City Sagamihara Hikarigaoka Eco-TownA new town embodying the themes of "environmental friendliness" and "community spirit," where the residents can live in harmony with nature

SMAxECO City Sagamihara Hikarigaoka Eco-Town is a new town that was designed to be eco-friendly while also making it easier for residents to develop a thriving community, based on our conception of future living.

An eco-friendly community that combines single-family houses with commercial facilities

Daiwa House has developed a "smart community" combining housing with public facilities such as the local city hall. With excellent views of the Tanzawa Mountains and Mount Takao, this new town offers the best of both worlds – the beauty of nature and the convenience of urban infrastructure.
The design of this new town is based on the concept of combining homes with commercial facilities, giving residents the basic conveniences of daily life right on their doorsteps. The commercial facilities are located next to a Disaster-Prevention Piazza which is equipped with light fittings powered by storage batteries that draw their electricity from solar panels, ensuring that this space remains lit even during a power blackout. This will help reassure residents of the community in the event of a major earthquake.

Easy monitoring of energy use by the whole community

The town is attracting attention as a low-carbon community that features cutting-edge environmental protection technologies. Each of the 127 single-family houses in the development is fitted with solar power generation systems (generating a minimum of 3kW) and a lithium-ion storage battery, as well as an electric vehicle recharging plug. All houses also feature home energy management systems (HEMS), that enable the home owners to monitor their own energy usage in an easy-to-visualize manner, allowing them to more efficiently employ the electricity produced directly from the home's solar power generation system or indirectly via the storage battery system.
Additionally, the design facilitates the efficient ventilation of home interiors through the use of natural wind-flow, creating a pleasant indoor environment.
On top of that, we have created a system that allows the ranking of all the homes according to the extent of their contribution to the community's overall energy conservation effort, with prizes given to the home owners who register high scores. This is just one of the fun ideas we have put in place to minimize the environmental impact of the community as a whole.

All homes are fitted with lithium-ion storage batteries.

Homes feature double-floor height spaces to facilitate ventilation using natural airflow.

Our environment-friendly design efforts are not limited to the homes themselves. The commercial facilities area, which is directly linked with the residential area, also features intensive use of equipment for renewable energy generation and energy conservation. These include a 100kW solar power generation system and high-efficiency air-conditioning systems, which promise to deliver a reduction of 54 tons of carbon-equivalent per annum. All the buildings employ LED light fittings, in addition to "light ducts" that transmit sunlight efficiently to the buildings' interiors, thereby reducing power costs for lighting during the daytime.

Daiwa House's voice

"SMAxECO City Sagamihara Hikarigaoka Eco-Town is a futuristic community in which each home is fitted with solar power generation systems and lithium-ion storage batteries – the fruit of today's most advanced technologies. But the Company's town-planning concept covers far more than simply equipping the homes with newly developed equipment – we have also analyzed the local weather patterns and have used that data in the design of entire blocks to take maximum advantage of the differing prevailing winds in each season of the year, and in the design of individual homes to enable optimum utilization of natural ventilation. Moreover, in planning the greenery that plays a major part in this housing development, we have made good use of the knowledge accumulated by our ancestors since ancient times regarding the planting and cultivation of trees, bushes, and other plants that are native to the area.
On the human relations side of the equation, the community's Management Association organizes a variety of events throughout the year to enhance residents' enjoyment of their new homes. This relatively new development is already maturing into a community whose residents feel a sense of belonging. Our goal has been to create a community to which children who have grown up here will be happy to return twenty years hence."

Yoshihisa Ino
Manager, East Japan Housing Design Section No.1
Single Family Housing Business Promotion Division, Tokyo Head Office

The Yaoko supermarket, located adjacent to the housing development area

Solar power generation system on roof of Yaoko supermarket

Above left: Light duct opening on roof
Above right: A 2nd-floor ceiling panel illuminated by a light duct

A monitor panel (installed at a conspicuous location outside the commercial facility) that residents can make use of to check the energy usage situation for the whole community

This commercial facility is equipped with an energy management system, including a monitor panel that shows the amount of electricity generated by the facility's solar power system. On the panel is displayed the energy consumption figures for the whole community. Not only can the community residents view this data, so also can residents of other nearby houses and apartment buildings who use the facility for shopping. This helps to spread the idea of efficient energy usage among the general population, and is one example of the sort of community-wide initiatives we have set in motion.

Located between the commercial facility and the residential area is the Disaster-Prevention Piazza, which can function as a gathering place for residents in the event of a major natural disaster. The piazza includes benches that can be easily converted into outdoor cooking equipment to serve as substitutes for kitchen stoves, as well as seats that can be converted into emergency-use toilets.

Information board

Bench/stove combination

Emergency-use toilets

Daiwa House's voice

"As this development was designed to integrate single-family houses and a commercial facility into a functional whole, we were able to locate the Disaster-Prevention Piazza (which can serve as a gathering place for residents of the entire area in the event of a major natural disaster) at a focal point where pedestrian flow naturally congregates. As a result, the facility has become well-known among people living within walking distance as a place that will welcome them, in addition to being known for its environmentally friendly design. Consequently, the facility is used for shopping by many local people, most of whom arrive on foot or by bicycle rather than by car, and the facility and its environs are thus usually bustling with activity.
Additionally, a 100kW solar power generation system has been installed on the roof of this commercial facility. The facility plays a valuable role in the local community thanks to the energy-usage monitor installed in a prominent position just outside the building – which displays energy data via easy-to-understand animations – and the outside staircase included in the facility to allow visitors (such as elementary schoolchildren on special after-school trips) to view the rooftop solar panels."

Yoshiaki Shinozuka
Manager, Design Section
Commercial Construction Division, Atsugi Branch

Developing a more vibrant community by strengthening ties between residents

The community's Management Association – consisting of the owners of all the houses in the SMAxECO City Sagamihara Hikarigaoka Eco-Town development – takes the lead in providing opportunities – such as gardening lessons and lectures on energy conservation – for residents to meet one another and form relationships. On the eastern side of the community, where it abuts onto previously existing housing neighborhoods, we have provided the Community Center, which anyone in the local district is free to use, and this is linked with the commercial facility on the western side by a pedestrian path that leads right through the housing area. This design ensures that communication and interrelationships with other residents of the local district will take place naturally.

The Hikarigaoka Community Center, located within the town, is used as a meeting place for residents' associations and other community activities, and as a base for providing assistance to elderly residents.

A gardening lesson, organized by the Management Association

Walking through the development, one is struck by the lushness of the greenery that surrounds each house. Precisely because the broad streets that run north-south through the residential area describe gentle curves, one is even more aware of how green and pleasing to the eye the surroundings are. The residents of this community adopted Sagamihara City's first agreement on neighborhood environmental aesthetics and to complement this Daiwa House has drawn up the Town Planning Guidelines, which include rules on the preservation of pre-existing trees, on the tending of gardens within the privately-owned home lots, and on the placement and brightness of nighttime illumination employed in the gardens. The Company has also taken a variety of other steps to maintain and preserve a visually pleasing and safe living environment, including the placement and operation of security cameras at the entrances to the development.

Daiwa House Group's voice

"The first residents to move into Hikarigaoka Eco-Town have now been living there for exactly one year.
Children's voices can be heard here and there throughout the development, and residents can be seen exchanging greetings as a matter of course. These are the signs that a real sense of community has begun to grow in Hikarigaoka Eco-Town.
From now on, the focus of efforts must be on developing a pattern of collaboration with the pre-existing local community of which this development is a part. As a first step toward this goal we have taken steps to encourage residents to engage in friendly communications with one another, and to encourage individual residents to join hands with the governing board of the Management Association in spreading and deepening understanding of what this new community is all about. It is my hope that, from here on, too, we will be able to collaborate with other member companies of the Daiwa House Group, so as to serve effectively as partners in ensuring that the residents enjoy safe and comfortable lives with true peace of mind."

Koichi Andou
Manager, Machida Section 1, Yokohama Branch
Condominium Amenities Division
Daiwa LifeNext Co., Ltd.

Masaki Fujisaki
Group Leader
Machida Section 1, Yokohama Branch
Condominium Amenities Division
Daiwa LifeNext Co., Ltd.

Thanks to the various efforts described above, SMAxECO City Sagamihara Hikarigaoka Eco-Town has been certified by the government of Kanagawa Prefecture as an "Environmentally Symbiotic Town Planning Project." In addition, in fiscal 2014 the project won a number of prizes, including the Judging Committee Chairman's Award, at the Land Utilization Model Project Awards (principally hosted by the Institute for Future Urban Development, a general incorporated association). These awards were in recognition of the development's excellence as a sustainable community and its viability as a successful land-utilization model that comprehensively and effectively helps invigorate the economic and cultural life of its local region. The awards were instituted to encourage the realization of vibrant local communities under the leadership of regional local bodies.


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