Orange County Branch Newsletter

August 2017

Sustainability Committee

Sustainability in Land Development

By Charlotte Wu, PE, ENV SP

The Sustainability Committee of ASCE Orange County Branch organized a luncheon with speakers from Rancho Mission Viejo, Irvine Company Community Development, and Schweitzer + Associates. The banquet room at 650 Town Center Drive was filled with professionals from all disciplines interested in learning the future development in Orange County and how sustainability plays in the current and future planning. The presentations were eye opening to many as we all listened quietly while the presenters discussed net zero energy communities, conservation of stormwater and recycled water, and transportation expansion in neighborhood electric vehicles and bike trails. 

Highlights from the presentation:

Jeff Thompson, the Vice President of Development Engineering from Rancho Mission Viejo, showcased several projects that are both under design and completed. Gobernadora Multi-purpose Basin, one of Rancho Mission Viejo’s project to provide additional storage for treated stormwater infiltration and allow groundwater to be recharged. Another featured project was Trampas Recycled Water Reservoir; the project will increase the recycled water storage to accommodate the irrigation demand during the dry season. Rancho Mission Viejo is continuing to expand and connect the region’s multimodal transportation through biking and hiking trails, RanchRide, and neighborhood electric vehicles.

Atendees at the July Luncheon

Jamie Yoshida, the Vice President of Engineering from Irvine Company Community Development, gave us the sneak peak of the upcoming mixed-use community developments including newly built Portola Springs, under development Eastwood, Orchard Hills, and Los Olivos – Phase II. The communities all include variations of residential units, schools, and community parks. 

Judi Schweitzer, the President and Chief Sustainability Advisor from Schweitzer + Associates, Inc., walked us through several of her projects throughout California. In response to California Governor’s, Jerry Brown, Executive Order B-16-2012 to reach Zero Net Energy (ZNE) goal, Schweitzer discussed how West Sacramento’s Liberty Community homes can reach ZNE from renewable energy production, but it can also be offset by electric vehicle charging units, therefore not reaching the ZNE desired. She also discussed Smart Grid technologies and how it can also help communities to reach ZNE such as Irvine Smart Grid Demonstration project at University of California, Irvine campus.

The luncheon ended with a brief Q & A and take away gifts for the Envision Sustainability Professionals at each table.

ASCE OC Board and Presenters

For all the photos from the lunch please visit:

Written by Charlotte Wu, a professional civil engineer and Envision Sustainability Professional in the field of transportation with WSP,

Photo Credit: Jom Thaipejr

Related Groups/Committees