Lake Elsinore’s Master-Planned Preserve

Surrounded by 900 acres of permanent open space, Pardee Homes’ latest LivingSmart® Homes designs appeal to a multitude of homebuyers.

By Amber Materna
Photography by Chris Mayer

Pardee Homes’ dedication has always brought fresh energy to the development equation when envisioning new communities, concepts and design, especially in the green sector. A pioneer of this field, the home builder was one of the first to put its stamp on the industry by introducing its LivingSmart® program in 2001. “The LivingSmart® green brand was conceived as a broadly based approach to green building, and its roots date back to 1998, when Pardee Homes began to build new homes to a higher level of energy-efficiency,” explained Joyce Mason, the vice president of marketing.

Launched in San Diego’s upscale neighborhood Santa Barbara at Pacific Highlands Ranch, the concept came in response to new necessities for the modern homebuyer — explicitly tailored to fit each region’s needs. Pardee’s Vegas projects, for example, highlighted drought tolerant landscaping. With each new LivingSmart® Homes series community, the company also worked to make the community planning more sustainable community planning.

Moving to the next step in 2008, Pardee Homes made the LivingSmart® program a standard for all of its new homes, and in 2010, launched LivingSmart® Homes, the design series. By taking the essential components of its green living brand –– andpairing it with sensible affordability via economical floor plans, Pardee Homes has made the latest green building endeavor a widespread success, without compromising the green features that have become synonymous with the brand name.

The company’s newest development, LivingSmart® Homes Hillside, continues on with just that. Starting at a bit over $200,000, these stylish single-family residences are priced in a manner to deliver affordability as just one of the community’s attractions. Affordable, green and gracious, these modest dwellings appeal to what buyers want today.

These homes earned the “Community of the Year for Detached Homes under $500,000” at the 2012 SoCal Awards. Pardee describes these clever homes as boasting “simplified architecture” that achieves “important economies.” Ranging from 1,296 to 2,256 square feet, the homes are specifically designed to appeal to multiple consumer audiences.

Through smart floor plans and ease of access, Pardee has successfully targeted both first time home buyers, mostly echo boomers, as well as empty-nesters looking for a space that’s both easy to maintain and affordable as an investment. The four one- and two-story floor plan designs provide up to four bedrooms, adding to their appeal and versatility for a variety of households.

A significant benefit of the LivingSmart® Homes design series is its post-purchase affordability. The green features help conserve resources, of course—and those resources include money saved from the new homeowner’s energy bill. “Baseline performance criteria exceed Title 24; meet or exceed California Green Builder standard; meet or exceed California Friendly water savings measures and utilize the National Green Building Standard of acceptable minimums for recycled content, VOC emissions, fenestration performance, and other criteria,” said Mason. Third-party ConSol certified and equipped with dual-pane spectrally selective tempered vinyl windows, water-friendly smart irrigation, and Energy Star appliances, standard LivingSmart® Homes series features are opportunities for savings in every residence.

As buyers become more educated about living green, Pardee has expanded the brand to deliver not only energy and water “smarts,” but also health and earth. “In EnergySmart, EarthSmart, WaterSmart and HealthSmart groupings, Pardee makes green features, materials and systems viable in a production setting and brings buyers desirable green benefits that are within their means,” explained Mason. One example: insulation is low-formaldehyde thanks to an innovative binder that virtually eliminates offgassing within the home. MERV 8 air filters make sure the air quality is as clean as possible.

This dedication to green represents far more than the company’s commitment to its homebuyers. Recognition of Pardee’s leadership in green building has come from such entities as U.S. EPA, U.S. DOE, Office of the Governor, California Building industry Association, National Association of Home Builders, Sierra Club and The Building Institute. Said Mason, “Our advocacy is core to our success as a green builder. It exemplifies Pardee’s resource conservation; green initiatives; and the mainstreaming of green building with associates, suppliers, subcontractors and consumers.”

By tapping Bassenian/Lagoni for architectural needs, Pardee has also ensured that this smart home has the bones needed for optimal use. “Simplified footprints and roof plans, stacked plumbing and modular window sizes all combined to result in significantly less construction waste material,” said Hans Anderle, associate vice president and senior designer of Bassenian/ Lagoni. These methods, he added, were the first steps in ensuring a wealth of energy-saving, water-conserving, health-promoting and earthfriendly attributes.

While energy saving is definitely a topper on the current buyer’s wish list, extended outdoor living space also is a requirement. Anderle suggested that this might be the Hillside homes’ biggest attribute: “What makes these homes a standout is their functionality,” he said. “The living portion of each home –– great room, dining space, and kitchen –– relates to the private outdoor space at the rear of the home. A covered outdoor room creates wonderful living options and lots of glass brings nature inside as well, and within the constraints of a 35-footwide home, we worked hard to craft unique space arrangements, while ensuring that every plan enjoyed the same relationship to outdoor space. Achieving this made this community appealing to multiple types of buyers.” And many options for outdoor space there are.

LivingSmart® Homes Hillside is part of the master-planned community of Canyon Hills, which includes parks, shopping, recreation centers and most astoundingly, 900 acres of preserved open space. The combination of convenience, beauty and lifestyle advantages is helping the area thrive, too. “Hillside is one of the most environmentally friendly new home neighborhoods in Lake Elsinore and it is very pleasing to city officials to see these homes come to their locale –– handsome, affordable and with advanced energy and water efficient features that help the buyer in the long run,” said Mason.

Undoubtedly, as more buyers discover these efficient homes, Lake Elsinore’s master-planned community of Canyon Hills will continue to expand and offer more benefits, making this spot a solid solution for families looking to not only live, but thrive.

Amber Materna is an editorial assistant of Builder and Developer magazine. She may be contacted at

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