SECTION 7 – BUILDING SYSTEMS
7.1 Energy and Power
Energy-efficient design is integral to Loreto Bay’s sustainability commitment. Energy efficiency begins with “passive” design. Techniques include proper building orientation, window size and location, spatial interconnections, and shading in order to maximize light, maximize ventilation, and minimize summer solar gain. The simplest strategy of all is to favor outdoor living and minimize enclosed temperature-controlled space and the need for artificial lighting. Energy efficient design also includes use of the most effective, environmentally appropriate systems, equipment, and appliances. Energy efficiency results in significant long-term savings for homeowners, as well as reductions in greenhouse gases and other environmental impacts associated with electricity production and conventional mechanical cooling.
7.2 Passive Cooling and Ventilation
Loreto Bay is blessed with a dry, warm, sunny climate offering ideal living conditions most of the year. Comfort levels may be easily maintained during the coldest months without mechanical heating by providing high thermal mass and/or insulation. Home design should make use of natural light and ventilation. There is only a brief period during the year—the months of August and September—when temperature and humidity levels regularly rise above most peoples’ comfort level and fail to offer significant night-time cooling. Particular attention should therefore be paid by the designer to addressing summer conditions in order to minimize, if not altogether eliminate, mechanical cooling and ventilation loads.
7.2.1 Passive Cooling a) Building Envelope
• Utilize construction system with integral wall and roof insulation such as Perform Wall. • Use construction system with thermal mass.
• Seal windows and doors and, where ventilation chimney is provided, install operable closure, if mechanical cooling is also provided.
• Use R-40 roof insulation.
Include pools with pumping fountains and evaporative chimney (cooling tower).
• Minimize windows facing west/north-west.
• Provide overhangs, louvers, screens, or support structures for vegetation to shade south-facing windows.
7.2.2 Passive Ventilation a) Windows
• Create cross ventilation in major living areas and natural ventilation to all habitable spaces.
• Increase window heights to permit low and high operating windows, allowing cooler in-flow through low windows, preferably at shaded side of building, and high outflow of hot air.
b) Ventilation chimney
Use ventilation chimneys to evacuate hot air through stacks, such as Antigua Guatemala-style cupola over the kitchen.
Orient living spaces around planted courtyards to induce cool microclimate.
7.2.3 Cooling and Ventilation Equipment
In keeping with the goals of sustainability, it is expected that buildings in Loreto Bay will utilize the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly mechanical systems, if such systems are deemed necessary. It is recommended that mechanical systems, such as split roof top units, be limited to bedrooms and that natural cooling techniques, such as evaporative chimneys and cooling towers, be incorporated into building designs. If split systems are specified, multi-splits are recommended.
Such equipment should be screened and enclosed with elements such as parapet walls or trellis screens. Noise pollution from heat pumps and mechanical equipment is not permitted. Care should be taken in the placement of a/c units and pool pumps to minimize noise audible from the street or adjacent homes.
7.2.4 Electrical Power Allocation
As a sustainable development, Loreto Bay encourages low energy consumption of high greenhouse gas generating power sources, the use of alternative power sources, and energy saving appliances, light fixtures, and other household equipment.
Electricity is brought to each lot through underground main power lines and the allocated electrical power allowance is limited. Designers should consider the appropriate use of technologies to make the best use the available electrical power.
7.3.1 Natural Light
The best lighting design maximizes natural light. Daylighting strategies provide a significant reduction in the use of electrical lighting, as well as the benefits of full spectrum light. Typically, electrical lighting represents 45 to 50 percent of net energy consumption. Innovative daylighting strategies can considerably reduce electricity consumption and improve the quality of light in an indoor environment. Daylight provides sufficient light to meet lighting
requirements of 50 to 70 per cent of the occupancy period. In addition to improved life-cycle cost, reduced emissions, and lower operating costs there is a measurable benefit to daylighting strategies.
Proper daylighting design will provide relief from the intense sunlight of the Baja peninsula, as well as minimizing energy consumption for air conditioning. Window orientation, form, and placement, room volume, and surface reflection must be taken into account. Screens, louvers, overhangs and light shelves may be used. Light penetration dominates on the east and west elevations, where heat gain is the most difficult to control.
The design of windows relative to enclosed space is correlated to the dispersal of natural light. For effective daylight penetration throughout a room the typical depth of a room should be proportional to the window head height at roughly 1.5 to 2 times its size. On the east and west facades higher windows will allow for more even distribution of lighting.
7.3.2 “Dark Sky”
Pursuant to the Loreto Bay Master Rules, night skies must remain “dark skies”.
The goal with respect to outdoor lighting within the Master Condominium is to reduce night time light levels, including glare and blue light, while ensuring that those levels remain at safe and practical levels and that outdoor light fixtures maintain the architectural standards in these Guidelines. Where there is a conflict between reduced light levels and the architectural character of light fixtures, the reduction in light levels predominates.
Outdoor lighting standards apply to all new construction, improvements, and landscaping, all changes to existing buildings, improvements, and landscaping, and modification to approved plans for future structures, including interior courtyard landscaping. Stand-alone outdoor lighting fixtures that light streets, fountains, swimming pools, tennis and pickle ball courts, games places, and other gathering places are also subject to these standards.
Lighting must be specific to a particular purpose - such as illuminating streets, entranceways, stairs, outdoor eating, seating, and BBQ areas, when in use - to both ensure safety and eliminate to the maximum extent possible:
a) Degradation of the nighttime visual environment by production of unsightly and dangerous glare;
b) Lighting practices that produce excessive glare and brightness that interferes with the health and safety of Loreto Bay residents and visitors;
c) Unnecessary waste of energy and resources in the production of too much light or wasted light;
d) Interference in the use or enjoyment of property that is not intended to be illuminated at night by light trespass, and loss of the scenic view of the night sky due to increased sky-glow; and
e) Disruption of nocturnal animal behavior, particularly sea turtles and migrating birds, among other species.
7.3.3 Landscape Lighting
Owners may only install landscape lighting in private gardens and patios. Fixtures must be downlights.
7.3.4 Outdoor Light Fixture Shielding and Source Requirements
All permanent outdoor light fixtures are required to be fully shielded and must be installed in such a manner that the shielding satisfies the definition of a fully shielded fixture. Additionally, all outdoor light fixtures visible to the public must be consistent with the architectural integrity of Loreto Bay and the dark sky lighting requirements. Fully shielded light fixtures must utilize LED as a source and have a light temperature of no more than 3000 Kelvin.
7.3.5 Fully Shielded Fixture
A “fully shielded fixture” is an outdoor light fixture shielded in such a manner that all light emitted by the fixture, either directly from the lamp or indirectly from the fixture, is projected below the horizontal as determined by photometric test or certified by the manufacturer.
7.3.6 Light Trespass Standard
All permanent, fully shielded light fixtures must be located, aimed, and shielded so that the direct illumination from the fixture is confined to the property boundaries of the source, as well as the common areas maintained by the Master Condominium or affected Subregime. It is prohibited to cast direct light on other private property, including the golf course, the federal zone, and the beach.
7.3.7 Other Requirements
All homes must have at least one permanent fully shielded light fixture located at the main entry to contribute to neighborhood street lighting. Such fixtures must be hard-wired (non- switchable) and fitted with a light sensor.
All elevators and lift chairs must be engineered, installed, inspected, and maintained to engineering standards.
7.5 Communication Equipment, Antennas, Satellite Dishes, Telecom, and Other Electrical Equipment
Communication equipment, antennas, Wi-Fi antennas, satellite dishes, telecom, and other electrical equipment must be installed on the upper-most roof deck, below a surrounding solid parapet wall and may not be visible from the ground level, unless otherwise approved. Such equipment may not be atop a viewing tower or sloped roof, or attached to walls or columns or sit on outside window sills. Cables and wires used to connect the equipment or for outdoor lighting may not be visible on the exterior of the building, unless otherwise approved. In the event of technological improvements that make it unnecessary to have visible antennas or satellite dishes, Owners may be required to remove previously installed equipment.
7.6 Fireplaces and Fire Pits
All fireplaces and fire pits must be approved. Fireplaces and fire pits must conform to construction standards that ensure a proper draft, must incorporate a non-combustible surround, and must maximize energy efficiency and minimize air pollution. Chimneys must be designed to minimize emissions.
No fireplaces or fire pits that burn wood, coal, charcoal, paraffin logs, or other high carbon emitting fuels will be permitted in any new construction or remodeling projects.