Schweitzer + Associates


  • California Building and Standards Commission

    Appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger’s office to serve as one of nine appointed members on California’s Green Building Code Advisory Committee; in 2007, reappointed in 2008 for a 3-year term. This committee was established by statute and serves as the “technical advisor” to the California Building Standards Commission on all green building provisions being considered for adoption by the State of California. In this capacity, we must review all proposed green building measures being considered by a host of state agencies as well as public comments and testimony related to these green building measures. On occasion, public testimony, debate and consensus builder is required.

  • California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)

    • Participated in CPUC’s Big Bold Energy Efficiency Strategy (BBEES) and a variety of other sustainable development related and IOU Energy Efficiency Program Filing hearings and workshops on behalf of master developers, investors, builders and Urban Land Institute.
    • Educated CPUC and CEC on market transformation opportunities and strategies to incentivize developers and other stakeholders who are typically left out of the dialogue and incentive structure.
    • Informed decision makers on the cost-effective market transformation opportunities being lost with their typical short-term focus.
  • Chevron Land and Development – West Coyote Hills

    Sustainability and entitlements advisor to master developer for West Coyote Hills, a 582-acre former oil field, being planned and entitled as a Sustainable Master Planned Development, preserving 60% in open space with trails, nature center, 740 residential units and 65,000 square feet of a non-residential uses.

    • Sustainability advising, consultation and management
    • Land use entitlements strategies to include climate change legislation
    • Counsel on recent and pending legislation, codes and standards
    • Sustainable Community Program design
    • Strategic alliances – utilities + state agencies
    • Ongoing Sustainable Community Program development


  • CPUC California Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan

    • Participated in California Energy Efficiency Long-Term Strategic Plan (CEESP) Workshops in their strategic planning process; representing master developers, investors, builders and Urban Land Institute.  Educated CPUC and participating stakeholders on ways to embrace sustainable economic development with new business models.
    • Provided new and innovative and approaches for cost effective solutions to create energy efficiency as a resource for California, benefiting multiple stakeholders, by embracing otherwise ignored stakeholders (e.g., master community developers, investors, appraisers)
    • Co-Chaired Market Transformation sub-committee
    • Participated in a variety of state-wide rulemakings for energy efficiency, renewable energy, embedded energy in water, alternative clean transportation 
  • CSUF Educational Housing Consortium

    CSUF Educational Housing Consortium (CSU Fullerton, Cal Poly Pomona, Brea-Olinda Unified School District, University of California, Irvine Medical Center, Mount San Antonio College, Rancho Santiago College, Pitzer College, Los Angeles College of Chiropractic, Southern California College of Optometry, Claremont, McKena College, Pacific Christian College, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Whittier College, Cerritos College).

    Coordinated and conducted the Visioning process, Vision Document, Market Analysis, Project Feasibility, Development Information Packages with/for the interested institutions for a master planned Employer-Assisted housing consortium development in Olinda Heights, Brea, California[while at MPC Associates].

  • DMB – Mesa Proving Grounds

    S+A also provided sustainability advising to Rancho Mission Viejo’s equity partner DMB in Ladera Ranch and The Ranch Plan, DMB. Sustainability advisor services included visioning, Sustainability Vision Statement and Principles, integrated strategic sustainable communities planning and design including energy efficiency, renewable energy, alternative transportation systems, strategic alliances and application of alternative financing models.

  • EDAW/Mead Westvaco – East Edisto

    Sustainability advisor, retained by EDAW, on the East Edisto 73,000-acre master planned sustainable community to advise the land owner, MeadWestvaco. S+A provided creative financing techniques and business models to enhancing the economic viability and robustness of the sustainability of the overall community to include federal, state, local tax credits incentives and rebates. The 73,000 acre project includes a series of five (5) subdistricts, two (2) towns, five (5) villages, hamlets, rural districts, rural zones, river zones, and business parks, regional retail, neighborhood retail, civic, parks, community lakefront parks, farms, equestrian centers, and open space preserves.

    • Identification of federal, state, local tax credits, incentives and rebates
    • Counseled client on recent and pending legislation, codes and standards
    • Land use entitlement strategies to address climate change legislation
    • Innovative land use entitlement strategies and identification and design of alternative business models to “bridge the “split incentive dilemma” of sustainability.
    • Research, PowerPoint presentation and final report


  • Land Use Entitlements for the New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP)

    Contributed to the CEC PIER (California Energy Commission Public Interest Energy Research) Study on Land Use Entitlements for the New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP)

    Conceived, drafted and conducted a stakeholder survey of investors, developer, builders, supply chain partners and municipalities on how to incentivize solar photovoltaics (PV) earlier in the land use entitlement process thereby enhancing effectiveness of the NSHP program and creating greater market penetration of solar PV.

    Final report contributions and summary of survey results and findings.

  • Rancho Mission Viejo – Terramor Village

    The for-sale residential sector has lagged far behind the commercial, industrial and for-rent residential sectors in embracing and incorporating sustainable or “green” technology, despite increased availability of techniques and products and increased demand from investors and home buyers. Why?

    Terramor, a village at Ladera Ranch, a 4,000-acre master-planned community in Orange County, California is a master-planned community sits in an acutely land-constrained and desirable market and is one of the largest photovoltaic communities in North America. The project’s master developer, DMB/Rancho Mission Viejo (“RMV”) challenged builders competing to purchase home sites in Terramor to pursue as many green innovations as possible but required that they employ green principles and materials in site planning, water conservation, energy, materials and resources (including recycling over 60% of their construction waste) and indoor environmental quality.  RMV selected ten of 13 competing builders: seven of these had no previous experience with green products or practices and were able to incorporate them with varying degrees of struggle and success.  And at the same time, RMV was ramping up to conduct follow-up Terramor homebuyer surveys about the green features of their homes, village and community.

    Schweitzer + Associates analyzed the costs and benefits of various home-builders’ approaches to going green at Terramor as well as the value Terramor home buyers placed on green components in their homes and communities. Research from January 2005 to 2006 included in-depth, multi-level interviews with the master developer, three of ten homebuilders and six of its planning, architecture, engineering, landscape, green compliance and market research consultants. Schwietzer + Associates also conducted homebuilder surveys to which seven of the ten Terramor builders responded: Centex Homes, K. Hovnanian, MBK Homes, Pulte Homes, Shea Homes, Standard Pacific Homes and William Lyon Homes. Important lessons learned included:

    • Designing and building with nature by respecting the location’s existing natural systems and features (water, topography, solar and wind orientation, climate and vegetation) not only results in a superior project but costs far less. Homebuilders experienced total net green cost premiums averaging 5% (after utility rebates and state incentives); from $2.02 to $11.40/sf for multi-family attached and $2.82 to $6.61/sf for single-family detached homes which included both direct and indirect total costs.
    • With little effort to educate homebuyers on the long-term cost savings of green features, 75% of homebuyers would pay over $25 per month in their mortgage for green features; 35% were willing to pay more than $100 per month in their mortgage for green features; or $3.60 to $14.40/sf (which translates to $9,000 and $36,000 over 30 years, respectively).

    This study indicates that of all the equity participants in the creation of for-sale residential product (land owner, master developer, investor, homebuilder and home owner), only the homebuilder expects a short-term hold and therefore is focused on the short-term costs and benefits. This may explain why homebuilders are the slowest to embrace green principles. They are resistant to incorporating green elements because they don’t understand them fear their higher initial cost, fail to grasp the long-term cost benefits to home owners and are unable to quantify and market these benefits effectively so as to recapture their up-front costs. With improved understanding of total costs and informed marketing, homebuilders can be rewarded for going green and will realize that green and profitability are not mutually exclusive. Buyers want green and will pay for it.

  • Rancho Mission Viejo – The Ranch Plan

    Sustainability Advisor to master developer and Director for The Ranch Plan, a 23,000-acre Sustainable Master Planned Development, preserving 75% in permanent open space with ultimate buildout of 14,000 residential units and 5.2 million square feet of a variety of non-residential with integrated storm water quality lake systems, orchards, and multi-modal clean transpiration system.

    • Visioning workshop
    • Sustainability Vision Statement and Principles
    • Integrated strategic sustainable communities planning and design (Energy efficiency, renewable energy, water, materials, waste, alternative transportation systems)
    • Program development
    • Builder interface
    • Strategic alliances – governmental agencies
    • Strategic alliances – supply chain partners
    • Design and application of alternative business and financing models
    • Sustainability team assemblage and management
    • Sustainability team leadership for utility program design, development and implementation - first Integrated Sustainable Communities Program (ISCP) for the San Diego Gas and Electric (SDGE), and Southern California Gas (SCG) (together IOUs (Investor Owned Utilities)) which was filed with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to incentivizes the master developer; viewed by the CPUC as a model program and new paradigm with state-wide application. 

    Ongoing project direction/management of ISCP on behalf of the developer including informing and educating CPUC and IOUs on practical ways to implement the new innovative program, strategic alliances with supply chain partners, and policy tracking and advocacy.

  • Truman State University – Sustainability Initiative

    Conceptualized, and spearheaded the collaborative design and implementation of the Truman State University’s campus-wide Sustainability Initiative which brings together administration, faculty, students and staff under an organizational umbrella for Sustainability. This is also integrating with external stakeholders including the university with the City, community, businesses and region. Education, facility improvements, and Schweitzer + Associates Sustainability internship are Integrated and integral to the overall program. (see articles)

  • University of Southern California – School of Policy

    Designed and taught USC’s Inaugural Sustainable Real Estate Development Course. Guest lecturer.