Architect's rendering, aerial view of Enso Village


A Key Focus of Kendal Communities

By Frank Mandy, Vice President for Development

Jan. 12, 2021—At the Kendal retirement communities still being planned and those already operating and serving residents, there is a strong focus on sustainability in design and operations. This commitment to environmentally sensitive approaches reflects the Quaker roots of Kendal, embracing the belief that human beings are stewards of the Earth and should care for it so that each generation passes on to the next one a world as good as or better than the one it received.

On a practical level, this is reflected in a wide variety of diverse programs found at Kendal affiliates across the country: composting, electric vehicle charging stations, geothermal heating systems, systematic migration from electric bulbs and fluorescent lighting to LEDs, tree planting programs that embrace indigenous species, power purchasing agreements that focus on clean energy, use of water management techniques that manage runoff and capture rainwater for use in landscaping, and the embrace of the Dark Skies program to reduce light pollution.

While the operational aspects of these varied programs are managed by the professional staffs at Kendal communities, it is the residents who are particularly focused on finding new ways to reduce the carbon footprint of their homes. Committees of residents are focused on buildings and grounds, energy efficiency, climate change, water management, recycling, and myriad other related topics. The residents of Kendal communities are committed to protecting the environment for future generations.

At Enso Village, the newest Kendal community still being planned for a beautiful site in Healdsburg, California, north of San Francisco in Sonoma County, there is a serious commitment to environmentally friendly design. Kendal and San Francisco Zen Center, co-sponsors of this innovative project, have incorporated many green features in the plans for the campus, which will be breaking ground in 2021, including ideas for eventual net-zero energy consumption. The community will be all-electric with a significant amount of power generated by solar panels.

Enso Village, the newest Kendal community, will incorporate many green features and be all-electric, with a significant amount of power generated by solar panels.

For the first time, a Life Plan Community will incorporate “car barns,” an automated car racking system that safely accommodates staff and resident cars. This innovation will reduce construction costs, use land more efficiently and reduce the carbon footprint of the project. It also positions Enso Village to embrace technology that is coming soon, including self-driving cars and app-based technology innovations.

Other sustainable design approaches include electric charging stations for resident cars, car share/ride share options and integration with regional bike trails. Throughout its planning and design process, the project has adhered to LEED gold, CalGreen and Title 24 guidelines, which set extremely high environmental standards. The financing of Enso Village also has a sustainability focus in that preconstruction capital has been provided by an impact investor whose approach to the provision of capital is balanced between return on investment and the achievement of measurable societal and environmental goals.

Lastly, Enso Village is being built with materials that are Red List free. The Red List contains the worst in class chemicals and materials prevalent in the building industry. In addition to polluting the environment, when used in new construction, these materials can reach toxic concentrations, with potentially severe health consequences. By eliminating them from inclusion in the project, Enso Village will keep its residents and the local environment safer.

Interested in Enso Village?

Construction is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2021.