• Credit: Daproza, Johanna

Vantage of Palo Alto, Calif., is the largest solar-powered residential project ever built in the city. The 76-unit development was designed by Irvine, Calif.-based KTGY Group in the spirit of Joseph Eichler’s forward-thinking and forward-looking homes of the 1950s and ’60s. "Many developments leave solar power as an option, but we’ve made it a standard feature on every home," says Stephanie Pruitt, marketing director for the project’s builder, Warmington Homes California in Costa Mesa.

Each townhouse has a 2-kilowatt solar system, as well as 20 additional standard green features that save water, conserve energy, or contribute to indoor air quality—among them tankless water heaters; dual-flush toilets; formaldehyde-free fiberglass insulation; and low- or no-VOC paint, finishes, and MDF millwork. But the photovoltaic system "is the most significant of the green factors," Pruitt says. "It can run the entire unit and will help offset monthly utility costs."

Priced from the $800,000s, the homes have five floor plans and range in size from approximately 1,200 square feet to 1,600 square feet. Despite the housing slowdown, 24 of the houses sold quickly after release, and Warmington isn’t worried about its remaining inventory. Interest in energy-efficient homes, it believes, will only increase in the foreseeable future.