News » 2006 » KYOCERA and Tucker Sadler Architects Earn ULI Smart Growth "Innovation" Award for Solar Grove Project


KYOCERA and Tucker Sadler Architects Earn ULI Smart Growth "Innovation" Award for Solar Grove Project

San Diego -- (June 21, 2006) -- The Kyocera “Solar Grove™” carport project was honored last Tuesday, June 13, by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) San Diego/Tijuana District Council with an “Innovation Award” as part of its second annual “Smart Growth Awards for Excellence” program.

The Solar Grove, which opened in June of 2005, was a collaboration between international solar energy company Kyocera and San Diego-based Tucker Sadler Architects. The project is located in the main parking lot of Kyocera’s North American headquarters at 8611 Balboa Ave., in the Kearny Mesa area of San Diego.

The competition recognizes efforts in San Diego County to develop projects that help fulfill and advance the principles of smart growth. According to the ULI, projects utilizing smart growth are economically sound, environmentally responsible and supportive of community livability.

“The Solar Grove project is a prime example of smart growth,” said Patricia Trauth, a member of the judging panel and assistant vice president at San Diego-based planning and engineering firm Project Design Consultants. “Creating a sustainable parking lot is an innovative way to begin tackling our energy crisis and to preserve the environment.”

The largest privately owned photovoltaic system in the county, the Solar Grove incorporates 25 modular “Solar Trees” arranged to form a carport that shades 186 parked vehicles while generating solar electricity using Kyocera’s latest photovoltaic modules. Its 235-kilowatt generating capacity annually produces approximately 421,000 kilowatt hours of electricity from sunlight, which is equivalent to the annual electrical needs of nearly 68 typical California homes.

The Solar Trees combine the modular building and sustainable design expertise of Tucker Sadler Architects with Kyocera’s world-leading achievements in developing and producing photovoltaic modules and systems. The first generation unit showcases the innovative concept of transforming a parking lot into a clean electrical generator and easing strain on the utility grid, while keeping vehicles shaded. The unit accommodates any size or shape, giving virtually any parking lot an economical solar retrofit option that promotes energy independence while preserving the environment.

In addition to receiving the Smart Growth Award, Kyocera recently was recognized for the project by the San Diego Regional Energy Office with a “Special Achievement in Energy by a Medium to Large Business” award as part of its San Diego Excellence in Energy (SANDEE) award program.

About Kyocera
Kyocera Corporation was founded in 1959 as a producer of advanced ceramics. By combining these engineered materials with metals and plastics, and integrating them with other technologies, Kyocera has become a leading supplier of solar energy systems, telecommunications equipment, semiconductor packages, electronic components, laser printers, copiers and industrial ceramics. During the year ended March 31, 2006, the company's net sales totaled 1.18 trillion yen (approximately $10 billion).

About Tucker Sadler Architects
Founded in 1957 by Thomas Tucker and Hal Sadler, Tucker Sadler Architects is a full-service design firm specializing in planning interior design, and development services for commercial, residential, civic, academic, institutional, recreational, entertainment, and hospitality projects throughout the U.S.  Three partners lead the firm’s 40-member team, which includes four U.S. Green Building Council LEED accredited professionals.  Tucker Sadler Architects maintains office headquarters at 225 Broadway, 17th Floor, San Diego, CA 92101, and an office at 3333 Pinnacle Hills Parkway, Suite 200, Rogers, AR 72758.  More information about the company can be found on the web at