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HEARD ON THE BEAT / CORPORATE

RGC's Newest Wrinkle: Super Energy Efficiency

September 27, 1996|JOHN O'DELL | TIMES STAFF WRITER; O'Dell covers major Orange County corporations, manufacturing and economic issues for the Times

RGC, the Newport Beach home builder that brought the three-story, European-style townhome and the ultrahigh-density single-family development to Orange County, is at it again.

The innovative company has been working with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Pittsburgh consulting firm IBACOS to develop an extremely energy-efficient residence that won't increase building, buying or operating costs.

The result will be unveiled next week at RGC's Los Abanicos development in Rancho Santa Margarita. The company has built a home there that uses a variety of energy-saving construction techniques to cut energy consumption by 41%--a savings on gas and electric bills of about $600 per year.

By the middle of next year, RGC expects to have energy-efficient developments open and selling homes in Irvine, Rancho Santa Margarita and the Del Mar area of San Diego County.

Most of the energy-saving techniques are incorporated in the framing and air conditioning and heating systems, and aren't visible to the home owner. But RGC also will be using tinted windows that insulate homes as well as reduce the ultraviolet light that fades carpets, draperies and upholstery. Many homeowners pay hundreds of dollars to have special tinted films applied to their windows.

The energy-efficient prototype can be seen at the Los Abanicos development at the corner of Alma Aldea and Bienvenidos.

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