JESD Workforce Housing

2022 All-Electric Leader

Location: Daly City

Building type: Multi-family affordable, new construction

Status: Under construction

Size: 50,553 square feet

Expected completion date: Summer 2023

Projected Energy Use Intensity: 21.4 

Owner: Jefferson Elementary School District

Contact: Maggie Crateau,, (510) 836-5400


The Jefferson Elementary School District (JESD) housing project fulfills an unmet need for affordable workforce accommodations in Daly City, California. To attract and retain teachers and staff, JESD is building 56 affordable units for employees at a substantial discount from market-rate rents. This project will be the first workforce housing project for grades K-8 in California.

The design incorporates material and color elements from the surrounding single-family neighborhoods, including vivid colors to stand out against the city's foggy weather. Simple materials, such as stucco and horizontal siding form familiar patterns, helping the project emphasize the residential character of the complex. Unit entrances face communal stairways which are intentionally oriented to open onto the main courtyard. A children's play area, vegetable garden, BBQ, and a community building with laundry and kitchen space are some amenities offered to residents.

Adjacent to M.P. Brown Elementary School, the site is secured with a gated entry to ensure the privacy of residents and safety of students. Monterey pines surround three sides, providing a green buffer from the adjacent neighborhood.

The site includes 97 parking spaces, yielding 1.7 spaces per unit. An existing solar array that serves the adjacent school has been relocated to accommodate fire lane access, with the additional benefit of providing some covered parking.

To keep costs down and deliver the project as quickly as possible, JESD turned to Lowney Architecture to take advantage of their modular construction experience. The facility will be constructed on District-owned land. The entitlements and site-built building permits will be issued by Daly City, while the state of California has permitting authority for the modular element.

Passive Design Strategies:

  • Exterior window shading
  • Daylighting
  • Envelop insulation
  • Air-tightness of exterior walls
  • Glazing: laminated windows, insulated glass
  • Offsite construction, dramatically reducing construction waste

Special Features:

  • Onsite renewable energy: solar PV
  • Heat pump water heater
  • Energy Star appliances

Project Team:

Architect: Lowney Architecture
Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing Engineer and Energy Consultant: FARD Engineers, Inc.
Contractor: Overaa
Factory: Guerdon