By BUILDER Magazine Staff. Why it worked: Twenty-first-century wiring and design flexibility complement Territorial and "Santa Fe" Southwestern architectural styles. The affordable combination attracts buyers to Tucson's first master planned community dedicated to the principles of sustainable living. All homes in Civano are at least 50 percent more efficient than the 1995 Model Energy Code.

* Master plan requires pedestrian orientation and construction to maintain and enhance the natural desert.

* Special HVAC systems, with 12 SEER air conditioning, include ducted return air pathways from all bedrooms.

* Guaranteed heating and cooling costs are $30 a month for the 1,505-square-foot plan 1, and $32 a month for both the 1,717-square-foot plan 2 and the 1,897-square-foot plan 3.

* FutureSmart wiring networks the home and its systems, including audio, video, computers, and telephones.

* Solar-assisted hot water heating and water-saving plumbing features are appropriate to desert housing.

* Optional casita is $20,000 to $25,000 depending on whether it includes a full bathroom.

Project Credits

Project: Civano Sol, Tucson, Ariz.; Sales started: January 2003; Sales through February 2003: 11; Units planned: 41; Price: $158,900 to $184,900; Unit size: 1,505 to 1,897 square feet; Developer: Community of Civano, Tucson; Builder: Doucette Homes, Tucson; Architect: KTGY Architects, Irvine, Calif.