Blending the needs of people and plants in a highly sustainable set of facilities:
A variety of building needs, including greenhouses, shadehouses, a headhouse, research and conservation laboratories, an education center, and exhibit center are required for this site. A massive wall of re-purposed concrete divides public and operational sides of the site. The wall’s forms and shapes allow for openings that contain desert plants and moments of water salvaging demonstration. A large structural grid straddles much of the site, creating a variety of different shading and energy collection methods in an easily expandable method. The built areas are designed to be as densely packed as operations will allow, providing a maximum of space left for desert re-vegetation to fortify a connection with natural landscapes.
The grid shades the buildings, reducing heat load and overall energy usage. Rainwater is collected and demonstrated in a variety of ways. The grid holds enough spaces for solar PV panels for the project to operate annually with net-positive energy produced. The Garden and design team are attempting to obtain, and hopefully be, the first in Arizona to achieve the Living Building Challenge Petal Certification.