Sustainable Architecture

Rosa Gardens – a housing development for 57 families with “LEED for Homes” certification in the GOLD category

by Christiane Burklein on Friday, 2nd March 2012 in Sustainable Architecture

This multi-unit residential project in Palm Springs (California) by Brooks & Scarpa architects offers homes which are not only environmentally sustainable but economical

People often think that an ecologically efficient and environmentally friendly home is a luxury for a privileged few. But Brooks + Scarpa (formerly Pugh + Scarpa) of Los Angeles demonstrate in their “Rosa Gardens”project completed in 2011 that it is possible to build a “LEED for Homes GOLD” certified building economically.

The complex measures about 8000 square metres, is horizontally oriented and includes 57 1 to 4 bedroom residential units, a common laundry room and other shared spaces including a swimming pool and a basketball court.

Energy efficiency requirements in the state of California (the strictest in the United States) were not only met but exceeded by more than 30% in the project. To achieve these results and attain prestigious LEED certification, the architects adopted a number of measures starting with the design of the building, which incorporated strategies for making use of passive solar energy to reduce energy consumption at all states in construction.

The building’s position and shape are designed to take advantage of the wind for natural cooling. The size and arrangement of the windows optimise natural lighting and drafts to ventilate the apartments.

The residences were built using recycled materials with low environmental impact such as recycled newspaper insulation, carpeting made with a high content of recycled material and natural linoleum flooring to save resources and improve the building’s overall ecological balance.

To complete the picture, the units have energy-saving light bulbs and devices for saving on water consumption, making the complex a truly ecological housing development.

Design: Brooks + Scarpa (formerly Pugh + Scarpa)
Global Green (energy efficiency consultant) 
PEG Office of Landscape + Architecture (Landscape)
Weidlinger Associates (Structural Engineering) 
Lashober & Sovich (Kitchen Consultant) 
Veneklasen Associates (Acoustical Consultant) 
Brown Construction (general contractor)
Client: Coachella Valley Housing Coalition
Location: Palm Spring, California, USA
Photographer: John Edward Linden
Related links: Redelco Residence, CAM, Raleigh