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UNLV Libraries -> Architecture Studies Library -> Las Vegas Guides and Collections ->
   AIA Nevada Design & Service Awards Archive -> 2007 awards -> Desert Living Center and Gardens

       NEVADA AIA DESIGN AWARDS 2007        




Entry number: B07042
Project Name: Desert Living Center and Gardens at the Springs Preserve
Location: 333S.Valley View Blvd., Las Vegas
Building Type: Public Exhibit Buildings & Gardens
Completion Date: June, 2007
Architect:  Lucchesi Galati

Sustainable Description

Design Team:
Architect: Lucchesi Galati
Audio and Visual System Engineering: BBI Engineering, Inc.
Civil Engineer: PBS&J
Electrical Engineer: Harris Consulting Engineers
Engineered Living System / Wetlands: Natural Systems, Inc.
General Contractor: Tiberti / Whiting-Turner
Interior Designer: Lucchesi Galati
Interpretive Exhibits and Educational Planning: Aldrich Pears Associates
Landscape Architect: Deneen Powell Atelier
Photographer: Lucchesi Galati
Photographer: Tom Bonnen
Structural Engineer: Stantec
Sustainable Engineering (MEP): Keen Engineering (Stantec)
Sustainable Planning and LEED Certification: Paladino and Company


Narrative/Project Description:
Located in Las Vegas, the Desert Living Center (DLC) is a $40 Million facility on the 180-acre Springs Preserve campus. The 54,000 square foot center and 8 acres of gardens strive to create a unique sense of place while serving as a catalyst for individual and community change from being "in the desert" to being "of the desert." The center consists of five main buildings and a several small structures all integrated into the landscape and function as sustainable exhibits. Each building has different sustainable characteristics as to experiment with the effectiveness of the different design principles. The facility is pending a LEED Platinum Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The DLC promotes sustainable living in the Mojave Desert, showing visitors how to adapt their lifestyles to a desert environment. The DLC honors historical sustainable principles developed by other life living within similar environments. For example, the Anasazi Indians oriented structures around solar optimization, and used thickened walls to reduce heating and cooling needs. Additionally, the desert tortoise burrows into the earth for cooling.

The buildings and gardens work seamlessly with numerous education programs and varied interpretive experiences. Forty three (43) hands-on interactive environmental exhibits, twenty (20) static sustainable design principles exhibits, two temporary galleries, four classrooms, a dialogue center, library/research center, design lab and a technical training studio offer educational opportunities to communicate a vision of sustainable life in the desert, and form the core of a compelling array of experiences and stories aimed at helping people make intelligent choices which contribute to a sustainable future in the Las Vegas Valley. The 8 acres of botanical gardens are integral to the educational purpose with the use of over 1,200 different species of plantings help to demonstrate many sustainable concepts that are displayed throughout the gardens. Mojave native plant communities are the core of the botanical garden collection with some other Southwestern climates also being represented. There is even an Enabling Garden; one designed specially for blind visitors. Many exhibits educate homeowners and professionals about their own landscaping.

The DLC and gardens are grounded as a physical manifestation of sustainable facilities that create a vehicle for educational interaction and dialogue. This interaction with the structures, exhibits, gardens, and other people will serve as a cultural and social contribution toward living sustainably within the Las Vegas Valley and creating a more harmonious relationship with the surrounding Mojave Desert.


Sustainability Description:
The five principal buildings incorporate many sustainable characteristics, yet each building is different to experiment with the effectiveness of each design principle. Some sustainable design strategies as related to the pending LEED Platinum rating are addressed as follows:
• Sustainable Sites: Bike racks and alternate fuel vehicle parking are provided. Light-colored roofing and paving reduce heat islands. Over 60 acres of desert and wetlands have been restored on site. All lighting is designed to reduce light pollution.
• Water Efficiency: Irrigation systems are water-efficient. Black and gray water is treated and reused onsite. Waterless urinals and water-efficient fixtures are used throughout.
• Energy & Atmosphere: Mechanical systems achieve a 40% to 50% reduction in energy use and are free of HCFC's and Halons. Photovoltaic power and solar water heating are used to reduce grid depend ance.
• Materials & Resources: Building materials use recycled content and are locally sourced. Materials also are of rapidly renewable crops and from certified sustainable forests. Recycling collection bins are placed onsite.
• Indoor Environmental Quality: All indoor materials and coatings meet VOC limits. Individual occupants can control lighting and operable windows, and all regularly occupied spaces provide daylight and views.
•Innovation and Design Process: The buildings are designed to educate the community on Sustainable Design.

The DLC reflects the local environment at every opportunity, beginning with solar orientation to optimize the lighting and heating benefits of the sun. Submerging parts of the structures below grade utilizes the earth as a thermal insulator. Above ground, 24-inch rammed earth and straw bale walls resist heat gain or loss, while roofing designs promote water collection and interior daylight. Engineering systems are minimized due to rapid degradation of technological effectiveness and high power consumption. So the buildings mostly use passive sustainable design principles (ex. operable windows, cooling towers, day-lighting, and solar hot water) for robust and efficient operations.

The gardens and other landscaping areas included many unique and sustainable techniques. Many of the Mojave native plants are from seed collected in the Las Vegas Valley and most of the native cacti and native yucca species were salvaged from developing local areas. Artificial wetlands produce reusable water from sewage collected at the Springs Preserve. The treated grey water is reused within the DLC and gardens to reduce the need for potable water. Additionally the use of photovoltaic cells fixed throughout the site produce sustainable electricity.



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Material in ASL Library: Form Core Boards, Project Description Form, Exteriors Photos, Location Map, Site Plan, Floor Plan, and Interior Photos

These images are low-resolution reproductions of the images provided for the AIA Nevada Design Awards. All materials should be considered copyrighted and may not be reproduced or used without permission.

Monday, 17-Dec-2012 10:50:02 PST