FEATURED PROJECT

Desert Rain

  Desert Rain.  A Living Building residence in Bend Oregon.  Click on the image for more information.  Photo by Dorothy Freudenberg

Desert Rain.  A Living Building residence in Bend Oregon.  Click on the image for more information.  Photo by Dorothy Freudenberg

The landscape for this project was designed to meet stringent requirements under the Living Building Challenge, the world's most rigorous green building standards.  The objective was to create a beautiful, functional landscape based on biophilic and ecological principles.


Desert Rain is one of fewer than five residential projects world wide striving for full certification under the Living Building Challenge, an extreme green building program based in Seattle, Washington.   A basic premise of the program is that the site icos fully self supporting.  All resources -- power and water -- must be generated on site, and nothing leaves the site.  We were brought in late in the project to redesign a landscape reflecting  predevelopment ecology of the site while meeting aesthetic and water conservation efforts.  This unique project is based on functional ecology of the sagebrush steppe community, is 90% unirrigated, and is an outstanding example of how a landscape can be designed to meet the dual objectives of beauty and functionality.

 We monitored soil moisture at three separate depths and correlated physiological measurements of plant stress with water availability and growth rate for two years after we installed the landscape.   Results are in review and will be published in HortScience, a peer reviewed journal of horticulture.

We monitored soil moisture at three separate depths and correlated physiological measurements of plant stress with water availability and growth rate for two years after we installed the landscape.   Results are in review and will be published in HortScience, a peer reviewed journal of horticulture.

 Salvia dorii & Eriogonum umbellatum in the front entry planting.  Beautiful combination and completely unirrigated.

Salvia dorii & Eriogonum umbellatum in the front entry planting.  Beautiful combination and completely unirrigated.