Rosa Gardens / Brooks + Scarpa

Rosa gardens / brooks + scarpa
© John Edward Linden

Rosa Gardens is a 57-unit affordable apartment building consisting of 2 and 3-bedroom family units with a common laundry room, community room and other family amenities on 4.75 acres of previously developed land. The project has been certified under LEED for Homes with a “GOLD” rating.

Rosa Gardens distinguishes itself from most conventionally developed projects in that it incorporates energy efficient measures that exceed standard practice, optimize building performance, and ensure reduced energy use during all phases of construction and occupancy.

Rosa gardens / brooks + scarpa
© John Edward Linden

The planning and design of the project emerged from close consideration and employment of passive solar design strategies. These strategies include: locating and orienting the building to control solar cooling loads; shaping and orienting the building for exposure to prevailing winds; shaping the building to induce buoyancy for natural ventilation; designing windows to maximize day lighting; shading south facing windows and minimizing west-facing glazing; designing windows to maximize natural ventilation; shaping and planning the interior to enhance daylight and natural air flow distribution. While California has the most stringent energy efficient requirements in the USA, Rosa Gardens incorporates numerous sustainable features that exceed state mandated Title 24 energy measures by more than 30%.

Rosa gardens / brooks + scarpa
© John Edward Linden

The building is loaded with energy-saving and environmentally benign or “sustainable” devices. Materials conservation and recycling were employed during construction by requiring all waste to be hauled to a transfer station for recycling. The overall project achieved more than a 75% recycling rate. Specifying carpet with a high-recycled content, insulation made from recycled newspapers, and all-natural linoleum flooring also emphasized resource conservation. The project also uses compact fluorescent lighting throughout the building, insulation made from recycled material and double-pane windows. Each apartment will be equipped with water-saving dual flush toilets and many other energy conserving devices.

Rosa gardens / brooks + scarpa
© John Edward Linden

The building also includes other environmentally friendly materials including a building skin partially clad with recycled aluminum cans formed into building blocks. This required state approval to work with a local recycle center to fabricate and obtain the custom pressed blocks.

In addition, the project is designed to incorporate a rooftop hydronic solar panel heating system, which will be implemented in a second phase to minimize the client’s initial costs.

Project Details:

Location: Palm Springs, California, USA
Type: Housing Residential
Total Square Footage: 85,184 SF
Client/Owner: Coachella Valley Housing Coalition
Architects: Brooks + Scarpa (formerly Pugh + Scarpa) –
Project Team: Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA – Lead Designer
Angela Brooks, AIA, Omar Barcena, Mark Buckland, Brad Buter, Silke Clemens, Emily Hodgdon, Ching Luk, Gwynne Pugh, Sri Sumantri – Project Design Team
Photos: John Edward Linden

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.

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