Watershed 637 is an 8,000 sq. ft. innovative new prototype for infill housing development in Santa Fe. Our entry into the GreenWORKS design competition received an honorable mention award for its innovative and sustainable design. Its design draws upon the city’s vernacular tradition of stepped clustered courtyard housing, while utilizing cost effective sustainable strategies to create a contemporary residential compound. In order to tie into the City’s Living River Initiative, our approach was to treat the site and buildings as a miniature watershed. The buildings and landscape were designed to mimic the form and ecosystem of a canyon.
Water is captured on upper roofs for storage & re-use in toilet flushing. Green lower roofs reduce storm water run-off, provide additional insulation and provide outdoor space for residents. Grey water is captured and used for landscape irrigation. Site run-off is managed in constructed wetland, designed to re-create a New Mexican riparian eco system. Surface water overflow from the site enters the Santa Fe river through a river restoration project. All of these features work to conserve water, raise the water table and increase the health of the river.
Additionally, residents will actually make $25 per year on utilities through a centralized solar heating and electric generation system. Healthy materials and a modular construction system create affordable and healthy homes for residents. These green features combined with an innovative design, make Watershed 637 a prototype design for infill sites throughout the City Different.