water efficiency
Water Conservation Strategies (Building and Site)

Water is one of the most critical development issues in the southwest. In response, the James Learning Center utilizes several water savings strategies both inside and outside of the building. Among these are:

– Low water-use plumbing fixtures

– Constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment

– Rock weirs to slow runoff, control sedimentation, and encourage recharge

– Meandering runoff for self-watering landscape

– Minimized exterior hardscapes

– Use of native, low-water plants to restore disturbed areas

– Drip irrigation used for plants establishment (or during drought conditions)

– Rainwater harvesting

– Native plant selection

Roof shape provides rainwater catchment for landscape irrigation

Innovative Water Conserving Design Features

The butterfly roof stands out as the most memorable design element of the building. As stated previously, the dramatic roof shape functions not only to collect rainwater, but to educate– by raising awareness of the preciousness of water as a vital resource.

At the center of the butterfly roof valley, a large “cricket” helps channel water out towards both the east and west ends of the building, where the flow is then captured into large collection funnels, and then directed into the landscaping. The plant life which relies on this water includes the deciduous vines which play an active role in shading the building during the summer cooling season.