The Artyard

Sustainable MagazineThis article, written by Mitch Davenport of Davenport Construction Management LLC was published in Sustainable Santa Fe magazine.                              

In December of 1995, the City of Santa Fe, NM purchased the property now known as the Santa Fe Railyard. The purchase followed over a decade of community input asking that the development of this property be an asset and benefit to the community and to honor the history of the area. In February of 2002 the Santa Fe Master Plan and Design Guidelines were approved. In addition to the goals stated above the Master Plan also embraced the principles of environmental sustainability. That same month Santa Fe Railyard Community Corporation entered into an agreement with the city to manage the development of the property and one year later issued a Request For Proposal for lease parcels A1, A2 and A3, parcels designated for live/work buildings.

Wiv Co and The Lofts LLC, our sister development and general contracting companies issued a proposal and were awarded the project. From the very beginning we envisioned this project as an opportunity to create a sustainable, infill project like our other two projects in Santa Fe; The Lofts on Cerrillos Road and Marquez Place Lofts. However, we were determined to take the concept even further with our Artyard Project and we have.

The Artyard on the Santa Fe Railyard is working towards a certification of New Construction LEED Gold; one of the first new construction mixed use buildings in New Mexico to reach that level of high performance, energy and water efficiency, use of sustainable and re-cycled materials and indoor air quality. In addition to the LEED Gold certification, the buildings will be more than fifty percent energy efficient than a typical building of the same type. This will qualify the building for State of New Mexico Sustainable Building Tax Credits.

Some of the more innovative design features of the buildings are:

Greywater and Roof Water Harvesting – All water from the buildings from all fixtures except toilets and kitchen sinks will be captured treated with aerobic bacterial generators and ozone, then pumped back into the building so that every toilet flush is with harvested water. There will also be a roof water harvesting system which will supply irrigation to the Xeroscaped landscaping.

Varied Glazing Based on Exposure – We have mixed the types of glazing in the exterior doors and windows in order to maximize the heat gain/loss depending on the exposure of the windows. South and west facing windows have a varied type of treatment form the north and east facing windows because they are exposed to very different heat and light exposures. When we need heat gain in the winter we get more and when we need less UV in the summer we get it.

Solar Ready - Unfortunately, some of the community were opposed to solar collectors on the roof and so we were unable to install them. However, we know that things change over time so we will have roughed in all the plumbing lines and supports necessary so that if in the future the collectors are approved they can be installed with a minimum of impact.

Site Selection – We selected a remediated brownfield, infill site. By doing so we are developing on a rehabilitated damaged site and reducing pressure on undeveloped land. By choosing infill we help minimize car travel and encourage community interaction.

Hybrid Parking – We will be offering either designated preferred parking spaces for hybrids or discounted or free parking for hybrids.

Bicycling – We will establish covered, protected bicycle racks and a shower/changing facility for some of our commercial tenants/owners. Our project is also located next to a county wide planned bicycle path.

Site Waste Management – We will organize our waste management to minimize building waste going to the landfill. Lumber, concrete, drywall, paper products and more will be collected separately in order to be re-cycled or re-used.

Energy Efficient Equipment – All appliances will be Energy Star. Air conditioners and boilers will some of the most efficient available.

Material Use – We intend to use low or no VOC products wherever possible.

Alternative Transportation – Our project is located within walking distance to bus lines and rail lines. This will minimize the use of automobiles.

The Artyard Project is just one of many projects that is the result of years of research and building innovation by thousands of designers, engineers and builders. We are proud to be part of the growing movement toward sustainable building and look to a bright “green” future for Santa Fe, New Mexico, America and the rest of the planet.