Revitalizing a Desert Metropolis
Integrated rainwater harvesting helped this downtown Phoenix revitalization project become the first 55+ housing complex to achieve LEED Platinum certification.
The developer partnered with nonprofits Downtown Phoenix Community Development Corporation and Arizona Bridge to Independent Living to craft this three-story urban loft in the city’s historic Roosevelt Neighborhood. Designed to provide affordable housing for low- and moderate-income working seniors, the project became the first LEED Platinum housing project in Arizona. Located in the Sonoran Desert, the city epitomizes the idea that every drop of rain counts: it receives an average seven inches each year.
We located storage and equipment for the commercial-grade active rainwater harvesting system in the underground parking garage. Up top, the roof provided nearly 20,000 sq. ft. of collection area, calling for high-capacity vortex pre-filters to collect streamlined runoff. We also used vortex filters to interrupt patio and planter drains. A float-valve backup system automatically refills and connects to city make-up water supply when needed. Stored rainwater is pressurized and connected to the irrigation system, with overflow efficiently plumbed back into roof drains.
Project: The Lofts at McKinley
Average annual precipitation: 7 in.
Capture surface, hardscape: pre-cast pavers
Capture surface, roof: 19,260 sq. ft. EPDM (rubber roofing membrane)
Condensate: undetermined volume
Pre-filtration: 2 WISY 150 vortex pre-filters
Storage: 2 5,000 gal. poly tanks
Pump: 1.0 HP submersible pump
Designer: Heather Kinkade, for Skywater and T. Barnabas Kane & Assoc.
Installer: Skywater Rainwater Collection Systems
Developers: Gorman & Co., Downtown Phoenix Community Development Corporation, Arizona Bridge to Independent Living