Project Portfolio

Revitalizing a Desert Metropolis

Integrated rainwater harvesting helped this downtown Phoenix revitalization project become the first 55+ housing complex to achieve LEED Platinum certification.

Phoenix, Arizona

Skywater’s Strategy

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

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