LEED Gold Certified
- The project redeveloped a degraded site and restored the ecological conditions while being mindful of the Sonoran Desert.
- The gardens’ design share Leonore and Walter Annenberg’s love for Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings in landscape form.
- The project creates a habitat for threatened and endangered species, including cottontail rabbits, jackrabbits, desert iguanas, monarch butterflies, hawks, and vermillion flycatchers.
- A series of erosion control strategies were implemented, including geotextiles to stabilize the soils and plants for root stability.
- A pre-design site assessment informed the soil strategy, allowing the project to create a soil management plan with protected zones, conserved soil, and amended soil.
- 53,000 arid landscape plants were used including 70 different plant and tree species.
- 617 trees were planted.
- The seeds were locally sourced and adapted for the California climate.
- Fertilizer and pesticide use was minimized.
- Annual planting was avoided.
- Plants are allowed to go from seed to flower life.
- Low water usage planting was used on-site.
- Mycorrhizal fungi was implemented in the soil mix to provide increased water and nutrient absorption for the planting. In turn the planting provides the fungi with necessary carbohydrates.
- The project utilizes just 20% of the water allocation from Coachella Valley Water District.
- The project uses 100% on-site stormwater retention.
- High-efficiency capillary irrigation zones are independently controlled by soil and moisture censored monitors to reduce water use.
- The user experiences stormwater features through garden paths which integrate grading, planting, water capture, and water storage.
Carbon, Energy + Air
- Geothermic system with 96 wells, reaching 396 feet below the center’s Great Lawn, uses a closed-loop temperature transfer to heat and cool the center.
- 300 clear and sunny days allows for solar energy capture in the photovoltaic fields.
- The trees sequester 72,000 pounds of carbon annually, which offset 8.9 cars per year.**
- The project uses regional material.
- Vegetation was used to minimize energy by being placed around the building.
- The project minimizes the users’ exposure to environmental tobacco smoke through prohibited smoking on-site.
- The design sought to reduce the amount of waste produced by supporting sustainable material manufacturing, salvaging material used on-site, reusing material, and recycling end of project waste.
- The project created nine acres of desert gardens surrounding the Sunnylands Center and Gardens. This connects to part of a 200-acre estate run by the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, a not-for-profit organization. The site is referred to as “The Camp David of the West.”
- This project boasts a star list of visitors. Sunnylands was envisioned as a place for foreign dignitaries and diplomats to gather for summit meetings and retreats in a relaxed setting. Major events have been held at the center.
- The project supports alternative modes of transportation, by providing buses during major events, preferred parking spaces for ride sharing, and electric vehicle parking.
- The project provides optimal site accessibility, safety, and wayfinding.
- The center offers various educational programs, including garden walks, yoga classes, programs for families, a speaker series, and a rotating art exhibition.