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Water in the Wetland

The constructed wetland at Desert Rain is nearly finished, full of filtration materials, and holding water. After many months of design, permits pending, frustrations, and perseverance (see July 25 blog, Leading the Way to Yes)– watching the water flow into the wetland is a welcome sight.  Whole Water Systems president, Morgan Brown, and engineer, Patrick Fitzgerald […]


Holding Our Breath Over Water

Ask the question, ‘what has been the biggest challenge in the process of building Desert Rain?’  The answer you will receive in one word – WATER!  Building a home to meet the requirements of the Living Building Challenge’s Water Petal, means building ‘net zero’ water in terms of source. This translates to all water needs for […]


Water-wise Plants

Golden leaves glisten with frost this morning.  Fall has arrived.  Though it seems like the time to be tucking the garden and flower beds in for the winter, it is also an ideal time to plant shrubs, trees, and perennials. A few weeks ago I posted a blog about the landscaping that will take place […]



Creating Water Independent Sites, Buildings and Communities Net Zero Water Ecological Water Flow The intent of the Water Petal is to realign how people use water and redefine ‘waste’ in the built environment, so that water is respected as a precious resource. Scarcity of potable water is quickly becoming a serious issue as many countries […]


Water Wisdom

What makes Desert Rain unique is the standard to which it is being built. The Living Building Challenge is both a philosophy and set of principles that guide us toward true sustainability. Living Buildings are designed and constructed to work as efficiently as possible on the resources available in a given space. As stated by […]


Desert Rain House Earns First Residential Living Building Certification

Desert Rain House located in Bend, Oregon, has become the first residential compound to earn Living Building certification, the most ambitious and optimistic international standard of sustainability in the world. Developed by the International Living Future Institute, the Living Building Challenge certification requires actual, rather than modeled or anticipated, performance across environmental, social and community […]


October – Progress in Pictures

It’s hard to believe October has ended, but a look back at the work done at Desert Lookout proves it has been a busy month. Inside and out, dramatic progress is visible. Stucco and tile, trim and stairs… we’re all getting very excited by the signs that we are nearing the end of construction. We’re making leaps […]


September: Progress in Pictures

September came in fits and starts for us with the construction of Desert Lookout – the newest part of our Living Building Challenge Project. We took huge steps forward, followed by small sticking points, and then more big lurches forward. This is nothing new for a building outside of the traditional box and we continue […]