The garage from the original homes on the Desert Rain site is in the process of deconstruction to make way for Desert Lookout. The new structure will have an office/apartment, a garage, a yoga studio, and will house the composting/evaporator unit for blackwater. Engineering and the permitting process is still underway for the blackwater systerm. Materials from the old garage will be salvaged when possible. The concrete slab will be broken up to be used as patio stone in the landscaping.
After months of excavation, dirt piles, holes, and dust – plants have arrived and Daniel Balyeat, owner of Balyeat Landscaping, and his crew are amending soil and planting. The vegetation is bringing new life to the site, softening the edges of construction and adding a glimpse of the courtyards, gardens, and pathways that will grace the grounds. In addition to the stones that were salvaged from the deconstruction of the original structures on the site, large rocks were rescued from a construction project and hauled to the site to be used as paths and borders.
The landscaping plan utilizes a large selection of drought-tolerant and native plants. The Living Building Challenge requires that 35% of the plant material on the site must be edible to either humans or wildlife. In addition to the apple trees that were saved from the original homesite, there will be an area devoted to raised beds for vegetables. A good portion of the edible plants will provide berries and fruits for wildlife.
Mountains of dirt have been leveled and moved. Moss covered rock and stones have been carefully set in place. Piles of pavers and reclaimed rock have been transformed to pathways and patios. LED lights have been installed outside creating a warm, glow on the texture of the lime-plastered wall. Trees and shrubs are placed to provide privacy and create a sense of nature.As exterior elements are being completed, it is evident that the beauty and detail that have set the standard inside Desert Rain is gracefully flowing outward.