Gateway to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Gateway to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Project Details

Building Type:

    Mixed Use


    Scottsdale, Arizona

Square Footage

    2,100 sf

Project Type

    Building Commissioning; LEED Energy Analysis

Project Team






CX Agent:

Gateway to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve

The Gateway was designed to celebrate the entry and passage into the 36,400 acre McDowell Sonoran Preserve while minimizing the impact on the native desert. The Gateway is the point of access to over 45 miles of trails within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve for hiking, bicycling, and equestrian enjoyment. The project site design achieved the complete preservation of the existing network of arroyos and minimized earthwork alterations of the natural habitat. The building walls are made of rammed earth, recalling a tradition of indigenous desert building while meeting all of the performance requirements of modern use. The roof is covered in native desert cobble so that it blends into the desert when observed from the mountain trails to the east. 

The Gateway incorporates numerous strategies for resource conservation. An 18 KW solar system generates as much solar electricity as the Gateway consumes to realize a ‘net zero’ of energy consumption. Up to 60,000 gallons of rainwater is harvested through roof collection and storage in an underground cistern–providing 100% of the water needed for landscape irrigation. Quest Energy Group worked with the design team to integrate energy efficient measures throughout the design process. These measures include a high efficient envelope system, reduced lighting, and highly efficient HVAC system. This project maxed out all ten of the energy optimization credits and three of the renewable energy credits. This building is 70% better than an ASHRAE baseline building.

Articles & Media

McDowell Sonoran Desert Preserve
Arch Daily