San Francisco-based Form 4 Architecture teamed up with architect Warren Callister to design an eco-friendly church with one of the largest rainwater collection systems in the nation. The system, installed on the campus of the Episcopal Church of St John the Baptist in Aptos, California, is expected to save 150,000 gallons of water each year.
The church was originally built in Capitola, however after it was declared unsafe by the Fire Department it was moved to the Seacliff neighborhood of Aptos, California. The Santa Cruz Housing Authority commissioned Warren Callister to design the new structure, which opened in 2009. As part of the first phase of a planned expansion, the new building provides additional space for various programs, such as concerts, social events and other community engagement initiatives.
The project’s drought-tolerant landscaping and other sustainable aspects were introduced through an environmentally conscious design approach that focuses on sustainable water treatment. The building’s immense rainwater collection system can save up to 150,000 gallons of water annually–equivalent to the yearly water supply of two households. Rainwater is collected on the roof of the new facility and then channeled into storage tanks for use in irrigation. Permeable pavement allows rain to percolate into the ground, and the church’s wooden interior is bathed in large amounts of natural light.
Images by Marco Zecchim/Image Center