The new TSG Foundation site is located on an 11-acre parcel of land in the Sonoran Desert in Scottsdale, Arizona. Some of the sustainable features include rammed earth construction, zinc tile exterior cladding, solar power, desert landscaping with native and drought-tolerant plants, and energy-efficient LED lighting.

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A person standing on top of an in-construction building in the middle of a desert.

“Like the beauty of a physical building that is designed by principles to nurture health, respect for its environment, longevity, and a source of peace and joy, building the inner life of a human being is designed to produce similar outcomes – if it is built utilizing similar principles,” said Gita Saraydarian, Founder and President of TSG Foundation. Built to embody the principles of the Living Building Challenge — a green building standard similar to LEED that focuses more on human health — the center has aligned its construction values with those of the challenge (Health and Happiness, Equity, Energy, Water, Materials, Place and Beauty).

Related: Morocco Pavilion is a rammed earth wonder for Dubai Expo

People working on the foundation of a construction site.

As visitors enter the center, a desert pavement driveway leads to parking areas landscaped to screen them from street view with asphalt made using decomposed granite, or gravelcrete, to minimize thermal gain. There’s a pedestrian bridge linking the parking area to the main building with additional landscaping and bicycle racks to connect the visitors to the outdoors as they enter. The designers at 180 Degrees Design + Build, responsible for the architecture, chose to axially rotate the site to allow more southern natural sunlight during the wintertime, as well as northern views looking out over the Carefree Mountains. Additionally, the building offers opportunities for nighttime star gazing.

To the left, a crane on a construction site. To the right, a construction site cast in shadows at dusk.

The architects also included principles of Feng Shui — Fire, Water, Earth and Metal — in the design throughout both the building itself and the building site. The 3,000-square-foot sanctuary space has passive and active energy strategies to assist the Foundation in its goal to become a Net Zero Energy and Net Zero Water Certified Building through the Living Building Challenge.

+ 180 Degrees Design + Build

Images courtesy of 180 Degrees Inc.