Frank Lloyd Wright‘s reverence for the natural world is well documented – the famed architect coined the term “organic architecture,” a style of building that blends in seamlessly with the natural world. But although his buildings did complement their surroundings, they still depended on many of the same energy inputs as other buildings. Now, more than 50 years after his death, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is planning to give Taliesin West — Wright’s winter home in Scottsdale, AZ — a net zero energy upgrade.
Later this month, work will begin on a sweeping makeover to the 75-year-old home. It currently costs the FLW Foundation $200,000 per year to power Taliesin West, and with a mix of green retrofits and power conservation measures the group hopes to achieve net-zero energy at the facility. Big Green Zero, a sustainable energy company based in Phoenix, conducted an energy assessment of Taliesin West and found that the facility could reduce its energy use by at least half through conservation, according to the Phoenix Business Journal.
The rest of the energy will likely come from solar. Several Arizona companies are teaming up to donate 4,000 solar panels to power Taliesin West, which will be placed out of sight, near existing electrical equipment and power transmission lines, according to the Associated Press. Big Green Zero says the appearance of the historic home won’t be affected by the energy upgrades. Work should be completed within three years, and Taliesin West will stay open during construction.
Lead photo by Flickr user lumierefl