Located near the border of Mexico in El Paso, TX, the Paisano Green Community is the first net-zero housing project for seniors in the nation. Designed by Boulder-based Workshop8, the senior housing project was funded through an ARRA Capital Fund Recovery Competition grant from HUD and was completed in the spring of 2018. The project takes advantage of rooftop solar photovoltaic systems and two 80-ft wind turbines on-site to power the community and feed excess energy back onto the grid. In addition to the project's zero energy status, the green community is seeking LEED Platinum certification and is a certified Enterprise Green Community.
Paisano Green Community is a new typology for public housing and generates more energy than it uses. Solar photovoltaics on the roof and two wind turbines work to power the 73-unit facility and any excess is sold back onto the grid. Energy efficiency was a high priority in order to make the most of the on-site renewable energy generation. Each unit also features an air-source heat-pump water heaters. The buildings were partially prefabricated off-site as panelized sections and then assembled on site to ensure quality construction and minimize waste.
This infill development is located on the corner of Paisano and Boone and is bordered by the County Coliseum, the El Paso Zoo and the US Customs truck depot. In order to create a safe haven for the residents, Workshop8 arranged the buildings around a the edge of the site to create a strong perimeter and a safe central garden space. Residents enjoy views of the garden rather than views of the customs. All the buildings were optimized for solar passive deign with large overhangs to protect from overheating but still provide lots of natural daylighting. The project also provides space for a community building and commercial spaces like a grocery store, barber shop and office space. Residents have easy access to bus lines and surrounding shopping. The project is seeking LEED Platinum certification.
Images ©Jesse Ramerez