Affordable senior housing gets a climate-responsive upgrade in California

San Diego-centered style business Studio E Architects has provided an affordable housing improvement a weather-responsive renovation though strengthening the multiplex’s sense of placemaking in the desert of La Quinta, California. The 11-acre, tax credit-financed undertaking, which was finished final calendar year, comprised the redesign of Washington Road Apartments’ 72 present units and the addition of 68 models on an adjacent 5.2-acre undeveloped plot to provide very lower-revenue seniors and farm workers. To continue to be inside a tight funds, the architects used sustainable, low-tech strategies, these kinds of as deep sunlight shades and thermal chimneys, to boost organic cooling in response to the harsh desert heat.

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angled yellow roof eave over a pool area

Set on a desert simple in Coachella Valley, the recently expanded Washington Avenue Apartments occupy an L-formed site with the newly created models to the east of the renovated and redesigned existing units. To encourage relationship setting up, the architects inserted a collection of group facilities through the enhancement, like properties and swimming pools, shared laundry facilities, courtyards, lawns and an arbor and allotment yard.

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aerial view of yellow and tan housing units with extended roofs
yellow and tan homes with small fenced patios

This general public realm of courtyards and paseos are made additional inviting with the architects’ environmentally responsive style and design that mitigates the desert warmth. Sustainable, lower-tech strategies incorporate superior photo voltaic reflectance roofs with extended eaves that bounce mild when shielding the outdoor gathering areas from unwelcome photo voltaic attain. Deep overhangs supported by slender metal columns — a nod to the winter season tents of the Indigenous inhabitants of Coachella Valley — are strategically made so that summer sunlight can be blocked when allowing in low winter season sunlight.

tan houses with orange and yellow doors
walkways and gardens between rows of housing units

The new residential buildings are oriented east to west to lower publicity to late afternoon sunlight even though openings are strategically placed to just take in prevailing breezes and to promote thermo siphoning, a pure phenomenon that pushes sizzling air up and out of the building. The properties have also been geared up with significant-performance insulation and HVAC techniques.

+ Studio E Architects

Photos by way of Studio E Architects

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