A Charrette for the Inland Empire Utilities Agency

In September 2001, the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) asked TreePeople to organize a charrette for the agency's new headquarters south of Chino. The IEUA wanted the facility to reflect a sustainable approach to stormwater management and landscaping, while providing open space and recreational opportunities for the community.

The specific demonstration projects envisioned for the site fell into four categories: energy efficiency, energy technologies, stormwater retention and irrigation with recycled water.

The site and the workload were divided among three teams. One team dealt with the buildings, one with a proposed multipurpose park, and one with the tributary watershed north of the property. The Agency's desire to be a regional leader in resource conservation impelled the teams to consider recharging stormwater runoff at the site by: 

  • Using drought-tolerant species and landscaping techniques
  • Irrigating with stormwater and with recycled water from the adjacent treatment plant
  • Minimizing energy use and the heat island effect with strategic tree planting

The three teams of engineers, planners, landscape architects and city officials suggested approaches and developed preliminary designs that were then used by the Agency's landscape architecture consultants in drawing up final plans for the facility.

The completed buildings and grounds now demonstrate sustainable development to agencies, builders and individuals – development that begins to address regional environmental problems, rather than contributing to them.

View the project summary, here.