Monday, 05 March 2007 00:00
Babcock Design ForumWritten by WGCU Newsroom
While it’s going to be several years - at least - until they’re actually building homes…a group of architects has gathered at Babcock Ranch to share visions for the proposed community’s first homes.
Once complete there’ll be about 19-thousand homes at the Babcock Ranch Community. The master plan calls for them to be as efficient, and ‘Green’ as possible...so developer Kitson & Partners brought in the principle architects from about a dozen firms to explore specific designs.
Director of Architecture and Sustainable Planning for Kitson/Babcock - Larry Peterson – says they’re trying to come up with design that looks like they belong on a real ranch…
“Not that we’re trying to build an historical village…it’s not a Disney-themed kind of an idea. But what we are interested in is how architects think about these new housing designs as they put new kinds of requirements in that they haven’t had to deal with in the past 50 years…like passive sustainability and hurricane resistance, and be very energy efficient and economical for people to operate.”
But Peterson says the plan calls for more than just efficient housing.
He says they’re starting a native plant nursery, and intend to landscape as much of the community as possible with drought resistant, indigenous plants grown on site.
The design forum wraps up Tuesday. Peterson says there’ll be another like it to discuss designs for commercial buildings.
Lush, thick, green lawns amidst lots of rare flowering plants from around the globe…that’s exactly what designers hope yards in the Babcock Ranch Community WON’T look like.
Director of Architecture and Sustainable Planning with Kitson/Babcock - Larry Peterson - says the design plan for the proposed 19-thousand home community calls for as much native landscaping as possible. And it’ll be grown right there on site from a native plant nursery.
“So that all the plant palets and all the kinds of things that we would use to put in the medians of roadways and along the sides of roads, and our public spaces and civic spaces, and all of our churches and schools…that they’d all be native stock that was grown right here from the ranch.”
Peterson says residents will be able to pick amongst the nursery plants to ‘customize’ their yards.
He says they’ll also limit irrigation, and yard turf selection to less water-needy varieties…but because of that, he says residents might have to put up with a bit more brown than they’re used to during the driest parts of the year.