This week we thought we would share a little about how The Cedars Ranch is “going green”.
Environmental responsibility and sustainability are central values for us, in the development and operation of The Cedars. Being eco-conscious, climate responsible, and simply just "smart" in how we use natural resources, feels good to us, is good for the planet and is good business sense too.
GREEN BUILDING DESIGN
Wanting both incredibly beautiful and sustainable design, we hired award-winning green architects, Acre Architects, to create our eco-friendly wedding venue and wellness retreat.
The master plan has been organized such that all buildings and major landscape features face south in order to maximize passive solar gain, and to align with predominant wind patterns for passive cooling. A defining element of the project is its emphasis on visually incorporating environmentally sensitive strategies to make The Cedars Ranch a project that is as green as possible.
Solar Photovoltaics (PV), is a low-carbon technology, harnessing renewable energy from the sun via the use of solar panels. This technology converts sunlight directly into electric power. No carbon emissions! No degradation of limited environmental resources!
Our Dance Hall will be utilized as a means for solar collection using solar photovoltaic technology. The Dance Hall is a beautiful modern dance and event space, with open-air features allowing the structure to cool naturally, and help guests feel immersed in the nature surrounding them. The building's 30 degree pitched roof is designed to optimize the annual solar power harvest, as well as showcasing the renewable energy generation feature.
Our Dance Hall roof is sized in accord with the facility energy demands over the course of the year. While we will have the capacity to generate all the power we need by renewable means, we will still be connected to the electricity grid via our local energy provider Pedernales Electric Cooperative. With the grid-tied system, any excess energy that we generate via our solar panels can be sent to the grid, while our connection to the grid allows us to pull electricity from it if we have generation shortfalls. In this way, our campus will be “zero net energy”, meaning the total amount of energy used by the buildings on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site.
Another key opportunity to operate sustainably and in balance with our environment, is in relation to water. With water being such a precious natural resource, especially here in Texas, we’re maximizing our potential for rainwater harvesting. Our reception pavilion will serve as the primary means of rainwater collection. The unique form of the reception pavilion’s butterfly roof is designed to optimize the capture of rainwater that will then be stored on site and filtered into drinking water.
We are committed to water conscious landscaping, and to develop a native and flourishing ecosystem on our land. To help us achieve this aim, we have been focusing on planting native plant species with minimal water demands, as well as looking at ways to regenerate biodiversity and retain moisture within our soil.
Look how beautiful sustainability in action looks …
Until next week,
Bill & Marilyn.
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