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LEED Certification

Straw bale insulation

The Origen Museum, Guest Services building and the five buildings that comprise the Desert Living Center all incorporate environmental and sustainable design standards, construction techniques and building materials that have met platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) requirements created by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Design Elements

Buildings at the Preserve are positioned to use natural lighting, collect solar power to heat floors and water, and contain only low energy north and south facing windows. Structures have been designed to take advantage of natural ventilation and several make use of entryway overhangs and patio microclimates. Butterfly roofs on some buildings help collect storm water for reuse.

Reused Materials

Throughout the Preserve buildings, recycled materials provide both structure and design. The Desert Living Center features supporting structural elements made from timber reclaimed from the Lucin Cutoof Trestle Bridge, which trains crossed the Great Salt Lake until the 1950s. The Preserve also features:

  • Carpet made from recycled plastic bottles and corn husks
  • Furnishings made from recycled sunflower seed husks
  • Countertops made from recycled paper

Sustainable Materials

Two of the Desert Living Center buildings, which total more than 41,000 square feet, make the Preserve the largest commercial straw bale construction project in the United States. The Preserve used many locally-sourced materials during construction of the project, including caliche exhumed on site and rammed earth used to cover concrete stem walls.


Water used on site is filtered and reused to irrigate plants and flush toilets. Solar panels throughout the site generate enough solar energy to power the site. Evaporative cooling towers naturally funnel cool air into the Desert Living Center.

Video: Sustainable Features

Rain collection at the Springs Preserve

Learn more about the sustainable features of the Springs Preserve.


Photos: LEED

Solar panels

Learn more about the techniques that earned us a LEED platinum rating.

Photos »


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