At a Glance
Sustainability is integrated into a luxury resort’s infrastructure and new construction, creating a unique, eco-friendly vacation destination while improving the local ecology and reducing maintenance costs.
The redevelopment of the Dorado Beach Resort, a high-end community of over 300 homes and several hotel buildings slated to be renovated or razed, presented an opportunity to improve the property’s functionality, reduce operating costs, and build upon the legacy of the resort’s original builder, conservationist Laurence S. Rockefeller.
As a member of the design team, Biohabitats examined the potential to enhance the project by implementing a wide range of environmental strategies. These strategies would not only create a more environmentally sensitive travel destination, but transform the way visitors think about sustainable infrastructure.
Biohabitats assessed opportunities for new and ugraded infrastructure plans, including two new hotels and a renovated environmental education center. Biohabitats identified opportunities to improve system functionality, reduce operational and maintenance costs, and provide watershed protection. Concepts were detailed in an Environmental Opportunities Memorandum, which also outlined key principles and tools needed to integrate the concepts into the redevelopment. Key principles included energy efficient design, site drainage improvements, and sustainable wastewater and stormwater management.
Given that water was one of the most valuable long-term resources available to the site, Biohabitats recommended a Water Balance that would consider: beneficial reuse and stormwater harvesting; season-specific and landscape-specific water use; precision; integrated green design; integrated phasing; and flexibility. Biohabitats also provided recommendations for alternative wastewater management and irrigation practices, drainage infrastructure plans and landscape management practices. Specific recommendations included implementation of rain harvesting systems, rain gardens, naturalized swales, and vegetated strips.