Living Systems

Built on the the premise that a sustainable home should both conserve and produce resources, WaterShed is designed as a micro-scale ecosystem, emulating the environment of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Plants are more than landscape, they are part of the house living systems, which produce food and store, purify, and manage water.

The modular green roof slows rainwater runoff while simultaneously improving the house’s energy efficiency. Rainwater from the roof is collected in a cistern – deep pools harboring wetland plants – on the east side of the water axis. Grey water from the shower, lavatory, clothes washer, and dishwasher is collected and filtered through constructed wetlands on the west end of the water axis. This stored and filtered water can be reused to irrigate and nourish the landscape without consuming precious potable water.

WaterShed’s landscape design creates a smooth transition from the street using native drought-tolerant species. The landscape also demonstrates the potential for architecture to contribute to a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. The house features a garden providing fresh vegetables and a composting station, recycling nutrients back to nature.