Trenza, the proposed village at the Galisteo Basin Preserve, is designed to model best practices of sustainable development within the context of large-scale land conservation. As a community of knowledgable, caring and responsible people, Trenza will encourage a culture of stewardship and restoration among its residents and guests. Environmental design goals for Trenza and the Galisteo Basin Preserve include:

Integrated Land Management + Planning

  • 94 percent of the Galisteo Basin Preserve lands are planned to be protected as private and publicly accessible open space—approximately 13,000 acres
  • 6 percent of Preserve lands designated for clustered development activities
  • Development sited and constrained to protect steep slopes, sensitive soils, wetlands, floodplains, viewsheds, and the landscape’s historic character and cultural resources
  • Ongoing arroyo restoration, habitat regeneration, and aquifer recharge efforts

Energy Efficiency + Generation

  • A net-zero-energy community (energy consumed ≤ energy produced)
  • Carbon-negative goal through power production, restorative land-management practices, minimal embodied energy of construction, and green design
  • Development standards targeting Architecture 2030 goals
  • Construction guidelines that conform to green-building rating systems, such as New Mexico Green Build, LEED for Home, and LEED for New Construction
  • Building orientation for passive solar energy and interior day lighting
  • District heating system powered by biomass and other alternative energy sources
  • Clean-energy program encouraging photovoltaics and solar thermal power sources,including select land leases for solar and other alternative energy power generation

Water Conservation + Efficient Use

  • Domestic water consumption limited to 0.16 acre-feet of potable water per year
  • Native and xeric plantings watered by drip irrigation systems
  • Waste-water treatment based on natural systems, i.e. constructed wetlands
  • Reclaimed/treated wastewater and community-scale harvested rainwater for landscape irrigation and non-potable household uses

Green Community Planning, Design + Construction

  • Low-impact roads, water and wastewater systems, and natural stormwater-management techniques
  • Compact, permeable, mixed-used neighborhoods that place residences within a half-mile walk of civic, educational, and commercial activities
  • Easy neighborhood connections to trails, parks, and public spaces
  • Careful attention to the environmental impact of construction, including shipping and hauling distances, production, processes, recycled content, sustainably harvested materials, and construction waste and recycling
  • Green land design, construction, and maintenance practices that follow the national guidelines and performance standards of the Sustainable Sites Initiative
  • Outdoor, low-glare lighting that is kept to a safe minimum and always shielded and directed to the ground in accord with the New Mexico Night Sky Protection Act
  • “Cradle to Cradle” life-cycle assessments of construction materials with a preference for locally produced, recycled or reclaimed products; FSC-certified wood

Healthy Living Environment

  • Walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods providing close-by services and amenities
  • Convenient access to 50 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails
  • Healthy homes and businesses
    • Minimize off-gassing of volatile organic compounds
    • Maximize natural-air flow through careful design and window placement

Community Stewardship + Education

  • A Community Stewardship Organization (CSO) to manage active programming for land and community stewardship activities
  • Environmentally focused on-site charter high school and alliances with other Santa Fe-area schools for the use of the Preserve as an outdoor classroom
  • Development of an educational center oriented toward interdisciplinary studies that integrates such areas of focus as land management, environmental engineering, new technologies, agriculture, and the arts

Food + Agriculture

  • Community gardens, farm(s), and orchard to promote local food production, including a limited, regenerative grazing program with the Quivira Coalition
  • Local-food market and Regional Consumer-Supported Agriculture (CSA) participation


  • Compact village design—50 percent of homes within a quarter-mile walk of commercial and civic activities
  • Intra-village bike and pedestrian paths; rail-trail bike path to downtown Santa Fe
  • Multi-modal transportation options: car sharing, van pool, bus routes, future commuter rail

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