Instead of constructing a brand-new facility, the agencies managing the visitor center relied on the resourcefulness of the past mixed with state-of-the-art sustainable building designs to open the visitor center. We were able to retrofit this former stable mainly because the original adobe structure was positioned in such a way to maximum the amount of seasonal daylight and reduce the need to artificially heat and cool the facility.
In our Mediterranean ecosystem, water is a particularly important resource, which is why this facility uses reclaimed water from Las Virgenes Municipal Water District to irrigate our plants. Water management has another meaning since this site is located in a flood plain; excess water drains into two dry wells built into the ground of the courtyard. These wells drain the excess water into three ponds to prevent run-off from going directly into the creek, and provides some filtration of ground pollutants that could harm neighboring aquatic life.