Preserving Nature

Site Infrastructure

 

Homesite Building Envelopes

While the city permit for the development allowed for 18 hillside sites on the 46+ acre site, Paradiso chose instead to design only 14 sites, finding the optimal number to be as unobtrusive as possible to the hillside slope and scenery while simultaneously providing the most dramatic views of majestic Camelback Mountain and the Papago Mountain Range by day and the incomparable city lights of Phoenix at night. One way this design optimization was achieved was to place the building “envelopes” for these lots at a lower elevation on the hillside to minimize any negative visual image that might result from building on the Preserve-style property...

404 Wash Preservation & Improvement

A cornerstone of the Paradise Reserve design strategy was to preserve the 404 (federally protected) wash that runs through and adjacent to the property. Through careful planning and  working in unison with the Army Corp of Engineers, the development company has not only preserved the wash in accordance with federal 404 guidelines but has improved the development's wash, ensuring that it will continue to serve as a vital greenway corridor for generations to come.
When Paradiso and its construction partners first studied the wash, it was clear to them that the years had taken their toll on the property and the water-worn wash, or arroy, required extensive refurbishment and stabilization to sustain the beauty of Paradise Reserve. Woven wire mesh units and other materials -- called Complex Gabion baskets and Reno Mattresses -- were painstakingly placed throughout, laced together and filled with stones to form monolithic structures that provide soil stabilization and flood and scour protection that can occur in 100-year storm events. Gabion/Reno structures are the preferred choice of engineers working in parks and areas of natural beauty because of how well they blend in with nature and for the pleasing effects that can be achieved with their use, especially in areas where natural vegetation growth is encouraged.

Storm Water Harvesting & Management System

Early on, the Paradiso Development Corporation team understood that, beyond a rehabilitated wash or arroyo, a state-of-the-art storm water harvesting and management was required at Paradise Reserve. They knew that harvesting and storing water from surrounding impervious areas in underground retention ponds protects the fragile desert from erosion by enabling a slow measured release of storm water. Eliminating above-ground ponds reduces the site’s footprint, increases its level of public safety and eliminates evaporation that can negatively impact the dry desert climate.

So Schiabor, Sahd and their development team set about to build an unprecedented residential system capable of storing and ecologically distributing up to a million gallons of rainwater. The site’s roadway curb cuts were designed to lead surface storm water to the enormous subsurface system comprised of large 10 foot diameter , interconnected storage pipes capable of storing up to a million gallons of rain water at a time. Carved out of 25 feet of solid stone these underground retention ponds encompass two areas with dimensions of 70 feet wide and 80 feet long and 90 feet wide and 200 feet long.

Greenway & Wildlife Corridor

Paradiso also recognized the importance of its responsibility to protect Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) when developing sites. ESAs are vital to the long term maintenance of biological diversity, soil, water or other natural resources, both on the site and in a regional context. When ESAs are interconnected, they form greenway corridors consisting of networks of linked landscape elements that provide ecological, recreational, and cultural benefits to a community and protection, sustenance and vitality to native wildlife. The 404 wash running through Paradise Reserve serves as a natural greenway/wildlife corridor that required the development team’s full dedication to improve and maintain its vital function.

Expert staff were hired to help protect the native flora. Thousands of plants and mature trees from the wash and throughout the site were identified, catalogued and preserved in an on-site nursery by the onsite arborist at Paradise Reserve, Desierto Verde, of Tempe, AZ. From majestic Saguaros reaching 20 feet into the air to the tiniest of cacti, only an inch tall, hundreds of these plants was stored and eventually relocated strategically across the 46+ acres of Paradise Reserve. 

The development's wildlife corridor is critical to the protection and well-being of the multitude of wildlife species native to the Preserve – from rabbits to ring-tailed cats, chuckwallas to coyotes. In nature, every species of animal requires a unique combination of environmental conditions in order to survive and reproduce. These factors constitute a species habitat. For most species, the landscape is a sea of habitat islands: areas of good habitat which are often surrounded by other areas where making a living is more difficult or impossible. Traveling from one habitat island to another can be hostile. The results are that wildlife becomes stranded and unable to move in search of food or mates. Greenway and Wildlife Corridors create critical linkage or connectivity between these “habitat islands,” preventing isolation and fragmentation thereby enhancing and maintaining species viability. The federally protected 404 wash that runs through Paradise Reserve is a prime example of an environmentally sensitive greenway and wildlife corridor.

Aesthetic Wall Structures


With the development's proximity to the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, the Paradiso team was inspired to protect the integrity of open desert space and create a living tribute to the Sonoran Desert landscape. The Paradise Reserve wall structures – submitted for awards across the industry -- are designed to both enhance the site’s water management system and to preserve the landscape’s integrity. The extensive network of retaining walls are constructed of beautiful native stone designed to seamlessly blend into the Phoenix Mountain Preserve.

The walls were designed as a homage to early builders such as those who may have lived thousands of years ago throughout the world. These early architects relied on local materials, simple construction techniques and a basic understanding on natural laws. These proven techniques were modernized and adapted to create a natural transition between the site’s man-made structures and the Preserve’s desert landscape. The walls take the development's already natural beauty to another level, weaving throughout the property, contouring its singular profile. In total, the development's extensive wall system is comprised of an astonishing 5,935 tons (over 13 million pounds!) of native stone.

To implement this extraordinary engineering feat, structural engineer, Structural Grace, and construction manager, Kitchell, worked together to achieve the project vision of delivering world-class earth retaining walls through time-honored “gravity” construction for perimeter and screen walls: all of local stacked stone. Structural Grace was also responsible for plan approval and post design and structural inspections. They worked diligently to apply time-honored engineering principals that ensured solid construction and validate them through modern design codes and analysis. As a result, getting the engineering plans approved proved to be a challenge. Most modern codes do not fully describe the design of gravity structures and do not provide much guidance for stone as the primary building material. The team met the challenge and, as a result, calculations and specifications were approved by city reviewers, enabling Paradiso to pursue their vision for the wall as a cost-effective, natural and beautiful design option.

Once the design was complete, Bendigo Custom Stone, also of Phoenix, hand-placed each stone and ensured that the integrity of the walls was maintained throughout the construction process. The Paradise Reserve Retaining Stone Wall Project was submitted for an Engineering Excellence Award by Structural Grace to the American Council of Engineering Companies of Arizona. This annual award recognizes engineering projects that “demonstrate a high degree of achievement, value and ingenuity.”

In addition to its beauty, using native stone in lieu of reinforced concrete is much more environmentally friendly because it significantly reduces manmade carbon emissions in their mining, acquisition and installation. A small crew can construct the walls in a relatively short amount of time and all without the need of heavy concrete mixer trucks. In addition, the construction zone is also much quieter.

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Whether your favorite escape is eighteen holes of golf or sipping wine on your private desert patio, only once in a lifetime does a chance like this come along where the city is your playground and the Preserve is your backyard. 
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About Paradise Reserve

Bordering the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, these distinctive estate homesites combine high-desert luxury and big-city lifestyle. Each lot averages well over an acre of wide-open space for the realization of your personal Arizona estate. Click here for price information.