Green Building for Families’ Futures

Green Building for Families’ Futures

Saranam’s ADC Family Campus is a new chapter for both us and the community. With 3.5 acres of space, it will double our capacity. Importantly, it also brings a build concept to the community that offers a new way to ensure the sustainability of all of our resources.

The campus will primarily be made up of repurposed school portables, revamped into gorgeous and eco-friendly homes, offices, classroom space and even a donation center. It is the brainchild of some of the best designers and architects in the state, who came together to create a design that maximizes green energy usage and can be replicable throughout other locales.

We spoke with Mike Cecchini with Ecoterra Design-Build, who is leading the effort to build the campus, about some of its environmentally conscious features and explored why this type of construction is so important for communities.

A Passion for Green

Environmental mindfulness has been the mission of Ecoterra since their inception. “We were green before green was a thing”, said Mike. Their team has a life-long commitment to developing new ways to use sustainable materials. As the industry moves towards considering these materials the gold standard, Ecoterra is leading the way.

A Match Made in Heaven

It was Mike who came up with the initial vision behind Saranam’s unique campus design. He remembers shopping one day and noticing a person sleeping under a portable being stored at one of Albuquerque Public Schools’ properties. Always attuned to see new renewable resources, his mind immediately buzzed with a vision of cozy, cost-effective houses.

That dream found a home at Saranam, after a serendipitous meeting brought his mother-in-law to one of our events. She excitedly reported back about our mission and vision for a second campus. It was a match made in heaven!

Fate stepped in again when Mesa View United Methodist Church had a parcel of land available in the perfect location for families looking to invest in education and community.

With an ecologically sound plan and a location close to bus lines, grocery stores, good schools and continuing education, all the pieces lined up!

The Eco-Friendly Design of the Family Campus

Though many of the buildings of the ADC Family Campus are portables in origin, nothing about them will resemble the stodgy, modular brown buildings of childhood.

The exteriors feature beautiful new stucco in inviting colors that create warmth and depth. As desert dwellers, we know that stucco’s ability to withstand the intense New Mexico sun is not only sustainable, but also eco-friendly. Taken together with the inward facing design of the campus, the campus will be the symbol of the nurturing community that Saranam is known for.

The interiors of the buildings take energy efficiency to a new level with entirely revamped building envelopes, complete with foam insulation inside and out (even the roof!). This energy economy allows the buildings to operate with smaller heating and cooling units that can operate solely on electric power.

Solar Power

Solar power has grown wildly in popularity over the last decade and the technology is now more cost-effective than ever. With completely electric units and 310 days of sunshine each year, the ADC Campus is primed to make use of this amazing renewable energy resource.

Each building will be powered by their own solar panels, making them completely energy efficient and reducing the carbon footprint of the campus.

Water Conservation

The fixtures of the units echo the campus’s commitment to green building with low-flow toilets and shower heads. Outside, all of the landscaping is desert-friendly and has drip systems for environmentally conscious water usage as well.

Environmental AND Financial Sustainability

Having net-zero energy usage creates the kind of community that we can be proud of for generations. The campus will not only preserve vital environmental resources that will make a more sustainable place for our kids, but it will ensure that our financial resources can continue to be devoted to helping the families that need us.

This kind of green build, Mike says, is available to any business or nonprofit looking to strategically invest in their longevity. It invites innovative businesses and nonprofits into communities that can improve the lives of the people living in them and strengthens the local economy. “There are all kinds of opportunities out there. Reach out and get feedback and ideas to see what fits the organization best. The technology is there and talent is there.”