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Rancho Sienna News

Rancho Sienna Cistern.png

09 January . 2018

Rancho Sienna saves water for a greener future

Whether the weather is rainy or dry, Rancho Sienna is always working to conserve water and to preserve a beautiful Hill Country environment with native wildflowers, shrubs, grasses and trees.

One of the most visible ways that Rancho Sienna saves water is with its 10,000-gallon cistern.

A prominent feature of the Sienna House community center, the galvanized metal cistern captures 80 percent of the rainwater that falls onto the main building’s roof. Before it reaches the cistern, the rainwater is channeled into a filtration garden, where native plants and rocks naturally filter out any sediment.

When full, the cistern holds enough water to irrigate the native, drought-tolerant landscaping around Sienna House up to seven times. When supplemental watering is needed, non-potable water from a secondary irrigation pond is used.

Drip irrigation is another important component of Rancho Sienna’s water conservation vision. It is up to 50% more efficient than sprinklers, where much water is lost to evaporation and wind.

Drip irrigation is used in most common areas throughout Rancho Sienna, and homebuilders are encouraged to install drip irrigation systems in new homes.

Even the fun swimming complex at The Sienna House is serious about saving water and energy. For example, the pump system in the main pool uses about 75 percent less energy than typical pumps.

Other key components of Rancho Sienna’s sustainable development plan include one of the most stringent tree preservation policies in the Austin region, guidelines for implementing low-maintenance native landscaping in residents’ yards, and encouraging homebuilders to embrace traditional Hill Country architecture with spacious porches and roof overhangs to shade interiors and conserve energy.

These and other sustainability features implemented at Rancho Sienna and its sister communities throughout the nation convinced Green Home Builder magazine to select Newland Communities as its Developer of the Year two years ago.

“Long before sustainability overtook the housing industry, Newland Communities was putting a great deal of importance on creating long-term sustainable developments,” the magazine wrote.

To help the next generation learn more about nature and the environment, Rancho Sienna has partnered with Austin-based Families in Nature to create programs and activities for residents and guests.

Preserving Hill Country beauty also translates into fun and fitness for Rancho Sienna residents. Learn more about the 100+ acres dedicated to parks, trails, recreation centers and natural open space in Rancho Sienna.