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Xeriscape Design Breathes New Life Into Chavez Memorial Building

Change is inevitable...and sometimes change even brings cost savings with it.

Chavez Image Before

The Cesar E. Chavez Memorial Building in downtown Denver recently underwent a dramatic change to its landscaping that is designed to significantly reduce maintenance and water use.

The project area around the building contained about 8,295 square feet of lawn space that required tremendous amounts of water, resodding and fertilizing to revive the grassy areas each year.  The request for the change came from tenants, via the Tenant Satisfaction Survey, and years of struggle to restore the grass following seasonal shifts and environmental factors such as salt agents for de-icing sidewalks and streets.  All lawn areas of the building have now been replaced with xeriscaping and the irrigation system used to maintain the old lawn was modified to reduce water output to maintain the remaining trees and newly planted vegetation.

“Our grounds team struggled every year to revive the lawn along the city streets after the winter months killed it off,” said Aaron Rodriguez, building manager  “I worked with the contractor to ensure the xeriscape options installed would hold up to the winter conditions.”

Finalizing this xeriscape design was not just to reduce maintenance and operational costs, it was also to provide a more modern look that will match changes made to the exterior and interior of the building from previous construction efforts linked to the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Chavez Building After Image

“I felt that this project would also help the rest of the grounds match the improved aesthetics of the facilities along with saving the taxpayers money,” said Rodriguez.

In addition to converting lawns to the xeriscape landscaping, a modification was made to a grassy area that had two floating benches but no pathway to get to them.  A walkway was installed to allow customers and visitors a means to get to the benches from the federal building.

“I continuously strive to gain satisfaction for my customers and I am satisfied with the final outcome of this project,” said Rodriguez.  “Tenants have already complimented the changes to the exterior grounds.”

This project is designed to reduce overall operating costs while showing a decrease to overall water consumption.

“I am eager to see the savings from this project,” said Rodriguez.