Greenwood in Tustin Legacy: A Sustainable Community Landscape


BrightView Principle Mark Carlos explains how the design team utilized the natural environment and themes of the community to create a palette for residents and a sustainable landscape at Greenwood in Tustin Legacy in Southern California.

(For the full transcript, see below.)

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Video Transcription

A sustainable community landscape

MICHAEL BATTAGLIA, CalAtlantic Homes Vice President of Project Development:

Hello and welcome to Greenwood in Tustin Legacy. My name is Michael Battaglia and I'm Vice President of Project Development for CalAtlantic Homes Southern California Coastal Division. We really cherish the relationship we have with BrightView. Over the years, we've done a lot of new home communities with them here in Orange County, but this one is particularly special for us. It's really about the collaboration and the vision that we both shared coming into this that resulted in the community you see behind us.

MARK CARLOS, BrightView Principal:

The natural landscape really serves to create a palette for us as we're designing communities, from the trees that we select to the ground planes, it really helps us understand the ecosystems that are brought into communities such as this and at the same time, it not only creates the composition, but it also helps us meet regulatory guidelines.


Here at Greenwood, we spent a lot of time planning this new community with BrightView. We had a vision, we worked together to collaborate to come up with the themes of the agrarian approach, and the themes to the military history here in Tustin and it really came out in the design and how we executed the design-build portion of this new community.


From a home owners' perspective, one of the approaches that we use from a regional standpoint is that we give them a palette. They have a palette they could choose from that not only is ornamental, because that's what they're looking for, but it's done in a responsible fashion. Tying the landscape and the palette into the environment creates a palette that residents can pull from that are going to, in turn, be sustainable as well, so they're designing front and rear yards that tie into the overall theme of the community.


In working with Mark and his team, we spent a lot of time trying to understand how the landscape palette fits in with the water issues we have here in Southern California and frankly, we wanted to do something very different and really focus on a drought-tolerant palette that really is acceptable to the home owners and to the Home Owners Association for the ongoing maintenance. We were very successful in that design and you can see that behind me in some of the pictures.


As we're designing landscapes, we have maintenance in mind. We're thinking two, five, and 10 years down the road and the plant material that is selected, based on the location of the site, is one consideration, but as we design, we're also keeping maintenance in mind so that we're using plant material that is appropriate and to the scale of the areas where it's being used.

Through the master planning of the community, we had three influencing factors: the military heritage of Tustin, the agricultural component, as well as the natural history of the hillsides that influenced the Tustin Legacy.


As home owners started to move in to Greenwood, we actually brought Mark Carlos and his team out on Saturdays to share that vision so that the home owners could really understand our commitment to water savings and drought-tolerant planting. Mark was able to share the vision on how that comes together and how we're actually conserving water out here with the lush landscaping that we have.


As landscape architects, these are just some of the elements that we use on a daily basis as we're designing and creating unique spaces and some of the items we've touched on are things that home owners, on a different scale, could use as well.