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Saving Water, Building New in Malibu

Bringing Innovative Sustainability to an Upscale Retail Development

The Challenge

Our Capabilities

The Environment

The Challenge

Sustainable Landscaping that Meets Strict Water Restrictions

When Malibu Lumber Yard, a high-end retail and dining destination, was being developed its southern California location faced some of the strictest water regulations in the region. 

During the first phase of Malibu Lumber Yard's development the city of Malibu enacted a development moratorium to solve wastewater and runoff water quality issues in critical habitat areas, including the project site. The pressure was on to create a landscape that met crucial criteria and exceeded the benchmark for sustainability. 

The developers had their work cut out for them—and so did their landscape management partner. 


Innovation Leads to Fully Self-Contained Water Management for Project

The team came through. In an effort to make Malibu Lumber Yard a fully self-contained water management entity, innovative water conservation measures were implemented, including a low-water-use plant palette, low-flow faucets and toilets, and waterless urinals, as well as the use of municipal reclaimed water. 

All wastewater produced in Malibu Lumber Yard is treated using an advanced on-site treatment system. Storm water and site runoff are captured and filtered in a skillfully engineered system of bioswales and gravel under paving filtration beds before dispersing into the municipal system. 

The Outcome

100% Reclaimed Water Irrigation, Low Water and Energy use

Thanks to these innovations, irrigation for landscaping in the development uses 100% reclaimed water.  In addition, the wastewater treatment system treats 17,000 gallons of water per day, exceeding what is required for water quality standards. The system also contributes to the city of Malibu's source of clean water, a move that helps further the protection of the nearby estuary and surf destination. Drought-tolerant plants cut water use by 66% and Malibu Lumber Yard's landscape design reduced impermeable surface area by 75% from the site's previous use—even with the addition of new building area—and consequently reduced the need for energy related to air conditioning. 

The numbers bear it out: the challenges were met. Not only is Malibu Lumber Yard more beautiful, comfortable and innovative than the typical retail destination, it's also one of the most environmentally sustainable. 

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