Debra D. Henderson, photographer

Debra D. Henderson, photographer

Leed Certification
Water Efficiency

Scanlan Project


Wilson and Jenna Scanlan


Santa Fe, NM

LEED Consultant:

Chip Henderson



Green Rater:

Project Goal:

When a young Santa Fe couple purchased a hilltop property located in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near the historic Santa Fe Plaza, they imagined a resource-conscious, energy-efficient house that would allow them to "walk the talk" they’d grown up with. Raised with terms like carbon footprint and renewable resources, they had a strong desire to help reestablish a world in which they would want their own children to grow up. Beyond that, it is one example of how the 400-year-old city's strong design tradition meets its forward-thinking environmental sensibility.


The 5-acre site contained an aging ranch-style house with uninhabitable levels of asbestos. The existing structure was raised and all hazardous materials transported to a certified asbestos waste disposal site. To minimize further site disturbance, Texas-based architect John Covert Watson located the new home on the footprint of the previous home and driveway to protect existing vegetation. There were some non-native plants near the driveway area, which were removed and mulched to provide nutrients for the existing trees.

The couple used the LEED for Homes program to communicate their environmental desires to the entire project team. With more than 4,700 square feet of heated space, the home required a combination of complex and highly sophisticated heating, cooling, and water systems to keep its carbon footprint to a minimum. Having a "common green language" such as the LEED for Homes program helps to guide the process and measure results.

Contects evaluated the total energy performance of the home using energy analysis software while the project was still on the drawing board. The home earned an impressively low score of 22 in a projected energy use analysis using the Home Energy Rating Index (HERS), established by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). The HERS Index rates a home built to code at 100 and a zero-energy-use home at 0. The low energy index comes, in part, from a 10-kilowatt photovoltaic solar array in the yard, which is estimated to produce about 78 percent of their electrical needs. Contects worked with local HERS Rater Delinda 'Dee' Bangert to verify that the installed systems meet performance expectations.

The home achieved LEED Gold certification, which is the U.S. Green Building Council’s second highest rating. The internationally recognized LEED green rating system evaluates environmental factors such as home size, projected energy and water use, indoor environmental quality, and the use of renewable, reclaimed, and locally obtained resources.

Click to for more information