DauerWalden was conceived as the first conservation community in the Gulf South. The name loosely translates to enduring forest. WATERSHED assisted with the sustainable development master plan, and designed two model homes for the development. The model homes were intended to demonstrate a vision of sustainable community, that co-exists with and preserves wild lands. The designs offer a unique opportunity to live in a restorative relationship with the natural world. Only 25 lots were slated for development, on the more than 1,000 acre property. The remaining land was to be protected in conservation easements, and threaded with horse and hiking trails as a community resource
Each house design is drawn from the landscape, recognizing the unique aspects of the views, topography, solar exposure, and other natural features of the sites. A variety of porches and patios, offering different levels of shelter and shade, encourage outdoor living and a connection to the outdoors throughout the seasons.
The designs include zoned living areas that can accommodate telecommuting, aging parents, or children returning to the roost. The goal was enable families to adapt to changing needs over time, without having to move.
Passive solar design allows the homes to be take advantage of natural ventilation on mild days, and need only minimal mechanical heating and cooling to temper the region’s harsh summers and occasionally cold winters. The model home designs meet the requirements for both LEED for Homes and/or NAHB Green certification, in terms of site development, water use, energy use, material conservation, and healthy interiors. Optional upgrades for solar panels and rainwater collection will allow homeowners to go completely off grid, or achieve net zero energy, and increased resilience to tropical storms.
Unfortunately, DauerWalden was a casualty of the great recession, and the project was never realized. However the land remains, and the dream of enduring forests is still alive.