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El Chorro Lodge

Desert Star Construction

Shared By



  • Mark Candelaria

Project Status



17,713 sq. feet


Design Awards

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Project Description

For 70 years, Arizonans have embraced this historic lodge as a place for good friends to enjoy good food and coveted desert views. By 2009, however, the property was operationally obsolete. Through a five month, fast-track renovation, a team of architectural, design, and construction professionals transformed this endangered icon into Arizona's first full-service LEED Gold certified restaurant. They proudly: - Protected the original 1930s floorplan, but with new space plans that increase flexibility for dining and community events, improve customer comfort, create new indoor-outdoor areas and open stunning, once-hidden mountain views. - Renovated 70-year-old construction to above-and-beyond today's physical and environmental standards, with LEED-certified interior design materials, solar thermal water heating, high-efficiency lighting, recycled blue-jean insulation and solar-panel-topped carports offsetting over half of the restaurant's total energy use. - Reused 83 trees, plants and cacti, and 75% of the building's original materials, including roof tiles, ceiling beams and adobe walls. - Installed touch-screen lobby displays to educate guests on the lodge's green achievements and allow the operator to measure/verify where energy is being used in real time. Embracing each team member's expertise, the contractor managed 27 permits in tandem to preserve history for generations to come.
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