In a quest to make our desert city more comfortable, sustainable and of this place, environmental artists Christy Ten Eyck and Judeen Terrey created a habitat garden nourished by our urban systems. Designed to maximize our use of limited water resources, the wall and garden thrive on the condensate produced by the Convention Center's air conditioning system – moisture that otherwise would slip down the drain, into the city's sanitary sewer system. At its peak, the building generates more than 800 gallons of condensate water per day. This project collects the water from 14 air handling units, stores and treats it in two
collection tanks, then channels it from the heart of the building into a runnel that irrigates the living wall and garden outside the southwestern entrance to the building. The initial collection tank is located in a pedestrian corridor on parking level one. The secondary tank is located on the second floor of the Phoenix Convention Center. This tank is visible to conventioneers through a window that displays and, through signage, explains that it is the condensate
collection point storing water for the Habitat garden. Throughout the year, as humidity levels increase, thousands of gallons of water will pass through these point. The condensate generation is directly correlated with the garden's seasonal irrigation demands. The harvested condensate is purified with ultra-violet rays before being pumped to the wall and garden. In celebration of the water's movement, the purified condensate descends through three stainless steel discs, trickling down an Arizona rain chain (bronze Soleri links) before its journey through a steel channel to nourish the vertical garden. The vertical garden is constructed of steel columns and mesh and light-weight soil and filter fabric. It is planted with native seed mix and seedlings. All water runoff from the wall is then diverted via runnels to the adjacent sunken water harvesting garden. The sunken garden also captures rainwater runoff from the adjacent plaza, which features sculptures by artist Tom Otterness. The resulting artwork is a case in which the gardens and architecture do more than just exist together; they each make it possible for the other to thrive. The building supplies the desert gardens with condensate water and the landscape provides comfortable outdoor gathering spaces.