Download Full Text (57.7 MB)


Habitat Trails is a green affordable neighborhood development consisting of 17 Habitat for Humanity homes. The site is designed as a sponge to work in accord with existing hydrological drainage, catchment, and recharge patterns. Stormwater runoff is retained and treated through a contiguous network of bioswales, infiltration trenches, stormwater gardens, sediment filter strips, and a constructed wet meadow. The integration of a treatment landscape with open space substitutes an ecologically-based stormwater management system for the expensive curb-gutter-pipe solution in civil infrastructure.


Habitat Trails is a residential Low Impact Development (LID) consisting of 17 dwelling units for a nonprofit affordable housing provider committed to detached housing. Consisting of single-family detached homes and duplexes, the average unit size is 1,100 square feet with construction costs of $60 sq ft. The five-acre development incorporates LID technologies and a range of conservation planning strategies supportive of unit clustering that preserves one-third of the site as commonly held open space. Since the housing provider’s traditional approach has developed one home at a time through volunteer labor, the project’s goals are to: 1) establish new scales of affordability through implementation of green neighborhood infrastructure, 2) inflect municipal codes to allow for LID technologies, and 3) offer high value, integrated residential solutions to underserved populations and their surrounding communities.

LID is an ecologically-based development model, emphasizing regenerative design in site planning. Regenerative design employs technologies for restoring water quality impacted from urban stormwater runoff, and for protecting critical ecological services in urban systems. Urban stormwater runoff is not only the costliest management service provided by road infrastructure, but is also the single greatest cause of nonpoint source pollution in watersheds. A water treatment infrastructure organizes neighborhood open space, including bioswales, infiltration trenches, sediment filter strips, green streets, and a wet meadow. Habitat Trails integrates LID site design with environmentally passive strategies in architectural design. Planning and interdisciplinary processes are managed through a residential Regenerative Development Transect, leveraging urban and ecological services latent in the house, porch, yard, street, and open space.

LID infrastructure substitutes a biologically based treatment network for civil infrastructure, eliminating curb-and-gutter, catchments, and pipes. Road costs have been reduced from $450/linear foot to $250/linear foot and LID infrastructure – unlike its civil counterpart – experienced no pooling during a 50-year storm event. The city of Rogers sits in the Ozark Plateau, a temperate and humid climate. The site sits on a clay pan, a major factor in the detailing of LID technologies.

Publication Date


Document Type



Rogers, AR


urban design, low impact development, smart growth, ecological engineering, architecture, neighborhood development


Architectural Engineering | Environmental Design | Landscape Architecture | Urban, Community and Regional Planning | Urban Studies and Planning


2008 IRWP Golden Paddle

2008 AIA Honor Award

2007 CNU Charter Award

2007 NCARB Prize

2007 ACSA/AIA Award

2006 AR AIA Award

2006 NSF Finalist

2006 ASLA Honor Award

2006 AIA Education Honor Award

2006 EDRA/Places Award


Project Team:

University of Arkansas Community Design Center:

Stephen Luoni, Director

Aaron Gabriel, Project Director

Jeffrey Huber, Project Designer

Isaac Moran, Project Designer

John McWilliams, Project Assistant

James Meyer, Project Assistant

Roberto Sangalli, Network Administrator

Amy Marbury, Administrative Assistant

University of Arkansas School of Architecture:

Jeff Shannon, AIA, Dean

Tim de Noble, AIA, Department Head

University of Arkansas Department of Architecture Students:

David Anderson, Entry Court House

Jared Hueter, Entry Court House (Opt.)

Remick Moore, Urban Vernacular

Cari Paulus, Bungalow

Lauren Ratley, Autocourt Duplex A (Opt.)

Rachel Smith, Autocourt Duplex A

Matt Snyder, Meadow Duplex

John Starnes, Autocourt Duplex B

University of Arkansas Department of Landscape Architecture:

Professor Mark Boyer, ASLA, RLA

University of Arkansas Ecological Engineering Group:

Dr. Marty Matlock, PE, CSE

Ruth Victoria Zeledon, Research Assistant

University of Arkansas Department of Biological and Ecological Engineering Students:

Leslie Bartsch

Adam Jokerst

Jennifer Raible

Britt Hill

Morrison Shipley Engineers:

John Wary, PE

Sammi May, PE

JKJ Architects:

John Mack, AIA, NCARB

Crossland Construction:

Christopher Crossland, VP

Adams Excavation:

Pat Adams, Owner


Habitat for Humanity of Benton County

Habitat Trails . . . a manual for affordable green neighborhood development