The 550-acre Rancho Sienna community celebrated its grand opening last month, ushering in a new standard in master planned community development for the Austin area.  Though developer Newland Communities has embraced sustainable design as a matter of practice in its communities throughout the United States, Rancho Sienna will be among the first master planned communities in the Austin area to require homebuilders to adhere to strict guidelines for irrigation, landscaping, and architecture.

“At Rancho Sienna, our newest development in Central Texas, our vision was to reduce our overall environmental impact footprint, especially in regards to water use, and to keep the land in its beautiful natural state to the greatest extent possible,” said Rainer Ficken, Senior Project Manager for Newland.

RVi has played a leading role in bringing that vision to fruition through the creation of the community master plan, landscape design guidelines, and landscape architectural design. Specific sustainable design measures include:

  • rainwater harvesting for irrigation
  • using drip irrigation in place of traditional sprinkler systems
  • a unique super-efficient swimming pool pump system
  • minimizing turf in front yards and common areas
  • green architectural features such as building orientation and shading
  • an electric vehicle charging station
  • maximizing native plantings
  • re-purposing on site materials such as rock and cedar for walls and trails
  • minimizing site disturbance during construction

Rancho Sienna is also implementing some of the area’s most stringent tree preservation requirements for homebuilders in an effort to maintain the site’s naturally wooded landscape.  Builders will have increased flexibility to vary home setbacks and square footages in order to preserve trees on site.

Rancho Sienna is located near Ronald Reagan Boulevard and State Highway 29 in Williamson County.  Once built-out, the community will include 1,455 homes and more than 100 acres of parks and trails.