paisano green community

HACEP | Housing Authority of the City of El Paso

Gerald Cichon, Chief Executive Officer
915 849 3700 /


Completion: 2013


Paisano Green Community is the first NetZero, fossil fuel-free, LEED Platinum, affordable senior housing project in the United States. This 73-unit project is built on a 4.2-acre site, adjacent to the major border crossing between El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico. The design goals of the project were to create a place-sensitive community for elderly residents that would promote healthy living and an environment encouraging the development of interpersonal relationships, all within a well-designed set of energy-efficient, high-performance buildings and grounds.

The campus is made up of four 3-story flats, nine duplexes, eight 2-bedroom units, nine studios, fifty-five 1-bedroom units, a utility structure, and a new community building. Paisano was designed and built to meet LEED Platinum, Enterprise Green Communities 2011, ADA, UFAS, and Fair Housing Standards.


WORKSHOP8 provided site planning, architecture, entitlement assistance, net-metering approval, interior design, FF&E selection, identity and branding, signage design, art design and selection, and contract administration.


Architects | Joseph Vigil, JV DeSousa and Ali Gidfar
Designers | Ulla Lange, Michelle Frankel
Production Team | Josh Oqueli, Kate Pedersen, Liz Smith, Marianne Bellino, Michelle Frankel

Builder | Pavilion Construction
Energy Modeler & Sustainability Consultant | Mark Bloomfield, Sustainably Built
LEED Consultant  | Progress Building
Landscape Architect | Desert Element Landscape Design LLC
Landscape Designer | Julie Hauser, indigo landscape design
Lighting Designer | Clanton & Associates
MEP | Priest Engineering
Structural Engineer |  Gebau
Photography | Jessie Ramirez


73 Units & 55,357 SF


ARRA grant through HUD


$14,830,000 / $203,150 per unit


LEED Platinum, Enterprise Green Communities (EGC) Certified, Net-Zero Energy & Fossil Fuel Free


2013 — National Award of Merit in Program Innovation - Project Design / National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials
2012 — Citation Award for Built Architecture / American Institute of Architects (AIA) Colorado [/toggle]


September 2014 — Colorful Panels Add to Green Design / Commercial Building Products Magazine
July 2013 — Paisano Green Community / GreenSource, The Magazine of Sustainable Design
May 2013 — These Seniors are Living Green / Builder and Developer Magazine
3 May 2013 — NetZero Living and Climate /
2013 — Paisano Green Community Senior Housing / Architizer
29 March 2013 — WORKSHOP8 : Boulder architects design net-zero housing project in El Paso / Boulder County Business Report
26 March 2013 — A Green Community Comes to Town /
January / February 2013  — The New Model for Affordable Housing / green building & design magazine

20 December 2012 — Paisano Green Community is the First NetZero Senior Housing Project in the US / Tyson and Billy
20 November, 2012 — Special Report: The Paisano Green Community / Channel 7
29 October 2012 — Gray Goes Green: First U.S. Net Zero Senior Community Opens in TX / Clean Technicz
20 September 2012 — Paisano Green Community /
31 August 2012 — The Paisano Green Community - Redefining Affordable Housing in the United States / YouTube

25 October 2011 — Paisano Green Community is the First NetZero Housing Project in the US / inhabitat
25 October 2011 — Paisano Green Community (designed using Vectorworks and Sketchup Pro) /
18 October 2011 — 73-Unit Public Housing Community for Seniors Generates 100% of Energy On-Site / University  of St. Thomas
11 October 2011 — Eco-friendly Housing Project Paisano Green Community 1st of its Kind / El Paso Times
September 2011 — Cutting-Edge Green Affordable Housing in El Paso, TX /