Return to Case Study Briefs

Daybreak Community

Landscape Performance Benefits


  • Retains 100% of stormwater that falls on the site for up to a 100-year storm with no impacts on or connections to the municipal storm sewer system.
  • Saves approximately 1.5 million gallons of potable water each year by using an innovative drip irrigation design. Projected annual savings at build-out are 18.7 million gallons, saving approximately $54,000 annually.
  • Promotes species diversity with nearly 2.5 times the national average for comparable wetland bird populations present in man-made Oquirrh Lake and the surrounding wetlands.
  • Reduced carbon footprint by 9,110 tons, saved 23,000 gallons of fuel and saved over $1.6 million in concrete and transportation costs by reusing materials onsite and recycling construction waste.


  • Reduces auto trips with 88% of neighborhood students currently walking or riding bikes to school. This is expected to reduce auto trips by 2.3 million miles a year at build-out, saving 102,000 gallons of fuel and reducing carbon emissions by 950 tons annually.

At a Glance

  • Designer

    Design Workshop

  • Project Type

    Stormwater management facility

  • Former Land Use


  • Location

    4454 West Harvest Moon Drive
    South Jordan, Utah 84095
    Map it

  • Climate Zone

    Cold semi-arid

  • Size

    4,127 acres

  • Budget

    $4.3 million - Design and consultation fees; $48-63 million - Landscape construction costs to date

  • Completion Date

    2004 - Founders Village; 2025 - Project buildout

Daybreak is a 4,127-acre model mixed-use community for comprehensive sustainable design. The project was planned on surplus mining land and will accommodate over 20,000 residential units, approximately 9.1 million sf of commercial space, and 20,000 jobs at build-out. The extensive parks and open space integrates stormwater management, merges with natural systems, and is enlivened by social and recreational programming. The full range of sustainable features includes walkable streets, an extensive trail system, native and drought-tolerant plants, habitat conservation, recycled materials, and a vibrant mix of amenities and services.


The design team was challenged to create a new community in a high desert environment where traditional, water-intensive development and manicured landscapes are not sustainable. In order to meet local stormwater regulations, appeal to potential home buyers, and fit the environmental context, public parks and open space needed to be both visually engaging and serve sustainable functions.


Through collaborative, holistic planning an intentional, sculpted parks and open space system was designed to perform multiple functions. On-surface stormwater management is integrated and serves to create habitat, supplement irrigation, and enhance recreation opportunities. The design merges natural systems, social and recreational spaces, and stunning visual amenities.

  • Of the 4,100 acres in the entire development, up to 1,000 will be used for parks and open space. 120 acres of parks and open space have been dedicated so far.
  • Daybreak boasts 22 miles of maintained trails and every home is within 1/4 mile of the trail system.
  • The onsite stormwater management system includes 65-acre man-made Oquirrh Lake, 25 acres of constructed wetlands, stormwater canals, dry wells, infiltration basins, and roadside bioswales.
  • Oquirrh Lake retains stormwater and supplies reserve irrigation water while providing habitat to over 59 species of birds and game fish.
  • Native plant communities comprise 68% of common open space, and drought-tolerant plants cover at least 40% of every residential lot. Manicured turf is limited to recreation fields.
  • Terraced demonstration gardens display the beauty of native species and teach residents about responsible landscape methods within the Great Basin ecology.
  • Material excavated to create the lake was reused onsite as base for roads, saving on materials and hauling costs.
  • Recycled mine rock from the adjacent Kennecott copper mine is used for walls and entrance monuments throughout the community.
  • Community garden space is being expanded due to popular demand.
  • Engineers estimate over $70 million in storm water infrastructure savings over the life of the Daybreak project due to the elimination of municipal impact fees and the dramatic reduction in conventional conveyance infrastructure. This estimate includes $30 million in residential impact fees, residential entitlements by owner, and reduced in-ground infrastructure.
  • Using on-site nursery acclimation, species and age diversity and tree-by-tree computer-chip monitoring reduces tree mortality by 60% over typical rates, saving an estimated $2 million in replanting costs for the project goal of 100,000 trees planted.

When planned in a collaborative, holistic way, parks and open space systems can perform multiple social, ecological and economic functions. The landscapes at Daybreak capture storm water, nurture habitat, facilitate recreation, provide a stunning visual amenity, increase land values, and promote social interactions.

Project Team

Client/Owner: Kennecott Land Residential Development Company
Community Master Planner: Calthorpe Associates
Landscape Architecture: Design Workshop, Inc.
Lake and Wetlands Consultant: Natural Systems
Civil Engineers: Nolte Associates, Stantec
Irrigation Designer: Russ Jacobsen, LLC
Electrical Engineers: Envision Engineering, Hunt Electric
Wildlife Biologist: Craig Johnson LLC
Contractors: ValleyCrest Nursery, Progressive Plants

Role of the Landscape Architect

Design Workshop completed master plans for the 4,200-acre community’s parks and open space system, produced concept through construction drawings for 65-acre Oquirrh Lake and accompanying open space systems (an additional 100 acres), produced concept through construction documents for the Founder’s Village parks and open space system including on-surface stormwater conveyance and infiltration, and has continuing design and construction projects throughout the community.


Stormwater management, Water conservation, Habitat quality, Reused/recycled materials, Transportation, Wetland, Trail, Reused/recycled materials, Bioretention, Native plants, Local materials, Food garden, Efficient irrigation, Biodiversity, Green communities

The LPS Case Study Briefs are produced by the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF), working in conjunction with designers and/or academic research teams to assess performance and document each project. LAF has no involvement in the design, construction, operation, or maintenance of the projects. See the Project Team tab for details. If you have questions or comments on the case study itself, contact us at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Help build the LPS: Find out how to submit a case study and other ways to contribute.