An ef­fi­ciently built house

Home - Santa Fe Real Estate Guide - - SOTHEBY'S INTERNATIONAL REALITY - By Paul Wei­de­man

While Sar­con Con­struc­tion is best known as a com­mer­cial con­trac­tor, the Santa Fe com­pany also builds homes. And for one cur­rent res­i­den­tial project, the owner hired Sar­con specif­i­cally be­cause of the firm’s strin­gent com­mer­cial pro­to­cols.

He be­gan the house project with a lo­cal cus­tom home­builder, then switched to Sar­con, also work­ing with ar­chi­tect Hunter Tid­more Red­man and de­sign con­sul­tant and owner’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mark Lit­tle. Dur­ing a re­cent tour of the north­side prop­erty, Lit­tle pointed out dis­tinc­tive de­sign fea­tures in­clud­ing steel fram­ing with sharp-cor­nered walls, deep crown mold­ings on the in­te­rior, black-steel win­dows with fancy but rugged han­dles, in­trigu­ingly off­set roof trusses, and splen­did stonework fash­ioned by J. Har­ris Mar­ble & Gran­ite.

The home­owner ul­ti­mately chose to work with the com­mer­cial builder for more of a pri­or­ity on dead­lines and ef­fi­ciency. Re­cent projects by Sar­con (which is cel­e­brat­ing its 20th an­niver­sary this year) in­clude Levan Hall at St. John’s Col­lege, Ware­house 21, and the New Mex­ico His­tory Mu­seum. The com­pany’s pres­i­dent, Peter Brill, noted that the av­er­age high-end cus­tom home in Santa Fe ri­vals the scale of av­er­age-size com­mer­cial projects in the city. “They re­quire all these re­sources, with ven­dors and subs and sup­pli­ers, and the co­or­di­na­tion is in­tense.

“Also, as I un­der­stand it, most cus­tom-home builders work on a cost-plus ba­sis, so the sched­ule and bud­get are not pri­or­i­ties. We’re on a lump-sum ba­sis and we­work on a very tight sched­ule. You sort of re­v­erse-en­gi­neer these projects and you have to be on top of them in a very ur­gent way. Some­thing I think is also true is that we man­age our sub­con­trac­tors and I think in cus­tom res­i­den­tial here, it’s of­ten the other way around.”

One bot­tom line is that this client (who re­quested anonymity) is com­ing froma do­main, a busi­ness world, in which ef­fi­ciency and ac­count­abil­ity are para­mount. “That’s right,” Brill re­sponded. “I think a lot of peo­ple want ac­count­abil­ity and some­how this mar­ket has con­vinced ev­ery­one that you don’t get that ac­count­abil­ity, so peo­ple don’t ex­pect it.”

Asked about the chal­lenges in this project, he said the client “made a lot of changes, and this de­sign has a com­pli­cated lay­out with lots of floor heights, so we were deal­ing with elab­o­rate ge­om­e­try in multi di­men­sions.”

Brill lauded the work of his su­per­in­ten­dent, Joseph Martinez. “He’s from Cór­dova and he’s very quiet and re­lent­lessy smart about how to put things to­gether. He fig­ured it all out and how to re­ally create what the client wanted. Then we have Ka­trien Deyl­gat, our project man­ager, who fig­ured out all the sched­ules and money. With those two, one froma small vil­lage in North­ern New Mex­ico and the other from Bel­gium, we’re able to achieve tre­men­dous re­sults.

The owner agrees. “I think Peter has done a great job im­ple­ment­ing some­thing I dreamed up,” he said.

The ba­sic con­cept for the house came fromthe owner. “It’s sim­i­lar to a house he pre­vi­ously owned on the East Coast,” said Hunter Red­man with Ar­chi­tec­tural Al­liance Inc. “He and I sat down to adapt that idea to fit the site. This was a process we’ve never done be­fore, be­cause com­mer­cial projects have ev­ery­thing doc­u­mented and there’s a lot more backup, and the con­struc­tion type is typ­i­cally dif­fer­ent. We don’t usu­ally use a metal frame in a home.”

Asked about the owner’s is­sues with what he de­scribed as a too-ca­sual ap­proach by his orig­i­nal builder, she said, “Well, I think part of the res­i­den­tial draw of Santa Fe is the very or­ganic na­ture of the homes here, the soft­ness of the adobe. When a home­owner is in­volved in build­ing a project, it’s a lit­tle bit eas­ier if the project goes slower be­cause it gives him time to pick out the fin­ishes and to be a part of the process. Most peo­ple don’t have the lux­ury of be­ing on­site ev­ery day to make sure ev­ery­thing is done in a timely man­ner. So I think the goal from the be­gin­ning was dif­fer­ent, be­cause he didn’t want an or­ganic Santa Fe pue­blo house; he wanted some­thing very crisp and clean and that just re­quires dif­fer­ent meth­ods and ma­te­ri­als, and the dead­line he im­posed re­quired a dif­fer­ent mind­set.”

Her client ended up work­ing with a two-tier strategy, first fo­cus­ing on the build­ing shell and then in a se­cond phase all the de­tail­ing and fin­ishes— just as com­mer­cial spec projects are car­ried out with the later work fo­cus­ing on im­prove­ments spe­cific to the ten­ant. “Ex­actly, and that’s howwe all ap­proached it,” Red­man said. “It’s been a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for ev­ery­one, but I think it’s been re­ally suc­cess­ful.”

Photo cour­tesy Linda John­son/Swell De­sign

Be­low, the site plan, cour­tesy Hunter Tid­more Red­man of Ar­chi­tec­tural Al­liance Inc.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.