Hobbs, New Mexico has a rich multicultural history boasting true cowboy legends, long-held farming traditions, and rich Hispanic culture. Known for its blue skies and breathtaking sunsets, Hobbs truly represents the very best of what the high desert can offer.
One more thing that Hobbs can now boast of is a commitment to sustainable green construction in the form of the La Pradera multi-family housing project. This affordable housing complex is certified LEED for Homes Platinum and represents Hobbs’ efforts to bring its rich heritage into the 21st century.
The La Pradera housing project consists of 8 multi-family buildings for a total of 60 affordable housing units. The complex also contains a community building and a daycare center.
Green Insight was brought in by Tierra Realty Trust, the project’s developer, to work alongside developers and the project’s contractor, Century Construction. Green Insight worked with all parties on:
- Green goal facilitation
- Facilitating charrettes
- LEED for Homes credit verification and testing during the construction process
- Quality assurance review
- Energy modeling
- Building material assessments
- Review of specifications
- Construction documents
- Project submittals
Developers and contractors teamed with Green Insight to reach all of their sustainable building goals and to create a modern multi-story housing complex that was designed to meet a HERS index of 59 while meeting all criteria to qualify for the New Mexico Sustainable Building Tax Credit.
Stephen Crozier, president of Tierra Realty Trust, isn’t new to green building nor developing projects that meet LEED for Homes certification. Crozier states, “I have been building green since I formed Tierra Realty Trust in 1997, and each year with each new project, we have tried to make each project greener than the previous. LEED is a natural extension of our company’s business ethic.”
The developer’s main goal was to develop a building that was modern and was constructed to achieve a HERS rating of 60 or better and LEED for Homes certification in order to qualify for the New Mexico Sustainable Building Tax Credit. One major challenge from the beginning was that the site secured for the project was in a rural setting.
Another challenge was working with a general contractor who didn’t have experience in building green. Additionally, the area offered only a limited subcontractor base that was also limited in green building experience.
Green Insight was then brought in to work side by side with all parties to ensure the project was both high quality while still meeting the developer’s goals.
Even the site for the complex was chosen with environmental concerns in mind. Found within walking distance of public schools, shops, open spaces, and other conveniences, La Pradera’s location reduces or eliminates the need for a car and thus the environmental impact a car can have. It’s also located within half a mile of over 14 community services and schools which reduces the number and length of daily trips residents need to make to access needs of daily living.
Contractors also contributed to the sustainability goal through the use of environmentally responsible building materials. The exterior of the building was completely made of insulated concrete forms (ICF) and the modular layout meant there was almost no waste in the exterior wall system. The concrete walls, footings, insulation, and numerous other materials contained recycled content. Paint, adhesives, and sealants were all made of low volatile organic compounds to promote high indoor air quality and better health for builders and inhabitants alike.
Green Insight was able to work with developers and contractors to create a finished product that not only met the developers’ goals for sustainability but exceeded them. All together, the finished La Pradera housing complex earned:
- LEED Platinum certification
- A $538,920 tax credit from New Mexico’s Sustainable Building Tax Credit program
- A $2,500 grant from the Home Depot Foundation
Additionally, La Pradera also met green milestones such as:
- 73.5% savings in interior water use
- Plants that are 100% drought tolerant
- Vegetative or impermeable surfaces directed to infiltration are used in 73% of the site
La Pradera is truly a model for future green building projects looking to meet specific goals of sustainability.