Change is in the air! One week and spring will be here! Today is a beautiful day in Southern New Mexico. Sunny blue skies and no wind! Our crew is working hard ramming walls and will be doing so for the next few days. If you are in Las Cruces and want to see rammed earth walls going up stop by on Monday or Tuesday. They are working fast, so by Wednesday they may be done! The project is located about 2+ miles north on El Camino Real. You go north on Spitz (by the North Main Albertson’s), left on El Camino Real. Travel just over 2 miles and you’ll see a subdivision on the right called Los Venados. Take the second street into the area, Black Tail Deer Ave., take it to the end and turn right. You’ll see our project on the right. The street address is 4107 Fallow Deer. This is the Jones’ Home being built. A compact, efficient, 1,455 sq. ft. plan with an additional 732 sq. ft. of garage & storage space and 297 sq. ft. of porches. The home will have a contemporary flair to it. You’ll note on the rammed earth walls they have 45 degree corners instead of our typical radius corners. This will help us achieve a more contemporary look to the home. The photo above shows our crew ramming the walls of the Jones’ home.
Our Showcase project at 342 Armijo is going full steam ahead. This coming week we will have the bathroom tile placed, the wood floor is being installed, the color coat of stucco is being applied and cabinets are being built. The home will be open to the public the weekend before the Showcase (April 18th & 19th) through the Las Cruces Symphony Guild Tour of Homes. Watch for information in the Las Cruces Sun News regarding this event. This year they are focusing on Green Building-all the homes on their tour will have green aspect to them. Three of Soledad Canyon’s homes will be on the Tour! Tickets will be available at each home on the tour.
The Las Cruces Home Builders Association Showcase of Homes will be held on April 24, 25, 26, and May 1, 2, 3, 2009. There will be many homes on the tour. Plan on stopping by our Home at 342 Armijo. It is located in Downtown Las Cruces on the corner of Armijo & Court, one block off of Alameda. What a joy it has been building a home 5 minutes from our office! We are thrilled to have contributed to the revitalization of Downtown Las Cruces. The Stowe’s are anxious to move into their new home in an old Las Cruces neighborhood. Not only is the home built of long lasting rammed earth, but one of the key green features of this home is that it is built on an in-fill lot.
On a community note I want to tell you about an Art Gallery I recently visited. Unsettled Gallery located at 905 N. Mesquite St. A unique building holding unique original art work. The building itself is an adobe structure built in the early 1900’s. Catherine Brenner and her husband have painstakingly brought the building back to life. The 2D & 3D traditional & contemporary art work and jewelry is a showcase for many of our local artists. I encourage you to stop by and browse. You may find that piece that speaks to you!
I have completed all the requirements for my New Mexico Contractor’s License. The paperwork has been sent off. All I’m waiting for is confirmation. I was issued a temporary qualifying party license back in December with a March 17th deadline to complete the paperwork. It’s done and now I’m focusing on current work, future work and getting a Green Builder College Certification. Since the day Mario started building rammed earth homes there has been a commitment to “Building Green”. Twenty five years ago we were “out there” building our rammed earth home with a composting toilet and a grey water system. In his memory, I want to strengthen that commitment to building green. The resources and support available today is a dream come true. We have always been swimming up-stream. Today I have a lot of options for swimming—not just up-stream!
We are ready to take on some new projects. Let us know if you’re ready for your own rammed earth home! The photo to the right shows how thick your walls could be — crew member Junior, fits easily between the forms for the rammed earth walls.
Here’s to all shades of Green Building! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Ms. Pat Bellestri-Martinez
“New Mexico Licensed Contractor”