Who We Are

 Karla Helland and Jesse Gries

Karla Helland and Jesse Gries Photo Credit: Anne Staveley

We create innovative and fresh homes that beautifully support modern life. They feel good because the care and craftsmanship are apparent everywhere the eye rests. We deeply believe that the home you live in should make you happy in small ways — every day.

We are a small company and we like it that way, because we get to stay hands-on. We believe creativity is sparked by the limits that come with every project ( budget, size, neighborhood associations, site or time) and we love to collaborate.

Green Build Philosophy

We believe green building is integral to graceful and comfortable living spaces. Energy efficient means of achieving thermal comfort, careful development of the site, and considered resource management are a few of the strategies we implement.

Build Green New Mexico has awarded three of our homes the Emerald Level. Only a handful of homes have earned this highest level of green certification.

We feel that beauty and happiness should be incorporated into green design and construction. We build super-insulated structures, but we incorporate more glazing than a typical green designed home. Connecting to nature and embracing the outside environment brings joy and is why most of us choose to make our homes here in Santa Fe.

Green Star Services

We offer start to finish in-house design and build services. We have also collaborated on projects drawn and designed by other talent and completed their plans with great success.

About Jesse Gries and Karla Helland

Jesse Gries is the principal designer and lead fabricator of Green Star Builders.  He has decades of hands-on experience originating and producing a spectrum of works. This background has given him the underlying skills to be innovative,  creative and yet always practical. He has an informed and demanding eye for  grace and craftsmanship. Jesse has a degree in Environmental Science, focusing on the building industry from Hampshire College has been a NM licensed GB98 contractor since 2004.

Karla Helland is a project manager, designer and interior finishes coordinator. Classically trained in the culinary arts, she worked extensively with David Tanis at the beloved Cafe Escalera in Santa Fe. For years she practiced daily collaboration — with a deadline — to present the fresh-daily menu. Approachable, organized and meticulous, she now enjoys working with Green Star Builders clientele to pull together the details that make their home a very personal statement.