Home in Harmony
Santa Fean Magazine, Aug/Sept 2015 [PDF, 3MB]
Setting aside two years for planning and construction, the homeowner knew from the start she wanted to work with home designer Stephen Beili of Studio Dionisi and Jesse Gries of Green Star Builders. The tone for the project was set with an indigenous blessing of the land, and a spirit of collaboration was immediately established that would form the basis of the project’s ultimate success.
Green and Grounded
Su Casa Northern New Mexico, Magazine, Winter 2014 [PDF, 1.5MB]
No doubt about it: Jesse Gries is a hands-on kind of guy. As principal of Green Star Builders, a design/build firm specializing in green and eco-friendly homes, he takes no chances when it comes to details and quality, snapping all lines and doing much of the installation work himself. When he and his wife, teacher Karla Helland, decided to build their own home, they bought a lot a couple of doors down from where they were living on Cordova Road. Tucked behind a short wall among similarly styled, nondescript adobes, Gries and Helland’s home is the very definition of infill.
The Dark Horse is Green
Reprint from EcoSource Magazine, Winter/Spring 2013 [PDF, 3.2MB]
Meet Jesse Gries—founder of Green Star Builders and winner of the 2012 Grand Hacienda Award. At this year’s Parade of Homes tour, Gries was the little guy in a land of giants. This innovator and relentless idealist brings a new and desired approach to building, combined with a powerful spirit to back it up.
‘Simple and light’ and a winner
The Santa Fe New Mexican, September 9, 2012 [PDF, 6MB]
Green Star Builders wins with clean, contemporary design. The house that won the Grand Hacienda Award in this year’s Haciendas—A Parade of Homes isn’t the usual large, expensive place boasting fabulous views of multiple distant mountain ranges. Instead, it’s a 3,000-square-foot $538,000 abode nestled in on a Cordova Road site that’s almost invisible from the busy thoroughfare.
Remote Broadcast Interview with Jesse Gries and SFAHBA Executive Officer Kim Shanahan at multi-award winning Grand Hacienda home
All Things Real Estate with Rey Post, August 19, 2012 [Podcast, 53:14]
The gentlemen talked about the home’s energy-efficient features such as using the sub-grade temperatures (three feet and below) to cool air and circulate this air throughout the home in the summer to reduce cooling costs. As a Real Estate Broker, Rey wanted to discuss how Jesse creatively approached utilizing a small lot in the center of town, making a small home feel spacious. Another topic was the utilization of traditional Santa Fe style with a more contemporary aesthetic and how result of this mixture feels fresh.
Kim Shanahan interviews Jesse Gries: Grand Hacienda winning home
KVSF 101.5 Green Bldg. & Sustainable Dev. Radio Show, August 8, 2012 [Podcast, 41.51]
“The steelwork was flawless,” stated Kim. As a retired builder, he was impressed by the craftsmanship evident in the home and talked to Jesse about some of the tools he uses to get such topnotch results. Jesse revealed that a belt grinder he has used since high school is essential to grind the welds to such a high level of polish. Because the sanding paper is no long available for this now-defunct tool, Jesse had to modify another brand.
Beyond Santa Fe Style
The Santa Fe New Mexican, August 12, 2012 [PDF, 9MB]
“Because the homes are not speculative homes, they have a tendency to be a little bit more edgy, a little beyond what we think of as Santa Fe style,” said Kim Shanahan, executive officer of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association, the group that organizes Parade of Homes each year. When builders are creating homes to sell, he explained, they have less incentive to design outside the box.