KTGY Earns National Recognition With 7 Awards

KTGY Earns National Recognition With 7 Awards IRVINE, CA - KTGY Group, Inc., Architecture and Planning, has earned seven Awards of Merit in the 2010 Gold Nugget Award design and planning competition honoring the firm's wide range of capabilities, excellence and innovation in addressing complex design/build issues in attached, detached and sustainable communities as well as transit-oriented developments. KTGY's winning projects were selected from 440 entries from the 14 Western States and international countries. The KTGY-designed Solaris in South Jordan, Utah, earned several honors, including "Residential Detached Community of the Year," for providing first-time homebuyers in Utah with the opportunity to afford a modern, contemporary-style, Solar- and Thermal-powered home. The Gold Nugget Grand Award winners will be selected from the Award of Merit honorees on June 10, 2010.

The Solaris Collection received an Award of Merit for "Residential Detached Community of the Year" and The Solaris Collection - Plan A earned an Award of Merit for "Best Single Family Detached Home on a Small Lot (3,200-4,500 sq. ft.)." The Solaris Townhomes also won recognition for the "Best On the Boards Multi-Family Project." Built by Garbett Homes, Solaris is located within Daybreak's South Station master-planned community, developed by Kennecott Land as Utah's first sustainable master-planned community. The Daybreak community offers miles of nature trails for biking, walking, jogging, or hiking, swimming pools, playgrounds and parks, walking distance to UTA Trax, community gardens, community sports facilities, pavilions, and a new charter school and convenient access to shopping nearby.

"The inspiration for Solaris was to respond to a well-educated, environmentally-sensitive market in Utah and offer the first Solar powered homes. To this end, it was important to allow the Solar panels to show from the street as part of its sustainable design and construction. We did our homework up front and found state and utility rebates that would surely make this program a homerun for the buyers," said KTGY's Principal John Tully.

According to Garbett Homes Marketing Director Rene Oehlerking, "The Solaris Collection offers the most affordable Solar-powered, single-family homes in Utah (from $206,900 after solar rebate). Garbett Homes is also the first production builder in Utah to offer bold, modern architecture."

Tully said, "Working closely with Garbett Homes, we wanted to create an attainable, contemporary, Solar-powered, Thermal-powered, single-family detached home marketed to the first-time buyer. We wanted it to be priced around $200,000 and have three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a two-car garage. We were told it could not be done, but we did it! The modern design helped in achieving this feat – with clean lines and open-plan design we were able to simplify the home and therefore the construction costs."

Solaris has been well received by the marketplace. Oehlerking said that despite the current economic recession, Garbett Homes has sold at a better sales rate than any other previous neighborhood. The Solaris Collection consist of homes ranging in size from 1,442 square feet to 2,791 square feet on 4,500-square-foot lots. A total of 42 single-family dwellings are planned for the development. The Solaris Collection's Plan A homes range in size from 1,442 square feet to 2,112 square feet. The energy-efficient homes include modern contemporary design, vaulted ceilings in entry and living room, tiled front entry way and kitchen, recessed lighting, Energy Star GE stainless steel appliances, upgraded finish carpentry, ceiling fans, mini-chamfer sheetrock corners, large, dual-paned, low-E vinyl windows, central air conditioning with 13 Seer AC units, white membrane roof to reflect excess heat, exterior finish of stucco and Hardie-board, beautiful private porches connecting residents with the neighborhood, professionally landscaped and maintained community, security lighting, maintenance-free soffit and fascia, full rain gutters, outside waterproof electrical outlets, and double car attached garage with automatic opener.

The Gold Nugget Awards program recognized The Solaris Townhomes in the category of "Best On the Boards Multi-Family Project." There are 79 units planned. "Garbett Homes is the first and only builder in Utah to offer Solar and Thermal (PVT) as standard on townhomes," Oehlerking said. "The Solaris Townhomes are also the most affordable green, solar-powered home ever, with townhomes starting in the $170,000s."

The Solaris Townhomes range in size from 1,190 square feet to 1,416 square feet. "In a down market and competing with short sales and foreclosed homes, we needed to innovate and bring a truly remarkable product to the market and captivate the limited buyers," said Tully. "The design is modern, the standard features are outstanding (tankless water-heaters, solar panels, 100% Energy Star Rated, NAHB Green Home Certified, stainless steel appliances, and gas ranges). The floorplans are amazing and the price is remarkable. We were able to do this by cutting our construction time to 45 days per building, and self-financing the vertical construction. We cut out the bank and have our sub-contractors extend terms to 45 days. We believe that we have a winning new construction product to compete with discounted existing home sales."

Additionally, KTGY received a Gold Nugget Merit Award in the category of "Best Multi-Family Housing Project – 4 to 6 Stories For Sale" for 555 YVR, Downtown Walnut Creek's first live-work-shop-play residences. Developed by Thompson | Dorfman Partners, with KTGY as the project architect, in conjunction with Kwan Henmi as the concept design architect, 555YVR is a modern, environmentally-friendly, transit-oriented development featuring 87 spacious one-bedroom, one-bedroom plus den and two-bedroom homes, as well as townhomes and live-work units, all featuring luxury finishes, stainless steel appliances and expansive floor-to-ceiling windows. Located in the commercial business district on the site of former office buildings and surface parking lot, adjacent to the Walnut Creek BART Station, 555 YVR is steps to world-class shopping, restaurants, civic, cultural, entertainment destinations, employment centers, transit links. 555 YVR offers residents a Sky Lounge rooftop terrace, which features an outdoor kitchen, fireplace, WiFi access and spectacular 360-degree views of the San Ramon valley and Mt. Diablo. Residents also enjoy a state-of-the-art media room, a private fitness center, a lushly landscaped courtyard with a water feature and bench seating, an on-site protected dog run and WiFi connectivity in common areas, which is ideal for tech-savvy professionals. The builder was Palisades Builders.

"555 YVR's live-work-shop-play environment minimizes commuting and lessens pollution as it includes close proximity to public transit lines, neighborhood parks and shopping centers, business and medical services, churches and schools," said Stan Braden, AIA, NCARB, chairman and principal of KTGY. "Furthermore, 555YVR's sustainable design and lower energy bills and pedestrian-friendly location increases affordability for residents, which is more important than ever in today's challenging economic climate."

KTGY received two additional Awards of Merit in the category of "Best On the Boards" for its design and planning of Aldea at Porter Ranch in Los Angeles, Calif.; and Tasman Station in Sunnyvale, Calif. Aldea at Porter Ranch won an Award of Merit in the category of "Best On the Boards Site Plan." The developer of Aldea at Porter Ranch is Porter Ranch Development Company, a joint venture between Shapell Homes and Liberty Building Company. The 60-acre mixed-use village, located in the heart of the Porter Ranch master-planned community, represents a bold direction in defining a horizontal mixed-use urban village supporting a contemporary lifestyle, says KTGY's Ken Ryan, principal and head of KTGY's community planning and urban design studio.

"Envisioned as a departure from the San Fernando Valley's auto-centric pattern of insular single-use enclaves, the seamlessly integrated living, shopping and entertainment village was crafted to promote a pedestrian-friendly, engaging and exciting living environment," Ryan said. "The major feature of the village's framework is its two primary organizing elements: a central east-west linkage system and a north-south transitional zone, with a central civic core placed at the intersection of the armatures. A network of private drives and alleys geometrically reinforce these organizing elements, connecting in an efficient and understandable grid design."

According to Ryan, the project's visual icon is its east-west "promenade street" – a walking street reminiscent of the great urban neighborhoods of Brooklyn and San Francisco – featuring front-facing architecture with a direct connection to the 20-acre lifestyle retail/restaurant district at one end and a community recreation center anchoring the opposite end.

Tasman Station received an Award of Merit for "Best On the Boards Multi-Family Project." Tasman Station is an upscale, transit-oriented mixed-use retail and residential community in Sunnyvale, located adjacent to a VTA light rail line and platform. Developed by Essex Property Trust and targeting environmentally-sensitive Silicon Valley professionals, the sustainable design consists of three principal, five-story buildings, with four levels of residential over a podium; 15 percent of the units are affordable. All units feature well-proportioned decks for indoor/outdoor enjoyment. With completion slated for March 2011, the $138.9 million project includes 284 dwelling units and a freestanding Fresh & Easy market on the corner.

"Tasman Station's generous plan sizes average over 900 square feet," Braden said. "Arches, trellises, balconies and rooflines animate contemporary interpretation of Spanish Mediterranean vernacular. The podium level will feature a pool, spa, clubhouse, business center/cyber café, fire pits, shuffleboard court and plazas, courtyards, water features and gardens. Green Points, light rail stop located across the street and walkable neighborhood highlight eco-friendly concepts. Easy access to two major freeways provide added benefits."

KTGY also received a judges special award, the "Building Industry Community Spirit Award" for its planning and design of three Habitat for Humanity homes in Yorba Linda, Calif. Located at 4965 Park Avenue in Yorba Linda, Calif. According to KTGY's Jill Williams, AIA and principal, "The sustainable design maximizes available square footage on a small infill site to create attractive, very livable, comfortable homes that are affordable for working families and in harmony with surrounding market rate neighborhood. The project uses Habitat for Humanity's new 'Mixed-Income Model,' which includes homes for both very low-income and moderate-income families within the same development."
Simplicity in framing facilitated construction by a volunteer workforce and the three-home development was completed in 7.5 months from framing to dedication. KTGY donated its architectural services as well as assisted in the construction of these craftsman-style homes in Yorba Linda on "Build Day." "The two-story, three-bedroom Craftsman-style homes carry on the beautiful, historic precedent of this great neighborhood with sitting porches, stone veneer accents, attached two-car garages turned to the rear and accessed from a private drive; and a material palette that is reminiscent of the era with shingles and clapboard siding," Williams added. "Lush landscaping, trees, meandering walkways to create warm and welcoming pedestrian guest entry."

KTGY has been committed to working with Habitat for Humanity throughout northern and southern California for many years. Recently, KTGY was called upon to develop the next series of homes for Habitat for Humanity in northern California, which will be going after LEED Platinum status. Last year, KTGY designed and assisted with the building of Habitat for Humanity of Orange County's four homes in Anaheim on East Julianna Street.
The Gold Nugget Awards honor creative achievements in architectural design and land use planning for residential, commercial and industrial projects. Drawing more than 440 entries from the western states and internationally, an increase of nearly 18 percent over last year's number of entries, the Gold Nugget Awards program is the premiere event of the annual PCBC, the nation's largest regional trade show and conference. Grand Award winners will be announced at the Gold Nugget Awards Luncheon on Thursday, June 10, 2010, at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. See www.goldnuggetawards.com.

Established in 1991, KTGY Group, Inc., Architecture and Planning, provides comprehensive planning and award-winning architectural design services for residential communities, retail, hospitality, mixed-use and related specialty developments. KTGY delivers innovative solutions that reflect clear understanding of development, marketing and financial performance and takes particular pride in its highly motivated and principal led studios. Serving clients worldwide, KTGY maintains offices in Irvine, Oakland and Santa Monica, and in Denver. See www.ktgy.com.
Source: Monaghan Communications / Photo: Christopher Mayer

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