A man basically born into the business is sharing his knowledge on how to become not only an award-winning builder, but also sell homes. “We’re on top of the wave. We’re ahead of everyone, and we want to keep that momentum,” says Chad Williams, chief operating officer of Pepper Viner Homes in Tucson, Arizona. Chad_WilliamsBorn Into the Building Business Williams’ father built homes in South Carolina, so he grew up working in the industry when the idea of a connected home was a phone line. Now, after running his own business in Georgia and then joining Pepper Viner in 2004, he’s giving out iPad minis as part of his standard package. “They used to not have dishwashers come with houses. Now, would you go buy a house without a dishwasher? You don’t have to have it to have a home, but you’re expecting it,” says Williams. “Well, the technology is going to come to that as well.” Evolving with the TecHome Trends With that mentality, Williams was instrumental in helping to introduce energy efficiencies and then connected devices at Pepper Viner. The company has been honored by the energy department and is now a five-time Southern Arizona Homebuilder’s Association builder of the year. “I could not wrap my mind around the technology, how and what we should use, and so when I went to the TecHome Builder show, within three months we implemented Clare Controls as a standard feature in three of our communities,” says Williams. Along the way, Williams learned a few things he’d like to share … Williams’ 5 Tips to Build By Look at the entire home, not individual components, as they all need to work together. William starts with building sciences as soon as the floor plan is designed and that includes tech. Keep purchasing department and yourself reading industry newletters like Techome Builder and TecHome X to see what trends are coming down the pipeline. Ask the community what it’s looking for in smart home technology. They’re constantly blasted with TV commercials and get lost in it all. It’s your job to know the latest in technology and explain it to them. Make sure sales staff is educated on what products and features your company is offering. This includes having them use the products themselves. For example, Williams’ sales team uses Clare Controls on their iPhones to show clients. Stay connected with the real estate community and realtors, because they are huge on technology. Everyone is trying to get a technological advantage on their peers, and realtors influence this. Pepper Viner staff attends realtor events, sends email blasts and is even involved in charity events with the real estate community. Pepper Viner techTecHomeX to Rally Realtors Williams says realtors can make a big difference when it comes to selling homes, “These are trade partners that are out there that don’t know or understand what technology is, ‘I’ve seen it on TV. What does it do? Why is it going to change my life?’” This is

Featured in the TecHome Builder eMagazine   Builders may be worried about suffocating under new building codes and standards. But Pepper Viner Homes is concerned about one thing when it comes to its HVAC approach—making sure the air customers are breathing in their homes is as healthy as possible. How to achieve indoor air quality? As of recently, the Arizona homebuilding company has been going about this in a variety of ways. For over a year, Pepper Viner has been implementing a Panasonic exhaust fan system that runs continuously at a low speed and pulls air out of the house, allowing new air to come in. Healthy Home System But recently, Pepper Viner was approached by Field Controls with what is being called the “Healthy Home System,” which can more easily control airflow. This level of control is ideal for monitoring and maintaining healthy air quality within the home and appealed strongly to the company. “We like the system because the amount of fresh air is totally measured and controlled—and there’s a thermostat for it,” says Richard Barna, director of building sciences for Pepper Viner Homes. “All the air comes from the outside and is filtered before it ever enters the house. So that’s a big advantage.” Immense IAQ Options Beyond this, Pepper Viner has plans to offer even more options for its customers to promote the safest and healthiest indoor air quality possible. Add-ons can include things such as a media air filter that has a high MERV rating around 13, which will take all the particles out of the air. Customers can also choose to add a UV air purification system that has a germicide lamp in it, which will get rid of things like dust mites, mold and viruses that may be in the air. RELATED: Green Home Builder Offers Home Automation as Standard “There’s potential for having the system grow. If we get good feedback and people want to use these things, we can add them into the system,” says Barna. A look at how the Healthy Home System from Field Controls works. Easing Energy Use On the energy side, there is even potential to place a bigger fresh air duct on the outside of the home. Anytime the temperature outdoor is adequate for air control, it will pull the air in from outside rather than turning on the air conditioning. This would work the same way with heating. Barna says that placing a focus on air quality was once something builders could pass off, but due to the latest building codes it has become more difficult not to zero in on air quality and HVAC performance. Builders should be focused on providing HVAC systems with air quality that both they and their customers can trust. These products are perfect in terms of price, control, and convenience, and are especially beneficial for builders unable to offer high end IAQ products for their projects. “We want our customers to be happy. We want them to be confident that

Developers of a new housing community at the site of a shuttered elementary school plan to pay tribute to the former schoolhouse. Pepper Viner Homes bought the vacant Wrightstown Elementary School, and plans 56 homes with pocket parks at The Schoolyard, on Wrightstown Road and Avenida Ricardo Small. “We are sad that schools, which have been the centerpiece of various neighborhoods, are disappearing,” said CEO Bill Viner. “We anticipate having something to commemorate the school on the property like a little book library where neighbors can exchange books.” The 9.2-acre site will feature single and 2-story homes, 1,400 to 2,100 square feet in size, with six floor plans in three- and four-bedroom models. Viner said the company is still in the bidding process, but anticipates a price range of the mid- to upper $200,000s. Demolition has begun and site development is expected to begin this fall, with models ready for viewing early next year. “The homes at The Schoolyard will be high performance, high design, incorporating energy efficiency and smart-home technology,” Viner said. Homeowners will have the option of controlling home temperatures, entry, lights, security and appliances from their smartphones. “Hopefully, The Schoolyard will benefit the neighborhood and the overall community,” Viner said. Last month, the Tucson City Council approved the rezoning of the east-side property for residential use, which finalized the sale. Two earlier offers to buy the school property — one from an apartment developer and another from a luxury home developer — fell through. The density of proposed developments was a main concern for area residents, said James B. Marian, land broker with Chapman Lindsey Commercial Real Estate Services, who represented Pepper Viner in the $1.3 million purchase. While previous proposals included 10 to 12 units per acre, The Schoolyard will have fewer than 6 units per acre, he said. Tucson Unified School District closed Wrightstown Elementary in 2010. Contact reporter Gabriela Rico at grico@tucson.com

Pepper Viner Homes has announced that the Showcase Home Tour at its StoneBridge foothills community will be open to the public on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 28 – 30.  The homes include a furnished model of the Topaz, the newest floor plan in the Pepper Viner portfolio. Pepper Viner Homes, a local builder, is known for its commitment to providing homebuyers with superior construction, innovative design, and energy efficient homes.  Part of their mission has been to find and build-on parcels of infill land that have been overlooked.  StoneBridge is one such community.  With a foothills location that offers extreme convenience and beautiful unspoiled desert..       “We are very pleased to offer homebuyers the chance to live in an area where they can enjoy the beauty and quiet of our Tucson desert on large lots with homes that feature the latest technology,” said company CEO, Bill Viner.  “We would like the public to visit StoneBridge and to see some our Signature Collection of Homes.”  The homes range in size from 2622 sq. ft. to over 4000 sq. ft.  Each home features Clare Home Controls technology that gives the owner control of the home features from their smart phone .  There is built-in Wi-Fi and even a wall dock for your new iPad. Pepper Viner’s Signature Colleciton include stylish open flowing floorplans with terrific kitchens and sumptuous master suites.  Buyers have a choice of homes with great rooms or separate living and family rooms.  Every home is filled with the luxurious touches and finished with phenomenal attention to detail. The tour homes are also available through our Custom Build Program.  Pepper Viner’s Custom Build Program gives homebuyers the opportunity to save money on a home that has an approved plan, all necessary permits as well as lower cost to build the home.  The homes can be built on a home site the client already owns or Pepper Viner will help secure a property in the preferred location. Pepper Viner invites you to attend the Foothill Home Tour at StoneBridge.  Take River Rd. east of Craycroft, north on Tanuri, left on Calle Ciudad and right on Wilmot  .  See everything from fabulous decorating ideas to how you can control your home wherever you are.

Tucson, AZ — Chad Williams, Chief Operating Officer at Pepper Viner Homes, has been honored as one of the exceptional 40 Under 40 building executives by Professional Builder Magazine.  The trade magazine focuses on industry news and trends, product innovations, builders and best practices for U.S. home building.  “It is an honor for Chad and for Pepper Viner Homes to be recognized with this accolade,” said Bill Viner, CEO. Williams learned to drive a tractor on his family farm in Georgia before he learned construction in the family homebuilding company.  “I was driving a tractor at 8 years of age, but I learned home building from the ground up from my father,” Williams said.  He meant literally because his first jobs were picking up trash and laying sod on his father’s construction sites. Working during the worst housing market in recent years during the past recession was a challenge, but Williams said, “With the downturn, I was able to wear many hats in various departments.  The experience has made me more knowledgeable and better prepared to handle every aspect of building a client’s home.” “I am proud to work for Pepper Viner Homes and be a part of their remarkable team.  Pepper Viner Homes has been the Southern Arizona Homebuilder of the Year five times.  My goal is make sure our company remains a leader in the field.  We have pioneered affordable green building and established a firm foundation in building science.  I intend to grow with our company,” Williams concluded.

We were pleased to see our Chief Operating Officer, Chad Williams, quoted in the article below. Another year has passed, and it has been an exciting one for everyone at TecHome Builder. First and foremost, we have developed a team of extraordinary people, from wonderful writers—if I do say so myself—to marketing mad scientists to savvy salespeople. And we are growing. In September, we celebrated our first “re-birthday” since relaunching our brand. We have also published more than 300 insightful articles on home technologies for homebuilders. As we look back on 2014, it’s hard not to think of our most favorite stories. Here are a few…

Home builders capped their best three months of the year in November as the pace of new home construction continued to top levels rarely seen since 2008. Builders broke ground on new homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.03 million last month, off 1.6% from October, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. But October’s rate was revised up to 1.05 million from 1.01 million. November marked the third straight month this year that the annual rate topped 1 million. The last time that happened was in the first half of 2008, but housing starts were in freefall then from levels above 2 million two years earlier, according to Census data from Haver Analytics. From 2009 through 2013, the annual rate averaged 692,000 starts a month. Novermber’s annualized pace was close to economists’ median forecast in Action Economics’ survey. It was 7% below the 1.1 million level in November 2013, the highest annual rate in any month since 2008. Economists found Tuesday’s report’s underwhelming. “The housing sector is neither too hot nor too cold. But that doesn’t make it just right. Activity is improving, but in fits and starts — pardon the pun,” said Joel Naroff of Naroff Economic Advisors. Economist David Nice, of Mesirow Financial, called the overall housing market disappointing in the fifth year of an economic recovery. Until wages grow faster than their current annual rate of about 2%, demand for new homes will remain lackluster, he said. For the year to date, housing starts are up 8.2%. Much of that growth has been in multi-family construction, which is 16.5% ahead of last year. Single-family home construction is up 4.4%. In November, single-family home-building fell to an annual rate of 677,000, down 5.4% from October’s revised rate. Permits — a gauge of builders’ construction plans — fell about 5% from October’s revised annual rate, but at 1.04 million, they were close to this year’s average. Housing starts last month rose almost 9% from October’s level in the Northeast, 14% in the Midwest and 28% in the West. They fell nearly 20% in the South — normally the leading region for home builders. The housing starts data is famously volatile, however, and significant revisions in the monthly reports are common. Builders seem generally optimistic about the year ahead. The National Associated of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index slipped a little in December but it is still pointing toward confidence. The index reading in December was 57, down one point from a reading of 58 in November. Readings higher than 50 indicate that home builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor.

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) – Closed schools worry neighbors and saddle Tucson’s largest school district with upkeep and security concerns. But the new plan for Wrightstown Elementary on the east side has some neighbors appealing to the city as it considers a zoning change which would allow the site to be developed for homes. The deal between Pepper Viner Homes and the Tucson Unified School District for the Wrightstown property hinges on a zoning change. The city’s zoning examiner will recommend what the council should approve based on what he heard Thursday night. The developer wants to build 56 homes on 9.25 acres. TUSD has a deal with Pepper Viner to sell Wrightstown for $1.3 million. But that won’t happen if the land is not changed to residential zoning. Previous deals with other developers and the district included higher density luxury rental homes. The neighbors did not want to see something like that with more traffic on the streets. And some still said Thursday that the latest proposal brings too much traffic. They also worried that the handful of two story homes will block their mountain views. But the developer agreed to remove two-story homes from the south side of the development, on Lee Street. Adding an entrance on Wrightstown Road instead of only using residential streets for access is also under consideration. “I wouldn’t mind homes there, but not to intimidate the other neighbors and to bring us traffic problems and take away our views,” said neighborhood resident Kate Ryan, who called Pepper Viner’s agreement to remove two-story homes from Lee Street “a very good start.” “I’m sorry the school got closed because it’s always nice to have a school in the neighborhood. But, I think that … the company, Pepper Viner, is known for good quality homes,” said neighborhood resident Rex Averett, who is also a retired TUSD teacher. The recommendation won’t be known until the end of next week, and it won’t be in front of the council until late next month or early February. By JD Wallace