Case Studies Region: Southwest

Steve Smith – Chesmar Homes

When one’s own house is in order, it simplifies the task of building others. That’s Steve Smith’s message as he takes a break from remotely overseeing construction for Houston-headquartered Chesmar Homes to chat with Blueprint this past August. At any given time, he’s got a couple hundred houses under construction. Greater Houston remains the hottest […]

Damian Viltz – Fort Bend Independent School District

Damian Viltz’s first week of the 2017-18 school year at Fort Bend Independent School District began with a career-defining challenge—and an ominous omen. On the Monday before school opened, FBISD’s new executive director of facilities and operations witnessed a full solar eclipse—an eerie sight, he recalls. The next day, students started the school year as […]

Norma Maldonado – Stout

Not much fanfare was expected this past July when Stout, a global investment bank and advisory firm, relocated workers from its Cleveland office. The employees had been working remotely for well over a year and, for many, that seemed the new business as usual. The company also provided a hybrid office-home work arrangement. Nevertheless, when […]

Brian Heath – Salt River Project

Standing outside in the searing Arizona sun, Brian Heath takes a break to wipe the sweat beading on his brow. It’s hot outside and he’s concerned. He’s just gotten word that the old clay pipeline at the Southside Water Service Center location collapsed and requires immediate repair. At Salt River Project in Tempe—one of the […]

Ron Reed – Western New Mexico University

For Ronald Reed, switching from a career in baking to one in construction was easier than he thought. If you’re used to reading a recipe, you can easily understand construction guidelines, he explains—just replace one-third of a cup for one-third of a building. After 13 years of running The Dessert Company, a bakery and lunch […]

Paul Buckner – Bryan ISD

Paul Buckner isn’t a student, but he’s gone back to school. As the director of construction and energy management at Bryan Independent School District, Buckner is doing what he loves—reducing energy use and costs. He’s also discovering what goes into constructing school buildings, which is new for him. In learning more about construction, Buckner has […]

Ben Butler – Greystar

It’s the Wild West indeed when it comes to rental housing. So many incomers from all demographics, and while there’s not necessarily a shortage of apartment complexes and villages in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico, there is—in Ben Butler’s colorful words—an amenity war raging. The landlord who can provide the most comforts and conveniences will […]

Pathway Vet Alliance

Roger Davila doesn’t perform veterinary services, but he helps put pet owners at ease while their animal is being treated. As the director of real estate and construction for Pathway Vet Alliance, he keeps both human and animal comfort in mind as he works. He knows people don’t want to bring their sick or injured […]

Jacob Linhart – Carondelet Health Network

There are many ways to prepare for the unexpected, and Jacob Linhart has made them part of his job as market director of facilities operations and construction for the Carondelet Health Network. Linhart won’t claim he foresaw the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020. However, his background in construction, heating, ventilation and air […]

Troy Donaldson – Contech Control Services

The climate in Houston can be unforgiving to people and machinery. Long hot summers are humid enough to steam eyeglasses when someone steps outside from an air-conditioned building, and the area has been lashed by hurricanes and tropical storms, including Hurricane Harvey in 2017.  Then, a climate rarity occurred in February: a winter storm that brought snow and record low temperatures to Texas and the Gulf Coast, shutting down energy grids and the petrochemical industry.   Troy Donaldson, director […]

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