President of Desert Star Construction
Jerry Meek is the President of Desert Star Construction (DSC). He has elevated DSC to become one of the most distinguished and well respected custom luxury construction companies in the southwest.
OPTIONS: How does Desert Star Construction (DSC) stay current with trending home design?
Jerry Meek: Our entire team takes a proactive approach to building, which means we are always thinking ahead to determine what our clients want and what current design trends demand of our skills and workmanship. We continue to refine our expertise by partnering with the industry’s most talented and in-demand architects, interior designers, landscape architects, tradespeople, and suppliers. Together as a team, we enrich each other’s knowledge and delivery of today’s design trends by collaborating on some of Arizona’s most exclusive and cutting edge custom residential projects.
OPTIONS: For 2015, what is your take on the custom homebuilding industry, and how will it change?
Jerry Meek: We have been seeing new trends in the market since the economic downturn. Clients are becoming more prudent in the decision making process and what they are choosing to bring into their homes in terms of construction and design. We have noticed our clients are taking a more balanced and disciplined approach to the decision-making process. This encompasses everything from selecting their design team and builder, to what type of products they want in their homes.
Homes being built today are more contemporary in architectural style and they are not as large as they were in recent years. Through intelligent design and creativity, residential projects are more effective than ever in meeting client’s needs without being extravagant in their layout and presentation. What really matters is no longer size for the sake of being big—homes are designed and built for what matters most to the customer.
Our clients are more aware of evaluating operating costs and have turned to sustainable techniques and technology to optimize their homes. Ten years ago, sustainability was rarely seen in the custom or luxury market. Today DSC has completed over 200,000 sq. ft. of LEED Certified homes across 17 buildings and 25 percent of these projects are Net Zero Energy homes (producing as much energy as they are using). Currently, our homes are built on average 58 percent more efficient without any solar or other offsetting technology.
OPTIONS: How is home automation changing the way you build homes?
Jerry Meek: Home automation started to really have a high impact on residential construction in 2000 when everyone became aware of the technology Bill Gates was implementing into his home. The original “smart homes” had many miles of cabling, so we tried to “future proof” our homes with providing extra conduits, cabling, and fiber optics. It is actually easier to automate homes in 2015 due to improvements with systems designed by Control 4 at the lower end and Lutron and Crestron near the top. The beauty of these systems is that Savant has finally entered the market, making technology more user-friendly and robust. According to MarketsandMarkets.com, “the value of home automation and controls market is projected to grow to $48.0B by 2018 from $19.1B in 2012.”
Automation technology goes beyond lighting into environmental controls, audio, video, security, and beyond. Thanks to Steve Jobs, our society has embraced smart phones and all of the apps that have followed. The expectation now is that the customer should have the options available to control anything in their house via their phones. When traveling it is comforting to be able to check the cameras at your home or change the temperature before you arrive. Did we mention that the bathtub can be full or you can turn on the Jacuzzi so it’s ready when you arrive? Technology today has most definitely left its fingerprints permanently embedded into the fabric of our lives.
OPTIONS: While I’m sure you are proud of all your projects, what is one that stands out the most to you?
Jerry Meek: In 2012, Desert Star Construction led an incredible philanthropic project called “The Dream Rooms.” Together with 10 design firms, 34 DSC Trade Partners, 300 contributing companies, and more than 1,000 volunteers, we transformed ten uninhabitable hotel rooms at the Phoenix Dream Center into safe havens for victims of human trafficking. Our company understands the importance of building a solid life foundation for those in need. We continue this commitment to give back to our community through our time, talents, and resources. Our legacy is built not only on what we achieve, but on what we can do with what we’ve been given.