Boulder Builder Profile: Hughes Construction

Bob Hughes has been in the custom home construction business building Boulder Real Estate for almost a quarter century. Hughes has been building green homes for many years, and his work on so many green building projects, including Bruce Oreck’s Next West House in Boulder, has provided a very high level of inspiration for him.

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The culmination of Hughes’ work on built-green custom homes over the years has been realized in the most recent project, Boulder’s Next West House. Bob had a fortuitous meeting with Bruce Oreck and Boulder Architect, Jim Logan and it turned out that it was a great match.

I’ve given you two different examples of custom green building. In this profile of Hughes Construction, you get a look at Bob and Jan Hughes’ personal residence, and also the Next West house.

Some of what inspires Bob Hughes to keep his level of work at such a high quality is the ongoing enthusiastic support. All of his business comes from referrals from past client and top notch architects. Another indicator of Hughes’ professionalism and dedication to the green building community is his membership in the Boulder Green Building Guild (BGBG).

The Hughes personal residence includes many influences of Bob’s work on client projects, and a rather practical approach to green building. The Next West project is an exercise in just how far you can go green, but with an extraordinary example of how to flow architecturally into the traditional style of an historic neighborhood.

One of the challenges Hughes Construction faced with the next west house was the City of Boulder. Apparently Boulder Landmarks Board, a part of the city’s planning department, hasn’t been too keen on green features. That is, they tend to not like seeing green features such as solar panels. Consequently, when Simple Solar installed the PhotoVoltaic system it was implemented in such a way that most of the panels are not clearly visible.

Hughes worked carefully with Logan and others to overcome many challenging obstacles to build America’s greenest home. It’s the first and only LEED certified platinum, net-zero home.

Some of the important ideas that came through when talking with Hughes about his business include his willingness to give lots of credit to his wife Jan, who basically handles all of the back-end management and organization of the business, Bob’s passion for the business, and his critical attention to both aesthetic and technical details.

Bob’s comments to me about green building were insightful. What I heard him say was that while green building has many meanings for us, depending on whom you ask; there are obvious points we can all take to heart such as sustainability, efficiency, and comfort.

I’d say we have to remember that it’s good for you on many levels. As a consumer and homeowner, green building can save you money, improve your personal comfort, and give you a clear sense of reducing your impact on the environment.

Bob’s comment on green building is that it’s really future thinking. But future thinking doesn’t have to mean Jetson-esque architecture. Future thinking really means ecology, economy, and location. That certainly proves true with Bob’s projects. In fact, Bob recently quit driving a huge truck around since he’s mostly carting nothing larger than sets of blueprints, and now he drives a Honda Fit.

If you think you might have a major remodeling idea, or are ready to talk to an outstanding custom builder that has more hands on experience than perhaps any other in the industry, call or email me now, so that I can put you in touch with Hughes today.

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-Zachary Epps, full-time professional Realtor® and EcoBroker® RE/MAX Alliance Boulder

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