After Super Typhoon Yutu hit Saipan and Tinian in October last year, N15 Architects extended its expertise to build residential homes that will answer two needs of the islands—affordability and resistance to super typhoons.
Almost a year later, they have completed their first Core Home in As Perdidio and presented it to the public yesterday.
It is a called Core Home because it is a pre-cast modular concrete system that N-15 designed to reduce cost and construction time by getting components off-island and building them on-site, according to senior project manager Fred Camacho.
“We call it Core Homes because when people come and talk to us they have a grand idea of what they want but realistically, their budget does not allow for that dream home yet… so we try to educate them and start with the basic house,” he said.
Camacho said a Core Home answers budget restraints and could be the answer to the islands’ labor shortage.
“Core Home is easily expandable whether you choose to use our system or use traditional construction, it will still work. So, start with the Core Home and then expand…the construction of the first Core Home took four months and 10 people to build and since the system is now in place, future projects will be constructed in less time” he added.
Core Home is the first pre- fabricated, pre-cast homes from top to bottom that is fully concrete.
“Everything from the exterior to the interior is fully concrete so from top to bottom, the house is solid…the house is fully insulated as the structure walls have insulation in them and after we put the roof panels in, a secondary insulation is installed and concrete is put on top of that,” he said.
“… we pitched the roof in a way that here is a provision for rain catchment in the future and electricals were also set up in the event that you want to set up solar panels,” he added.
Aside for being 100% concrete and home-efficient, Core Homes engineering meet and exceed all the current codes and certified for 225 mph winds so owners can get financing and insurance. The first Core Home is owned by Anthony S. Manahane and his wife.
“Our house was destroyed by Yutu last year and we lived in a tent for a several months… I was given aid from Federal Emergency Management Agency but it wasn’t enough so I applied with Small Business Administration and got approved,” he said.
“We went to Chris [Fryling] of N15, and they gave me an offer that cannot be beaten by other contractors. I was also soliciting for other quotations but Core Home is right for our budget and needs. As I look at our new home, it is a great structure and my family and I cannot wait to move in,” he added.
N15 offers four Core Home models ranging from 609 square feet with two bedrooms and one bath for approximately $85,000 depending on-site work to 1,550 square feet with three bedroom, two baths, with a carport which costs around $198,000 depending on-site work.
“It’s a little bit of something for everybody and typhoon shutters comes as part of the package,” Camacho said.
“Anybody can own a Core Home whether your former home was destroyed by a typhoon or just for the simple reason that you are building your own house as long as you have a land that you legally own, we can build your Core Home there,” he added.
Rep. Edwin K. Prost (Ind-Saipan), who was present at the ribbon-cutting, said Core Home is an answer to people’s dreams of owning their own house. “There has been a lot of discussions in the Legislature of building homes that would survive super typhoons so when Fred Camacho of N15 described the home and to actually see it built and standing now, it’s a beautiful house and families will not worry about a future typhoon,” he said.
“…when you have the ability to access Federal Emergency Management Agency or SBA loans that is affordable with very low interest, you can now pay for a house that you really own and not rent out which sometimes costs more. We are excited to see more homeowners to take advantage of this,” he added.
N15 Architects has been in the construction business for 22 years and is known for building commercial structures. It currently has several homes that are now under construction on Saipan, Tinian, and Guam. For more information, call (670) 233-5115 or visit them at Suite 700, 7th floor Marianas Business Plaza with P.O. Box 5339, Saipan 96950