After a year of apartment living, Monica Hunt is reveling in the quiet space she has found in the duplex she recently moved into in central Longview.
She moved to Longview with her job at Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center about a year ago and found living in an apartment to be a noisy experience. Then she heard about Coral.
This is the name Arun Srinivasan gave to a construction method he brings to Longview for residential construction, using concrete blocks. He started with two duplexes he built in the center of Longview. Hunt was excited when she saw them.
“I never hear (my neighbors),” she said, winking at the 8-inch concrete block walls that eliminate noise and also help insulate the home. She said she had trouble getting the duplex to a comfortable temperature at first, but she was trying too hard to adjust the thermostat.
“Leave it on 70 and you’re good,” she recalled Srinivasan telling her. She thought he was right.
Both the exterior and interior are sleek and modern, with an open kitchen with stainless steel appliances and polished concrete floors.
Srinivasan, owner of Arman Solutions and Akron Consulting, is a civil engineer by profession. He also designed businesses and homes. He and his family have been at Longview for 14 years.
“For me, it’s always a moment of anxiety every time the tornado siren goes off,” he said, expressing concern about the ability of some traditional building methods to withstand damaging winds. of a tornado. “As an engineer, to do nothing about it – I kind of feel like we’re not doing the right thing for the community.”
Concrete blocks can withstand stronger winds than typical construction, he said, although they are not 100% tornado proof.
“Mother Nature is stronger than me,” he said. “At least it’s a first step towards something.”
Coral is one of his “favorite projects” that he says he’s been trying to conceptualize for some time. In addition to the two duplexes, he is building a 26-home development, called Alpine Gardens, using the same style of concrete block construction. Infrastructure has been installed and house building begins in the development of the Alpine and Tryon roads.
He also describes this style of construction as “durable”, low maintenance and energy efficient. Mold, mildew and termites are not a problem in these types of homes, he said.
This type of construction is not new, he says. Big box stores such as Walmart and Sam’s have long used this method of construction, and some of the commercial projects he has designed in this area have also been, including the Scotties 2.0 Gas Station and Convenience Store and Sunset Farms and the meat processing plant north of Longview. .
He left India for the United States 21 years ago to attend university. Block houses are common in India, he said.
“But what we lack is what we have in product development in this country,” he said, pointing to waterproofing, insulation and central heating and air developments that are available here. “I feel like it’s a good mix of both worlds.”
Alpine Gardens homes are up to 1,500 square feet – 1,800 square feet when garages are included. Six floor plans are available. Srinivasan said the houses are “affordable”, with prices starting at $250,000.
“Our ultimate challenge would be how people perceive these homes and how they accept them as part of their way of life,” he said. “That’s going to be the big challenge that we’re trying to overcome.”
For more information, visit liveincoral.com.