La Mesilla Construction – New Mexico

September 13, 2018

Young Case Study

Building a Case

Picture a triangle with the top point labeled “good,” the bottom left labeled “fast,” and the bottom right labeled “inexpensive.” That’s the construction paradigm John Young, LEED AP, owner of La Mesilla Construction in New Mexico, struggled to reconcile. To achieve one goal, he had to sacrifice the other two—until he found Thermocore Structural Insulated Panels.

Paradigm Buster

“For every project, you try to find the right price point and work with the time constraints to achieve the best product possible,” John said. “You juggle that paradigm. But Thermocore is the paradigm buster. It’s all three—good, fast, and inexpensive.”

Since he constructed his own energy-efficient home 26 years ago, John looked for ways to keep building better. “I can build a 2 x 6 wall and it’ll be cheaper than buying Thermocore SIPs, but at best I’ll get an R-value of 11,” John said. “That’s not comparing apples to apples. It’s a lot more expensive when you look at life cycle costs and how much you’re going to spend to condition that space.”

After three years of using Thermocore SIPs in six residential and commercial projects, John concluded, “If you try to get anywhere close to the R-value of Thermocore’s insulated wall systems, you can’t build it cheaper.”

Extra Touches

Not that John didn’t try. “There’s something to be said for having a local supplier, but Thermocore SIPs remain competitive on costs,” he said. “I’ve gotten pricing from others, but I need service, too. Pat, Kelly, and Brad [from Thermocore] call back, they’re quick, and they’re responsive. I get amazing turnaround time.”

Part of what distinguishes Thermocore Structural Insulated Panels is the extra touches, John said. “Suppliers in this area aren’t even close to being competitive. On the electrical side, they charge for every foot of conduit and every receptacle box; with Thermocore SIPs, all the electrical is included. You just tell them what you want.”

John finds the same flexibility on the structural side. “If you want to install a ceiling fan, just let Thermocore know and they put a board above that junction box so you’re not screwing the fan into the OSB or trying to attach it to the box. If you need any structural requirements in the SIPs walls, Thermocore puts them in.”

Giant Legos with Clearspan

Another advantage for John lies in the size of Thermocore SIPs. “Without any special engineering, I get a 12-foot clearspan for roof panels. That can eliminate a whole lot of structure to give more open spaces. We stand up a big portion of the building with each wall panel. By using less labor and less wood with the wall and roof panels, I save a lot of money.”

Thermocore’s Structural Insulated Panels also conserve time. “All the structure I need to put in exterior walls is already there,” John explained. “I have a pre-manufactured beam pocket. All I need to do is lower the beam. It’s amazingly modular, just like giant Legos. It goes together so fast.”

The end result John gains from building with Thermocore SIPs: “It’s amazingly, extremely tight, and ultimately energy-efficient.”