When you have to build a house, break it into pieces, and re-build it in a matter of days, it helps to have a professional on board with some perspective. Enter Mautaz (Taz) Ezzat, President of Maryland Custom Builders. Taz has been a key mentor and close friend to the WaterShed team since Day One.
Taz, who pitched in during the 2007 competition and who has a mountain of expertise in building and moving modular homes, provided the team guidance in the design, making sure it could be transported in a cost-efficient manner to the National Mall for competition. A builder and developer for over 25 years, Taz’s company was also the first to lay hands on WaterShed, performing the framing at their retail custom modular factory, ProBuilt Homes, this past winter. Below Taz talks about how the future of home building can be found at the Solar Decathlon.
What has been your favorite aspect of working on WaterShed?
TE: The students! Watching their faces see this project come to fruition has absolutely been fantastic.
What do you hope the students take away from working with you on WaterShed?
TE: I hope all of the students have learned they can accomplish anything they put their minds to do. Simply put, if there’s a will, there’s a way! Study the project, then all available options, and tackle the task at hand with eternal optimism all the while ignoring all pessimism. The results will astound them!
What have you learned from working with the students this year?
TE: I’ve learned to let my phone go to voice mail when Amy’s number appears (just kidding!). However, the students have taught me a few things:
- You can never have enough bottle jacks.
- Designing and building smaller, more efficient, sustainable homes is the way of the future.
How important are competitions like the Solar Decathlon in respect to the future of architecture, building technology, and construction?
TE: This competition is vital to the program as well as the industry. The various schools that compete all bring different ideas and ways they’ve implemented them to the Mall for all to see and compare. These ideas and exhibits reopen our eyes to what’s currently available for the industry to integrate in new homes. Many times we don’t have the time to readily research what’s new on the market or what makes sense to pursue further. The students, in conjunction with our instantaneous information system on the internet, bring these ideas together, not just in magazines or on-line, but in actual form for all to see, feel, and touch. Quite frankly, this competition is priceless!
What do you hope people will take away from WaterShed when they visit it on the Mall in September?
TE: It is my hope visitors from all parts of the US and abroad see their home, new or older, can have some, if not all, of the energy-saving and sustainable features these homes offer. More importantly, this current generation of students brings much needed bright ideas to the industry of architects and building segment as they never tire from researching and asking themselves, “What if……..?”