El Moore Insights – Tom Prister

When it comes to a project like the El Moore, with its myriad, interconnected details that all require special attention, it’s an understatement to say that it is imperative to have good leadership and oversight. The success of the project, of course, depends on a successful team effort, and at the helm of the El Moore construction team is Tom Prister with the Monahan Company. Tom has enjoyed a career with Monahan for over 25 years, managing a diverse array of project assignments including schools, hospitals, commercial spaces, and apartment buildings. Tom’s role is the on-site project manager. He’s responsible for scheduling,, overseeing the installations of all materials, and coordinating all the trades,– all of this working together to make sure that the project finishes on time and on budget with the highest of quality. Simply put, Tom’s goal is to have a successful project and a satisfied client. tom_prister_1_smaller (2)

1. What do you appreciate most about the El Moore project?

I enjoy the challenge of it – the harder the project, the more enthusiastic I am about it. I would have to say I appreciate the job as a whole. All its green technology aspects –solar, geothermal, and the thermal envelope — coupled with the age of the historic building and its preexisting conditions presented some unique challenges, particularly opening up the roof to erect cabins while maintaining a tight thermal envelope. Not everybody has the patience and tenacity to finish a project of this type.

  1. Any favorite features?

It is hard to narrow it down to one feature. I really enjoy the façade of the building, the rooftop cabins, and the greenhouse. I can say I really appreciate the history on the front of building, the architecture and the beautiful masonry. Having once owned a masonry building, I can appreciate all the intricate details reflected in the stone.

  1. How would you hope this project would influence the community and property development at large?

With the data being shared with the community I would hope that developers would be more receptive to the idea that energy efficiency can be implemented in any building in a way that exceeds current energy standards. I would caution developers to look beyond the short term return on investment. We can’t stick our heads in the sand regarding energy. I think the industry is getting wiser about this – 25yrs ago things were simply built for short term bottom line, but the cost of energy is more expensive today – it requires a longer term view.

  1. Any advice you would offer to others who would like to take on such work around sustainable living?

I would say do a thorough analysis on the front end of the project – sometimes people don’t realize the extent of the cost and the necessary reserves to fund such a project. I can say that this team went in with their eyes wide open.  Additionally, I would advise against selecting contractors based solely on their bid – you have to consider the experience and expertise they bring to the table. You do not want to get into a project of this magnitude and then struggle with subcontractors to deliver quality results in a timely manner.

  1. Thoughts regarding the community design process?

I have been involved with other groups who are committed to community but I would say that I have never worked with a group that is more passionate about their community than the El Moore team.  Relationship with the community is an intricate part of what is being done here.

My insights:

  1. There is no substitute for experience
  2. Do the work of due diligence
  3. Challenge can be invigorating so rise to it!
  4. Excellence is really the only standard
  5. Keep focused on the overall goal – no matter how many moving parts.

Those are my two cents. Feel free to share yours.  🙂   Kimberly