Perch – Construction Costs Continue To Vex Residential Plans

April 26, 2018

OAKLAND, CA—Despite challenges within an already challenging residential building industry, designers work closely with planners, city officials and builders to create communities that fill the needs of prospective buyers. That process pays off when a project is successfully completed and even better, when awards are to follow.

The Oakland office of KTGY Architecture + Planning was honored at the 2018 Building Industry Association Bay Area Excellence in Home Building Awards program held last week. KTGY took home top awards in four award categories, including community of the year for both detached and attached residential communities plus eight finalist honors.

“Many of these residential communities reflect years of careful planning and working closely with the respective cities, stakeholders and surrounding neighbors to create a design and density that cohesively fits the context of the neighborhood, typically on a smaller site than in previous years,” Jill Williams, chairman of the board of directors and managing principal at KTGY Architecture + Planning, tells “The focus today is creating the highest and best use for each site. Construction costs, land costs and fees are adding challenges to an already challenging situation.”

Perch, located in Dublin, CA, was awarded community of the year/attached design, and best architectural design of an attached home less than 2,000 square feet. The builder was Trumark Homes.

These homes are the first to offer rooftop decks in Dublin and were the inspiration for the community name. Perch is within a mixed-use walkable district/urban village that is part of the regeneration of Dublin’s historic downtown core. The development represents the first for-sale multifamily homes in an area primarily offering rental housing options, close proximity to two major retail centers and access to the West Dublin/Pleasanton BART station.

“Perch is an in-fill site in the blossoming downtown Dublin area, the first for-sale offering. The challenge was to design a compelling three-story townhome, where land is at a premium, so we moved the open space to the roof and broke the mold on the typical historical styles found in town,” Williams tells

Glass Bay in Newark, CA was awarded community of the year/detached design. Created for tech professionals and first-time homeowners, Glass Bay offers a collection of detached two- and three-story single-family homes ranging in size from 1,829 to 2,553 square feet. All plans feature 10-foot high ceilings on the main living level.

“Another in-fill solution, Glass Bay in Newark, also by Trumark Homes, offers a collection of contemporary detached homes on small lots designed by KTGY and WHA,” Williams tells “The homes located near the Dumbarton Bridge provide convenient access to Facebook and other employers across the Bay, establish a sense of place and emphasize connections to the outdoors and nature.”

Waterstone residence 3 in Milpitas, CA was awarded best architectural design of a detached home of less than 2,500 square feet. The builder was Lennar Homes. Waterstone is situated near Interstate 880 and provides commute access to the South and East Bay. There are many green technology features including solar and tankless water heaters, programmable thermostats, and energy-efficient windows. The three-story single-family detached homes have a built-in home management area off the great room with a powder room on one side and a laundry room on the other side. The nearby Great Mall offers shopping, restaurants and theaters.

Williams says the community designs are moving quickly to stay responsive to the needs of homebuyers. “Where we were talking about multi-gen/boomerang kids, the conversation is developing into universal design/aging in place,” Williams tells “Where we have been talking about the indoor/outdoor experience, the conversation has developed into the balance of lot size to walkable neighborhoods with trails and dog parks. It is an exciting time to be an architect as we look to create better living environments in a supply-constrained market.”