Simply put, Bill Viner likes building homes.

And, creating an identity for his developments in a market dominated by national homebuilders, the CEO of Pepper Viner Homes says he has to be “nimble and flexible.”

“We try to stay out in front of what is new and best in homebuilding,” said Viner, who founded the company in 1985 with Phillip Pepper. “For example, Pepper Viner has been at the leading edge of high-performance, green homebuilding and Smart Home technology.”

Features such as digital-device control of a home’s temperature, lighting or security, built-in WiFi and USB connections along with electrical outlets are featured in Pepper Viner’s communities from startup to luxury.

Its first community was the subdivision Mesquite Ridge, south of Broadway and east of Pantano Road.

There are currently six active Pepper Viner communities in the Tucson area, two with model homes under construction.

Also, the company is under contract to buy the former Van Horne School on the east side near Udall Park for a new-home development to come online in 2017.

Another former school site on the city’s east side, Wrightstown Elementary, will become The School Yard, a 56-home community.

“The homebuilding market is very competitive, and to some extent, every homebuilder affects their competition,” Viner said. “We are currently looking for sites where we can create our own identity and community environment.”

Headquartered at 5633 E. Grant Road, Pepper Viner recently received its sixth recognition as Southern Arizona Homebuilder of the Year. The company has 25 employees. Viner declined to disclose the company’s annual revenue.

“Bill is a great example of what’s right in our community,” said David Godlewski, president of the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association. “He’s a successful businessman who cares deeply about Tucson’s future and is willing to roll up his sleeves and get to work.

“Pepper Viner is a company rooted in Tucson that’s focused on building homes that will lend to the character and quality of our community.”

As all homebuilders struggle to attract buyers who might be eyeing resale, Viner said he continues to research energy efficiencies that will save money.

“Pepper Viner received an Energy Smart Home Scale award from the U.S. Department of Energy, a milestone reached by only one-half of one percent of all builders nationally,” he said. “We partnered with BASF (the world’s largest chemical company) to build a near-zero energy home that was 81 percent more energy efficient than a standard home.”

Viner called the home a “living laboratory” where they tested construction applications, measured energy consumption, and reduced environmental impact.

The company also has a custom home division and offers “signature collections” of homes that can be built on someone’s home site.

“We like building homes; it is the biggest purchase that most people will make in their lives and we like being part of it,” Viner said. “We like to think we build every home as if it was our own.”

By: Gabriela Rico

Arizona Daily Star