There were several differences from our October 2007 visit to Loreto Bay and June 2008. Walking around the site there was a distinct feeling of better organization, faster progress and, yes, even cleanliness. Perhaps it’s all relative. Is this a result of Replay Resorts? Beck? Most definitely I suspect.
1. Staging Area For Building Materials
An obvious example is the way building materials are staged. Close to our AV25 lot and near the Paseo, an area has been designated to stage various materials and components used in the casa construction. Now workers can easily locate the right item, and quickly get it into position. I’m guessing it vastly improves inventory control, as you can easily do visual counts. There might have been these types of staging areas before, but I don’t recall seeing them.
In addition, as many others have pointed out, there are several cranes (proudly flying La Bandera Mexicana), lots of heavy multi-purpose vehicles, and now the whole site is surrounded by a significant fence (and dogs as we discovered one evening).
2. Perform Wall vs. Adobe Brick
This is always a spirited topic of discussion. In 2007, LBC made the decision to switch from the much-loved, but tricky adobe bricks to the light-weight Perform Wall panel system (click here for more information). Initially we were somewhat surprised. After all, one of the distinguishing features of our Nueva Chica would be the unique adobe brick construction. It offered excellent breathing characteristics: cool in summer, and warm in winter.
However, producing enough of these bricks proved to be challenging, and maintaining consistency of the compounds (sand, clay, water, fiber/minerals) was also difficult. Moreover, workers had to contend with the weight of the bricks and the lack of flexibility for doing things such as conduit inserts and piping runs.
Perform Wall, on the other hand, is the rice krispy of building blocks. They are light, can be easily cut to size, and running conduit and piping is much easier. And because you don’t need nearly the same amount of mortar as adobe, I’m guessing cost is reduced. So, less cost, faster construction; it’s evident why the switch was made.
And in the end, you won’t be able to tell the difference anyways.
3. Parking Lot for Workers
It seems like the future botanical garden is, for now, a parking lot. On our last visit to Loreto Bay, the streets were crowded with parked cars. Now workers are parking in this makeshift lot. It reduces clutter on the streets.
4. Classy Estuaries With Lots of Stonework
There is significant buzz about the estuaries. “Have you seen them? They are stunning!” is heard all too frequently when talking to fellow homeowners. I agree. This is a pleasant surprise.
When Loni and I purchased in 2006, we hoped the esutaries and canals would turn out well. We weren’t sure exactly how big they’d be or how they would look, aside from artist renderings. It turns out that they are far better than we imagined, at least so far. They are wide, with a nice proportion of wall to water surface. The stone veneer detailing looks high end. The vision of kayaks, mangrove, and villas overlooking the waterways is starting to feel a little more real.
5. Utility Surround At Tower Level With Solar Panel
Another pleasant surprise is the included solar panel above the water heater. Thanks to Loni’s focus on green back here in San Jose, we took the plunge earlier this year and installed 10 panels on our home. It’s something we recommend everyone consider. The result is non-intrusive and will pay for itself in saved utility costs rather quickly – not to mention the reduction in carbon!
With so many days of hot Baja sun, and as part of the original Loreto Bay theme of sustainability, it makes perfect sense to use a panel or any other energy-saving idea wherever possible. It will be interesting to see how much this panel will generate.
I also like the utility surround. Previously many of the air conditioner and utility components were visible at the tower and terrace levels. This surround will help hide them more effectively.
Bonus: Carving Initials Is Fun in Loreto Too!
This was found on a column in our AV25… any one know what it means?