An Indian company builds multimillion-dollar turf-roofed homes in Frisco

Fresco – The first time Ravi Vangani and his wife Harshika visited the model home of their new community, they were persuaded by one thing – they were taken by surprise.

Ravi, 37, is vice president of product management at JPMorgan Chase in Plano, and Harshika is a developer for Uber Freight in Frisco. The couple currently lives in Carrollton and will soon be moving to a project like no other in North Texas.

Vanjanis is building a 4,000-square-foot home for approximately $1.5 million in the 56-acre Tapestry community by Indian company Total Environment Homes along Little Bluestem Lane in East Frisco.

Ravi and Harshika Vangani pose in front of their future home in the Tapestry neighborhood of Frisco, Texas on Friday, August 18, 2023. (Lawrence Jenkins / Special Contributor)

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The community will feature 121 homes with funky turf roofs designed to replace the green spaces that existed before the homes were built.

The builder has poured eco-friendly features into its floor plans. Almost every room—on both levels—enters into an outdoor space, Ravi noted.

“You know what you’re getting into when you look at a house; a room here and a room there,” Vangani said. “You don’t find things that surprise you in homes anymore, so this house was very different in that regard.”

From India to Frisco

Total Environment Homes founder Kamal Sagar in one of his model homes in the Tapestry neighborhood of Frisco, Texas on Friday, August 18, 2023. (Lawrence Jenkins / Special Contributor)

The Society is the work of Kamal Sagar, an architect who lives in Bangalore, India, but travels frequently to the United States.

In 1996, when he was running an architectural practice, Sagar tried to buy a house for himself, but found that builders focused more on marketing and fads than on designing with homebuyers in mind.

Wanting to do something more purposeful and thoughtful, he created Total Environment, which has since built single-family homes and apartment towers in India.

At Frisco, Sagar brings his business to the United States for the first time.

“We felt that the product we had could work in other parts of the world as well, and we wanted to check it out and prove it ourselves,” he said.

“The reason it works on the other side of the planet, for a completely different lifestyle in different climates and in every way, is because it’s authentically designed to meet the needs of the family.”

The barrel roof is a distinctive feature of Total Environment homes in the Tapestry neighborhood of Frisco, Texas on Friday, August 18, 2023. (Lawrence Jenkins / Special Contributor)

In 2016, Sagar was looking to build in the US and found a plot of land in San Francisco, but realized that getting homes approved would be a complex process and that costs would be high.

Sagar said he met a client in Bangalore who recommended against building in California and building instead in Frisco, citing its rapid growth and relocation.

A real estate agent found the property along Roulette Creek that has 900 trees, an ideal location for green builders.

“I came here, saw him and really fell in love with him,” said Sagar.

Notched windows are another unique feature of the Tapestry Homes Total Environment neighborhood in Frisco, Texas on Friday, August 18, 2023. (Lawrence Jenkins / Special Contributor)

Sagar said he bought it for a reason no one else does, which is that water and trees made parts of the property undeveloped. For Sagar, who aimed to connect people with nature, those elements were ideal.

“This property is really beautiful,” said Sagar. “These bodies of water attract a lot of wildlife. There is actually a group of birds that migrate I think from Canada, stop here at this place, and then continue from here.

The City of Frisco approved the project in 2018. The project began sales in January 2021, but supply chain issues related to the pandemic halted construction for about six months.

Total Environment homes will be built in the Tapestry neighborhood of Frisco, Texas, on Friday, August 18, 2023. (Lawrence Jenkins / Special Contributor)

The company has sold three homes to clients and is building five additional homes that will be available for sale. The company has yet to launch a major marketing campaign.

“Back in India, we are a very strong brand,” Sagar said, with “amazing” sales. “We’ll do that here too, very soon.”

normal focus

Total Environment homes in the Tapestry neighborhood of Frisco, Texas on Friday, August 18, 2023. (Lawrence Jenkins / Special Contributor)

When driving past the homes in the Tapestry, the first thing that stands out is the turfed rooftops.

Sagar says they have many environmental privileges. The roof’s thermal mass keeps the house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, and reduces rainwater runoff.

In addition to the greenery on the roof, the homes have turfed courtyards on both floors that connect to most rooms that people can walk on.

“It gives you a very positive feeling and we hope it inspires you,” said Sagar.

The terrace is a unique feature of Total Environment homes in the Tapestry neighborhood of Frisco, Texas on Friday, August 18, 2023. (Lawrence Jenkins / Special Contributor)

The homes also have six geothermal wells underneath that go about 300 feet underground, and the water is at a constant temperature, heating and cooling, according to Sagar.

“When there was this massive freeze two years ago in January and everything was in bad shape, this place was really nice and warm and warm inside,” he said.

automaker approach

Sagar aims to emulate the process and reliability of automobile manufacturing rather than the techniques typical of large-scale homebuilders.

“You can get in the car and drive for miles, maybe thunderstorms and lightning and hailstones and whatever, and you never have to worry about water getting into the car,” he said. “But homes all over the world have leaks, clogged sinks, plumbing or electrical problems.”

Total Environment homes in the Tapestry neighborhood of Frisco, Texas on Friday, August 18, 2023. (Lawrence Jenkins / Special Contributor)

With the aim of obtaining better quality, Sagar decided to handle various elements of the houses within the house. The company produces some materials such as doors and windows by itself and offers its own furniture as an option for buyers.

Like the automaker, Total Environment adopted the static product approach in 2008, with branded products that iterate on.

The Frisco community will offer three models: the V30 with an area of ​​3,233 square feet, the V40 with an area of ​​4,394 square feet, and the V50 with an area of ​​5,472 square feet.

Total Environment homes in the Tapestry neighborhood of Frisco, Texas on Friday, August 18, 2023. (Lawrence Jenkins / Special Contributor)

Starting prices for models range from $1.3 million to $1.9 million before customization. Three and four bedroom floor plans are standard, but a fifth bedroom can be added.

“It’s a home product that evolves over time, so you can use v1, v2, v3, and v4,” Sagar said. “That’s what happened in the auto industry. Every model keeps getting better, and you keep learning from the previous model and making it better and better.

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