Housing developments are reaching new heights, yet not exactly in the literal sense. Driven by creativity, ingenuity and a passion for nature, Optima, Inc. is pushing the limits of innovation in the architectural design industry with their one-of-a-kind environmental living spaces.
Founded by the company’s original CEO, David Hovey Sr., and his wife Eileen Hovey in 1978, what began as a collegiate business model quickly morphed into a continually evolving company that has now constructed 45 developments across its Illinois and Arizona markets.
“We aim to bring a visionary and enduring approach to each one of our communities and design each development to be customized to its location,” says Hovey Jr., COO, President and Principal architect of Optima, Inc. “With our design-driven lens, we believe that beautiful and innovative spaces create a sophisticated living experience.”
During his time at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Hovey Jr. envisioned a modular housing system that connected the natural environment with a man-made environment. Under the guidance of his mentor and professor Arthur Takeuchi, the two perfected an architectural design that integrates sustainable living with biophilia.
Expanding into the Arizona market in 2000 created bountiful opportunities for the future of Optima, Inc. Explosive job growth, warm weather, population density and striking natural surroundings enticed David and Eileen Hovey to make their move into the Sonoran Desert, where their transformative buildings would thrive.
To most, the desert climate may seem like a bigger challenge, yet that’s precisely what Optima, Inc. is seeking. With a collaborative, communicative and visionary team, the company aims to take risks and encourage fresh, new ideas that advance modern living.
“As part of a common purpose, our team recognizes the power of sharing knowledge across our team and gives us all the satisfaction of achieving success together,” Hovey Jr. says.
Equipped with a reliable and resilient team of experienced individuals, Optima, Inc. is on an upward climb that seems unstoppable. Within the Arizona market alone, the company has erected property sites across Phoenix, Biltmore, Old Town Scottsdale, Kierland, North Scottsdale, Mesa and Tempe, including the most recent luxury green-building design, 7180 Optima Kierland.
Located in the Kierland neighborhood of North Scottsdale, the Optima Kierland vertically stacked condominiums feature more than six acres of open civic courtyards, a sky deck, athletic amenities and four penthouses composed of floor-to-ceiling glass windows that provide a breathtaking view of the McDowell Mountains.
Paired with beautiful surroundings and ecological integration, each development is not only pleasing to the eyes, but beneficial to the environment. “Our buildings are energy-efficient as a result of the high-performance glazing, overhangs, building configurations, plant material, and exterior shading louvers and screens, which are expected to result in a zero-energy performance index of 49.8,” Hovey Jr. says. “We expect to use 10.4% less energy than a code-compliant building based on ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010.”
In addition to the use of sustainable and energy-efficient resources and materials, each property offers vibrant, open communal spaces that interact with the environment to create healthier air quality and living conditions for residents.
“By incorporating 100% of parking underground, we are able to create landscaped courtyards and public park systems at grade level,” says Hovey Jr. “The landscaping creates a microclimate that lowers the ambient temperature from 5 to 9 degrees compared to the surrounding hardscape.”
Although Optima, Inc.’s focus on biophilic design has been an asset to metropolitan areas since the ‘70s, there is no time like the present to inspire others in the industry to consider ecological importance. “One of the things that 2020 reaffirmed is the importance of connecting with nature,” Hovey Jr. says. Moving forward, Optima Inc. leads the way as other developers recognize how the man-made elements can adapt to the natural environment in non-invasive ways.