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Consecutive Champions and Fresh Faces Unite at Fouth Sustainable Builder Event

By Alex Joehl

The Canadian Home Builder`s Association of British Columbia held its department G awards last Saturday, their fourth year celebrating sustainable building in B.C.

Six different companies took home awards in the eight categories; some first time honourees and others repeat winners.

The night`s first award went to Adera Development Corporation for Most Affordable Certified Home. Their development Breeze in South Surrey would also go on to win Most Energy Efficient and Sustainable Community.

“Breeze has been a spectacular project for us,” said Eric Andreasen. “It has tremendous curb appeal. It’s built in west-coast modern architecture, with the long, linear lines, gigantic windows. The location is amazing and people who are in our target market, 30-plus-minus, they want to have sustainability baked into their product and that’s one of the things we’ve made a commitment to.”

It’s because of their business model that they take great pride in their department G awards.

“Sustainability is important for us as just about anything else so we take it very seriously,” said Andreasen. “We feel like competing in an awards category like the department G awards is very important to our customers because to them it validates that they’re living in something that is verified by a third party.”

The Best Certified Whole House Renovation award went to Schreyer Construction for their Cedar Ridge Townhome.

“There are not that many green renos out there and we really tried to get that part of Built Green going, on the renovations side,” said Axel Schreyer. “That`s what most interests me about it. The rating we got, and the airtightness we achieved, we were pretty proud of that, and the envelope.”

Ritchie Custom Homes took home the award for Most Innovative Certified Home.

Their project, in conjunction with the Penticton Indian Band, produced an 88 EnerGuide rating – a requirement to receive funding from the Band.

“The project that we built with the Penticton Indian Band was a very innovative project and it provided a solution to the housing shortage they had and their goal is to build sustainable homes and cost effectively – and we were able to do that,” said Nick Hill of Ritchie Custom Homes. “To be able to do that and get the funding we had to come up with a lot of innovative ideas, to build a super energy efficient home at an affordable rate.”

While all finalists had a slide show of their projects shown, Hill said that a picture can`t tell the story.

“The other finalists had beautiful homes – I`m quite surprised,” said Hill. “But what you don`t see in the photos is all the detail behind the drywall, the paint and the flooring that went into this project. We really pushed the envelope with respect to design, and how that relates to cost. And we were able to achieve that with a very efficient home with a very affordable rate – but you don`t see that in photos.”

The Certified Energy Advisor of the Year is Einar Halbig of E3 Eco Group.

Halbig feels that being a member of a team, as opposed to a solo CEA, gave him the advantage.

“For one, we are a group – there are eight of us now,” said Halbig. “That sets us apart from most of other energy advisors, who are mostly a sole proprietorship business or maybe two of them. So we feel that we can offer more services to a larger quantity of clients. We have quite a large roster of clients and the attraction there I think is the ability to serve larger projects.”

“Hopefully people recognize that I`m just one of the cogs at E3 Eco Group."

Naikoon Contracting nabbed the award for Certified Renovator of the Year.

“We pride ourselves a lot in building green homes,” said Joe Geluch “This seems to be one of the only awards shows that lets you be awarded for that.”

What advantage did repeat winner Naikoon have in taking this award in 2013?

“Maybe they owed us one because we had nine,” he said with laughter. “We put a lot of effort into it and we’re advocates for the program so that may be why we got some hardware.”

The big winner of the night was Camelot Homes. They first won for Premier Certified Home and then took the ultimate honour of the night, Certified Builder of the Year.

Music By the Sea in Qualicum Beach – their project built just 50 yards from the ocean – reached an 84 EnerGuide rating, Platinum Built Green certification, and photos of it won oooos and awwwws from Saturday night’s attendance.

 “We’ve won a bunch of awards this year, and Built Green is a big thing for our company,” said Dan Macleod of Camelot Homes. “We do high-end stuff that’s Built Green. We have a great group of people that put that together. We get lucky do to [the kind of homes we do]. We’ve been here for 33 years in building and are just focused on doing nice high-end homes that are competitive. We do modest homes [as well] but everything we do is the same consistency and Built Green. That’s what we’ve always focused on and we’re going to stay doing it.”

Vanessa Joehl, director of department G, was again very pleased with the outcome of the awards ceremony.

“I applaud all the winners, who are very deserving of the honours they won tonight,” said Joehl. “But what I really hope is that other companies, whether they established builders, or those just entering into sustainable building, will be encouraged by the department G awards and further improve the quality of home building in B.C.”