Tag Archives: Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA)

Renovate safely during COVID-19 with a RenoMark Renovator

Renovate safely during COVID-19 with a RenoMark Renovator

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Renovate safely during COVID-19 with a RenoMark Renovator

Photos by Eurodale Design + Build

New renovation projects were allowed to start this past May when the provincial government expanded the list of allowable construction activities under its COVID-19 emergency orders. Previously, only renovation projects that had already been underway were permitted.

The health and safety of homeowners and workers is the industry's number one priority.
The health and safety of homeowners and workers is the industry’s number one priority.

To help guide renovators and protect homeowners, our partners at the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) developed a Health and Safety Guide that outlines best practices for renovators under COVID-19.

The health and safety of homeowners and workers is the industry’s number one priority. RenoMark renovators are industry professionals who only work with contracts, carry all the necessary insurance and permits, provide a warranty on their work and abide by the RenoMark Code of Conduct. When it comes to COVID-19, RenoMark members have all the necessary protective equipment and processes in place to complete the job safely and to the standards that homeowners expect.

During COVID-19, sanitation and cleanliness on the job site are paramount. For projects lasting longer than two days, portable toilets and designated wash stations will be made available or a washroom designated by the client will be used as an alternative. Daily cleaning requirements are to be documented in a cleaning log. Communal areas are to be cleaned regularly and logged daily. On weekends, the homeowner will be responsible for cleaning communal spaces. Workers will wash their hands frequently, sanitize and use proper hygiene protocol as outlined by the chief medical officer of health.

RenoMark renovators understand that communication with customers is now more important than ever. Renovators will ask that clients communicate directly with the site supervisor while practicing physical distancing. All site access will be scheduled by appointment only, and clients will be asked to sign in when entering the work zone.

To ensure that no worker shows up unexpectedly, RenoMark renovators will provide schedules of when trades will be in the home. OHBA guidelines require that renovators stagger on-site trades’ schedules to limit the number of people in the home. They also require the renovator to screen the health of tradespeople accessing a site every day.

These are some of the protocols that RenoMark renovators are putting in place to protect the health and safety of homeowners and their families. In return, renovators will ask clients to avoid entering the work site when work is being performed and to notify the site supervisor of any illness, wear a face covering when entering work areas and practice physical distancing.

Our industry is ensuring that work is carried out in compliance with the Ministry of Labour’s Guidelines for Construction Site Health and Safety during COVID-19. Our entire industry also supports closing any site that doesn’t meet requirements and welcomes increased inspection levels by the Ministry of Labour.

To find a RenoMark professional renovator for your next project, visit renomark.ca.

Dave Wilkes is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the GTA.

For the latest industry news and new home data, follow BILD on Twitter, @bildgta, or visit the website.


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Riverside at Hunters Pointe

Pre-construction pricing now being offered at Riverside at Hunters Pointe

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Pre-construction pricing now being offered at Riverside at Hunters Pointe

As part of the premium collection at the Residences at Hunters Pointe, all new home buyers of the Riverside release will receive $25,000 off the purchase of a luxury, single-detached, custom home, for a limited time only. This community is located in the heart of the Niagara region, overlooking the Welland Canal.

Limited-time promotion

Standard lots, as well as premium waterfront lots, are priced from $586,900. Executive bungalow-towns start at only $499,900. Riverside is currently under construction with expected occupancy in November 2019. Two stunning model homes, designed by Wendi Pelfrey from That’s Fab Design, are now open for viewing – one of which is the net-zero-ready Lancaster model that was nominated for Best Production Home, by the OHBA in 2018. To take advantage of pre-construction pricing, visit soon, as limited lots remain.

Net-zero-ready homes

Lucchetta is leading the way at Riverside. Net-zero-ready homes produce clean energy, and may use renewable sources, like solar or wind power, for any additional energy that is required. The net-zero-ready homes are quality built, custom homes that use 80 per cent less energy than homes built to the Ontario Building Code. In a net-zero-ready home, all systems are synchronized to work together – providing you with a home that is draft-free and maintains a consistent temperature, with up to 0.5 per cent air leakage, resulting in lower utility bills and a healthier indoor environment. “It equates to a better living experience, while doing your part against climate change,” says Kim Kopyl, director of sales and marketing. “Plus, it preserves our natural resources for future generations, while reducing your costs.”

Well recognized

Ugo Lucchetta started the company more than 60 years ago, and his sons, Robert and Ed, carry on the ethical traditions started by their father. Their hard work has paid off with ongoing appreciation, in addition to the loyalty and word-of-mouth praise expressed by their customers. Lucchetta Homes has won, or was nominated for, more than 26 awards by all levels of builders’ associations – local, provincial and national – a testament to their superior craftsmanship and customer service.

Niagara at its finest

There are many perks and benefits to living in this area, which include lower living costs, award-winning restaurants, world-class wineries, designer outlet shopping, casinos, the Shaw Festival, and its proximity to a plethora of other attractions and amenities. The GO train is well on its way to Niagara. And, for those who love to travel, the Buffalo and Niagara airports are easily accessible, as is the Toronto Pearson International Airport. Outdoor activities are plentiful, and include hiking, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, boating, fishing, paddle boarding, cycling, horseback riding and golfing. “Simply put,” says Kopyl. “This is a lovely place to live a very fulfilling life.”

Contact Information

lucchettahomes.com


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OHBA 2018 Awards of Distinction

OHBA 2018 Awards of Distinction

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OHBA 2018 Awards of Distinction

Great Gulf wins prestigious 2018 Ontario Home Builder of the Year Award for the first time.

For the first time in OHBA history, Great Gulf won the prestigious 2018 Ontario Home Builder of the Year award from the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) during its awards gala in Ottawa on September 25, 2018. A finalist in the Builder of the Year category in years past, 2018 was Great Gulf’s year to shine.

An industry leader and innovator in energy efficient, high-quality new homes for more than 40 years, Great Gulf utilizes leading technology in their residential construction, such as the H+ME Technology panelization system and Tucker HiRise, an integrated platform to manage and coordinate the design and construction of buildings.

Great Gulf also has a long-standing tradition of serving the community with partners like The Daily Bread Food Bank and actively participates in fundraising initiatives to assist disenfranchised youth and families.

Great Gulf also supports the industry as a founding member of the Canadian Active House Alliance, volunteers on the BILD Board, as well as the OHBA/EnerQuality Technical Committee and Canada Green Building Council.

The 2018 Ontario Renovator of the Year award was merited by Ottawa-based OakWood. It is renowned for its technology-driven innovation, demonstrated in their partnership with Tesla MPOWER Powerwall for solar roofs, which stores solar energy for later use, thereby reducing reliance on the grid and lowering the electric bill. In addition, OakWood’s High Performance Initiative with Mike Holmes and The Holmes Group leverages additional design-build expertise, allowing OakWood to provide energy-efficient, sustainable services and products.

Fourth-generation and family-run, the company participates in ongoing support for local organizations and charitable causes, including the Orleans Chamber of Commerce, Algonquin College and several local sports teams.

This year there were a record 511 entries submitted to the awards program.

PRESTIGE AWARDS

Project of the Year Lowrise: Minto Communities for Glen Agar, Etobicoke (credit to: Montana Steele Advertising, NAK Design Group, RN Design Ltd.) Project of the Year High or Midrise North Drive Investments for One Forest Hill, Toronto (credit to: kg&a, The Walsh Group/Printserver Inc.)

OHBA People’s Choice Award: Paradise Developments for High Point, Brampton (credit to: Ryan Design International)

Ontario Renovator of the Year: OakWood, Ottawa

Ontario Builder of the Year: Great Gulf, Toronto

ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

Production Built Home (one storey): Silvergate Homes for Amuse by the Lake “The Beechwood,” Fort Erie (credit to: Aristocrat Floors of the World, Artcraft Kitchens)

Production Built Home (two storeys up to 2,500 SF): Marz Homes for South Coast Village “The Beachside,” Crystal Beach

Production Built Home (two to three storeys 2,501 SF and over): Georgian International Build for Braestone Estates “The Thoroughbred,” Oro-Medonte

Attached Multi-Unit Home: Granite Homes Guelph for Gallery Towns “Gallery Corner Model,” Guelph (credit to: AM Roofing Solutions, Ceramic Decor Centre, Sarmazian Brothers Ltd., Space Age Shelving)

Stacked Townhome Unit: Sorbara Group of Companies for The Way “Dreamway ,” Mississauga (credit to: Greybrook Realty Partners, Guthrie Muscovitch Architects, Metropia)

Custom Home (up to 3,000 SF): Art House Developments for Vaughan St, Ottawa

Custom Home (3,001-5,000 SF): Larco for Canal Terrace House, Ottawa (credit to: Christopher Simmonds Architect Inc.)

Custom Home (5,000 – 10,000 SF): Timberline Custom Homes for Stoney Cove Lake House, Stoney Lake

Midrise Building (4 – 10 storeys): Morley Hoppner for Schoolhouse Lofts, Ottawa (credit to: Hobin Architecture)

Highrise Building (11+ storeys): Mizrahi Developments for The One, Toronto High or Midrise Condo Suite (4+ storeys up to 800 SF): CentreCourt Developments and SmartCentres for Transit City, Vaughan (credit to: Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc., Figure3)

High or Midrise Condo Suite (4+ storeys 801 SF and over): Tridel for Via Bloor, Toronto (credit to: architects Alliance, The Brand Factory)

RENOVATION

Home Renovation (actual retail value up to $250,000): Accubuilt Construction for Maple Sugar Lane Renovation, Thornhill

Home Renovation ($250,001 – $500,000): Oke Woodsmith Building Systems Inc. for Small Cottage Bliss, Goderich

Home Renovation (over $500,001): Homes By Hendriks for The Butterfly Effect, Oakville (credit to: Amber Stairs & Railings Ltd., Aristocrat Floors of the World, Regional Doors & Hardware, Turkstra Lumber Co. Ltd.)

Kitchen Renovation: OakWood for The New Timeless, Ottawa

Bathroom Renovation: Amsted Design- Build for Ensuite Getaway, Ottawa

ROOM DESIGN

New Home Kitchen (up to 2,500 SF): Schuit Homes for Residence 7-Novokowsky, Ancaster

New Home Kitchen (2,501 SF and over): FarSight Homes for Sunset Ridge, Uxbridge (credit to: Builder Insight Group Inc., Colours & Concepts Inc.)

High or Midrise Condo Suite Kitchen: Mizrahi Developments for The One, Toronto

New Home Bathroom: Activa Holdings for The Greystone – Riverwood, Kitchener

IMAGE & ADVERTISING

Low Rise Project Video (1-3 storeys): Starward Homes for Parkview at River Mill, Cambridge

High or Midrise Project Video (4+ storeys): North Drive Investments for One Forest Hill, Toronto

Social Media Campaign: Empire Communities for Love Design Live, Breslau (credit to: LuxStoryMedia)

Website: North Drive Investments for One Forest Hill, Toronto (credit to: The Walsh Group/Printserver Inc.)

Lowrise Ad Campaign (1-3 storeys): Empire Communities for Empire Legacy, Thorold (credit to: Pureblink)

High or Midrise Ad Campaign (4+ storeys): North Drive Investments for One Forest Hill, Toronto (credit to: kg&a, The Walsh Group/Printserver Inc.)

Lowrise Project Logo Branding (1-3 storeys): Great Gulf for Arbor Peaks, Milton (credit to: Community)

High or Midrise Project Logo Branding (4+ storeys): Skale Developments Inc. for 1181, Toronto (credit to: The Brand Factory)

ON-SITE SALES PRESENTATION

New Home Sales Office (Up to 1,500 SF): Mountainview Homes (Niagara) for Timberwood, Fonthill (credit to: ADhoc Studio, Cambria Canada, PS Mediahouse)

New Home Sales Office (1,501 SF and over): DECO Homes for Richlands, Richmond Hill (credit to: Guidelines Advertising Inc.)

Design/Decor Centre: Sky Homes for Sky Homes Design Studio, Woodbridge (credit to: Cambria, Quality Sterling Group)

Model Home/Suite (up to 2,500 SF): Empire Communities for Empire Riverland 3 “Coastal Chic,” Breslau Model Home/Suite (2,501 SF and over): Reid’s Heritage Homes for Lora Bay Masters, Blue Mountains

Lowrise Project Sales Brochure (1-3 storeys): Marz Homes for Smithville Station, Niagara

High or Midrise Project Sales Brochure (4+ storeys): RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust for Kingly, Toronto (credit to: The Brand Factory)

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OHBA 2018 Awards of Distinction

OHBA Awards of Distinction finalists named

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OHBA Awards of Distinction finalists named

The Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) is pleased to announce the 2018 Awards of Distinction finalists. Judged by a panel of industry professionals from across Canada, the entries were submitted into 41 categories showcasing excellence in building, design, professional renovation, and sales and marketing. The complete list of finalists is available online at ohbaaod.ca/winners-finalists/.

The Awards of Distinction winners will be announced September 25, 2018 at the OHBA Conference in Ottawa.

Notably, OHBA will also announce the winner of the prestigious 2018 Ontario Home Builder of the Year award to a company that exemplifies outstanding professionalism and integrity within their business, industry and community.

This year, finalists are Tridel, Minto Communities and Great Gulf.

Finalists for the coveted Ontario Renovator of the Year award are Amsted Design-Build, OakWood and Lagois Design Build Renovate.

Until August 24, the public also has a chance to vote online for their favourite project and help decide who wins the 2018 People’s Choice Award (vote here https://www.ohbaaod.ca/). People’s Choice Award contenders are the top finalists in Project of the Year Lowrise and Project of the Year High or Midrise awards categories:

Geranium for Friday Harbour, HIP Developments for The Gaslight District, Minto Communities for Glen Agar, Mizrahi Developments for The One, North Drive Investments for One Forest Hill and Paradise Developments for High Point.

“This year, we’ve seen the rise of #homebelievers in Ontario – that is, government, builders, renovator, and local champions rallying around the great Canadian dream of home ownership,” said OHBA president Pierre Dufresne. “The OHBA Awards of Distinction has always celebrated that dream by recognizing excellence in homebuilding, professional renovation and sales and marketing; all of these efforts lead to more housing supply and choice in communities across Ontario.”

As #homebeliever champions, the OHBA believes in the great Canadian dream of home ownership by supporting more housing choice and supply across Ontario. OHBA is the voice of the residential construction industry in Ontario, representing 4,000 member companies organized into 29 local associations across the province.


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INDUSTRY EXPERT: Smart & Selective

INDUSTRY EXPERT: Smart & Selective

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INDUSTRY EXPERT: Smart & Selective

by David Wilkes

Partner with a Pro for your Reno

I am a proud Torontonian who is fiercely connected to my neighbourhood. I’ve lived in this great region my entire life and, for the last 25 years, raised my family in the east-end of Toronto. We’ve done more than one renovation to our house, which added value and made it our home. Like many Torontonians, my neighbourhood is a part of my identity.

In the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), we celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of our neighbourhoods. They are what make our region great. We value them and recognize the importance of creating livable communities through their development and revitalization.

Increasingly, GTA homeowners are choosing to stay in their neighbourhoods because, like me, they love them. They are renovating rather than selling and creating the home they want in the area they want to live.

Photography: BigStock.com
Photography: BigStock.com

REPUTABLE RESOURCE

There are more than 200 RenoMark renovators in the GTA. All of them agree to abide by the BILD Code of Ethics and a renovation-specific RenoMark Code of Conduct. They understand the value of customer service, provide warranties and continually educate themselves on trends, materials and new regulations.

UNDERGROUND ECONOMY SPIKE

Unfortunately, the introduction of the HST in 2010 accelerated the growth of an underground economy in the renovation industry. A report released by the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) in November 2017, shows the amount of residential renovation spending through contractors that leaked underground fluctuated between 38 and 40 percent between 2010 and 2016.

The underground “cash” economy in home renovation and repair poses significant risks, including worker safety liability risks for the homeowner if workers are not covered by the WSIB, no warranties, unfair competition with reputable contractors and loss of tax revenues.

This underground industry also undermines the integrity of the HST system. The report suggested that provincial and federal governments lost $16 billion in potential tax revenues through residential renovations undertaken by illicit contractors in Ontario during the same period.

FINDING CONSUMER-FAVOURED SOLUTIONS

Instead of fostering an underground economy, which encourages the avoidance of paying taxes, the OHBA has recommended the Ontario government consider introducing a tax rebate that would incent homeowners to document properly, and report their contractor renovation projects as well as a Home Renovation Tax Credit for energy-efficient upgrades.

Our colleagues at the Canadian Home Builders’ Association are also active partners with the Minister’s Underground Economy Advisory Committee, sharing industry information and recommendations with the Canada Revenue Agency on how to best address the impact of working around the system.

BILD has written its own renovation Service Standard of Excellence that was presented to the City of Toronto, outlining a practical system that would put the consumer first. The Service Standard of Excellence would speed up approvals and make Toronto City Hall more efficient. This would ease consumer frustrations and steer them away from using the underground economy.

So, what can you do to protect yourself? If you’re considering a renovation, your first step is to go to renomark.ca. There you will find the RenoGuide (Five Steps to a Worry-Free Renovation), the RenoMark Code of Conduct and you can use the Find a Renovator tool to find a participating renovator near you. If you’re a renovator in the GTA looking to get involved with the RenoMark program, email us at membership@bildgta.ca.

David Wilkes is president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the GTA.

For the latest industry news and new home data, follow BILD on Twitter, Facebook, BILD’s official blog, and bildgta.ca.


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THE COUNCIL: Construction industry targets red tape

THE COUNCIL: Construction industry targets red tape

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THE COUNCIL: Construction industry targets red tape

by Richard Lyall, RESCON

There is no reason why Canada should be ranked 54th out of 190 countries measured by the World Bank for a routine building approval.

The year 2018 will be marked for big steps in cutting red tape and speeding up the development approval process.

Frankly, there’s no excuse that a wealthy country like Canada should be ranked 54th out of 190 countries measured by the World Bank for a routine building approval (construction permitting for a warehouse in Toronto).

I feel that this was an important topic for our debut contribution to the Builder Bites Newsletter as this is an unacceptable statistic for Toronto, Ontario and Canada that you should know about.

That’s why approvals are being targeted by both the builders council that I represent – RESCON (Residential Construction Council of Ontario) – as well as the cross-sectional construction organization that I’m proud to chair this year – CDAO (Construction and Design Alliance of Ontario).

This is a continuation of a lot of good work that RESCON and other CDAO members – including BILD and OHBA – took part in through the provincial Development Roundtable Action Plan. The 14-point plan unveiled last April includes implementing the use of e-permitting as well as streamlining development processes to boost the supply of new housing.

So, what does that mean for a new homebuyer? It’s simple; we’re trying to get more supply on the market to slow down the increasing costs of new housing. Supply inventory in the GTA has dropped to less than half of what it was 10 years ago while more than 100,000 people move into the region every year.

But there is no silver bullet to the GTA’s supply issue. It will take a multi-pronged approach to help free up supply for new homebuyers, including building with innovative new practices (including tall wood), off-site construction and panelization.

All three building practices will continue to grow in 2018 as pieces of panelized homes are constructed in a factory then shipped to sites around the GTA like massive bits of Lego. The actual on-site assembly time is reduced by months and this can save new homebuyers a lot of time.

Back to development approvals: read this space this spring when RESCON will write more about its latest published report on best practices to streamline and improve Ontario’s development and approvals process. The report will have three themes: streamlining routine planning and applicable law approvals; expanding e-permitting in Ontario; and enhancing the role of professionals in regulatory compliance.

The red tape problems we are looking for include those related to excessive delays; excessive costs; problems with accountability and corporate culture within regulatory agencies; unnecessary or unclear procedures, processes and requirements; as well as last-minute/surprise requirements.

Richard Lyall is the president of RESCON and has represented the building industry in Ontario since 1991.

Reach him at media@rescon.com or @RESCONprez.

Thanks for reading yet another great product by HOMES Publishing Group.


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EnerQuality Housing Innovation Awards announced

EnerQuality Housing Innovation Awards announced

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EnerQuality Housing Innovation Awards announced

Leading companies in sustainable housing recognized for their contributions and advancements in Ontario’s Green Building category

Ontario’s best Green Builders were celebrated at the EnerQuality Awards Gala (EQ Awards) at the Universal Eventspace in Vaughan. Hosted by Breakfast Television’s Kevin Frankish, more than 200 industry peers gathered to share concepts and accolades as together they help to move towards a more energy conscious future.

“Advancing energy-efficient techniques and tools are huge priorities in the building sector to continue to improve healthy living conditions, fight climate change and minimize unnecessary spending,” said Corey McBurney, president of EnerQuality. “The EnerQuality Housing Innovation Forum and Awards help to connect builders with the innovations they need to meet their design goals as well as spotlight the change-makers who are effecting policies and driving standards towards a shared goal of Net Zero housing.”

Among the biggest attractions of the Innovation Forum, which took place during the day, was the keynote from MaRS, Tom Rand, who offered tangible solutions to combat climate change, including his stance on pricing carbon and how sharing a new story of clean energy abundance has the power to engage the public and inspire action.

The highly competitive Innovation Gauntlet rounded out the day before the official award ceremony began, with IBC Technologies Inc. being named the winner for their Newest Innovation – IBC DC Series Dual Condensing Appliance. “The IBC Better Boiler product is a forward thinking, adaptable technology with integration to smart homes. This is a truly unique product and was a clear leader in this year’s submissions,” said Shaun Joffe, executive director of sustainability and building sciences at Great Gulf and judge of the Innovation Gauntlet participants.

The EQ Awards were enjoyed by all and featured special designations to highlight the outstanding contributions of industry leaders.

Larry Brydon, VP business development with Cricket Energy, was the 2017 Hall of Fame nominee. Brydon has been in the HVAC distribution and energy services market for more than 25 years. A past chair of Sustainable Buildings Canada and the Toronto chapter of the Canada Green Building Council, he currently serves on the board of directors for the Canadian Efficiency Alliance, the International Initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment (iiSBE), Sustainable Buildings Canada (SBC) and EnerQuality. Among his many achievements, Brydon led the Enbridge and Union Gas’s Savings by Design program. This initiative has participated in over 200 lowrise, and 50 highrise developer-design charrettes where they shared energy-efficient design alternatives resulting in 15 to 25 per cent energy improvement over the Ontario Building Code.

Doug Tarry of Doug Tarry Custom Homes was named Leader of the Year. It was a banner year Doug Tarry Custom Homes. Fresh off winning the inaugural Net Zero Builder Award from the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, his Project Hope, a fundraising event that was the first time a Net Zero home was built in just three days, raised funds for the family of the late Johnny Nooren, a building inspector from St. Thomas. The project won the 2017 Prestige Award from the Ontario Home Builders’ Association for Project of the Year Lowrise, and the trailer for the accompanying documentary was seen by more than 10,000 in movie theatres in Ontario.

Doug Tarry led his team of builders to receive the 2016 EQ Builder Achievement Award and now holds the 2017 title of Leader of the Year for propelling the company’s holistic Net Zero housing concepts with simple controls designed to allow homeowners to save money while living in a healthy environment.

Arista Homes was awarded the Impact Award, which was introduced in 2016 to recognize a builder’s significant voluntary progress in reducing carbon emission and outstanding achievements through energy efficient and sustainability practices. “Green initiatives and Energy Star participation have become staples of our building practices and we remain committed to continuing to improve our building practices and to lead by example,” said Franco Crispino, VP of sales and marketing. Arista Homes has proudly enrolled more than 1,200 Energy Star homes since the construction of its first multi-phase Energy Star community in 2009.

Other Award Winners

Partner Award: Enbridge Gas Distribution, Union Gas, Owens Corning

Enbridge Savings By Design: Remington Homes

Building Innovation Lowrise: Great Gulf Homes

Building Innovation Mid/Highrise: Times Group

Energy Star for New Homes Builder of the Year (small volume): sean.ca (Sean Mason Homes)

Energy Star for New Homes Builder of the Year (mid volume): Remington Homes

Energy Star for New Homes Builder of the Year (large volume): The Minto Group

Energy Star Champion of the Year: Jacqueline Collier, Tamarack Homes

Best Green Marketing Campaign: Doug Tarry Custom Homes

R-2000 Home Builder of the Year: RND Construction

Net Zero Home Builder of the Year: Reid’s Heritage Homes

Evaluator of the Year: Angela Bustamante, Building Knowledge

Builder Achievement Award: Shaun Joffe, Great Gulf Homes

Ontario Green Builder of the Year: Sifton Properties Ltd.

EnerQuality is Canada’s No. 1 certifier of energy efficient homes and the market leader in delivering award-winning residential green building programs. Founded in 1998 by the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) and the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance (CEEA), EnerQuality’s mission is to accelerate housing innovation to improve building performance.


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A View From Inside – New Home Construction A Work In Progress

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A View From Inside – New Home Construction A Work In Progress

By Louie Morizio, Geranium

Industry still catching up after last year’s trades strike.

Last May, four unionized trades in Ontario went on strike: framing, trim, drywall and tile. On June 6, lowrise electricians joined them. Many workers were out for 46 days, essentially bringing the residential construction industry to a halt. It was the worst strike in the GTA and surroundings in 18 years, and caused unprecedented, unexpected delays.

Although the strike ended in mid- June, its effects were far reaching across the lowrise residential sector. Now, 10 months later, homebuilders are still trying to get caught up on the backlog and, unfortunately, homebuyers are the ones most impacted.

We spoke with Andrew Pariser, vice president of the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), who has been involved in the dialogue between representatives of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA), the Tarion Warranty Corporation and RESCON to explore the issues and work on a communication program that will help set expectations for everyone affected.

At the end of the strike, RESCON recommended to Tarion that, under these unusual circumstances, builders should be able to extend possession dates from 12 to 24 weeks. Based on these guidelines and using best estimates from industry experience, builders gave their buyers new dates.

The industry’s supply chain has become increasingly complicated, and the strike affected it in direct and indirect ways. For example, a major window manufacturer laid off its workforce during the strike. When it was over, the company was inundated with orders but did not have the labour to fulfill them.

Market demand continued to be robust, so builders continued work on homes that were unaffected by striking workers. When the strike ended, there was a glut of homes at the same stage of completion and demand spiked for the pool of workers to finish them. As construction workers are specialized and follow where the work takes them, many had gone on to other things during and after the strike.

Builders have been encouraged to address individual situations with homebuyers to discuss various options and realistic timelines. On one hand, homebuyers want their new residences as quickly as possible; on the other, builders want to avoid jeopardizing quality through rushing.

While workers put in long hours last summer, which helped mitigate the problem, RESCON points out that the return-to-work process was slow – it finally reached 100 per cent by September.

The great news is that Ontario has one of the most efficient building industries in North America, if not the world. To make the best of a difficult situation, our industry is researching and documenting the supply chain, the effects of the strike on buyers and builders, and evaluating communications channels.

We’re also addressing enrolment in the skilled trades and young people’s desire for construction jobs, which have been on the decline for the past decade. Good work is being done by RESCON and other industry associations to attract more young people to what are stable and high-paying careers in the construction industry.

All of these efforts will ensure the industry is better prepared for 2019, or any other future years, when there will be other rounds of bargaining with unionized trades. For now, residential construction is working full force, and today’s homebuyers enjoy the best quality ever in new homes.

Louie Morizio is vice president, housing for Geranium and a director of RESCON. Since 1977, Geranium has built more than 8,000 homes in fine neighbourhoods and communities throughout Ontario. Geranium.com

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