Couple on balcony

 

by Bryan Tuckey: President and CEO, BILD

 

Green builders awarded for excellence

Last week I was in beautiful Collingwood for the Ontario Home Builders' Association builder and renovator forum-an annual event that is jam-packed with energy efficiency training organized by the Association's training partner, EnerQuality, and there were 210 of us from all facets of the industry soaking it all in.

The session topics ranged from changes to the regulatory landscape to building science basics and new green technologies tried, tested and true. In a room full of builders, renovators and suppliers, it was no surprise that the recent changes to the Ontario Building Code in relation to energy efficiency dominated the question periods in most sessions.

On January 1 of this year, new regulations came into play that require a higher standard of energy efficiency for new residential buildings. To be honest, the industry-and BILD as the industry's voice in the GTA-has been involved in the discussion around these changes for years and many of our members have already started designing and building their projects to meet and even exceed the new standards.

During the forum, some of those members were recognized for doing just that during the annual 2011 EnerQuality Awards of Excellence.

The Awards of Excellence recognize leaders in construction who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to building high-performance, energy-efficient, sustainable new housing.

Minto Communities captured top honours when it was named 2011 Green Builder of the Year and 2011 Leader of the Year. In 2009, the honour of being named Leader of the Year was bestowed upon BILD for its measurable impact on green building practices by providing members with education opportunities and training by EnerQuality. BILD also has a Green Policy and walks the walk by incorporating initiatives like installing a solar PV array on the building's roof and motion sensors throughout the building.

I'm proud to say that Empire Communities was presented with EnerQuality's ENERGY STAR for New Homes Builder of the Year award recognizing our commitment to energy efficiency by labeling homes under the ENERGY STAR for New Homes program. One of our employees, Gary Botelho was also honoured as EnerQuality's ENERGY STAR for New Homes Champion of the Year recognizing his initiative, strong support and enthusiasm for the program.

Another BILD member, Mason Homes was the winner of EnerQuality's Best Green Marketing Campaign award for its work in successfully integrating energy efficiency and a green message into their overall marketing program.

The 2012 forum wrapped up with a keynote address by Gord Cooke, who has been a passionate educator and advocate for better building practices for 25 years, and closing remarks from OHBA President Doug Tarry.

Every year this forum grows in attendance and in educational scope. As well, the competition for the Awards becomes fiercer every year, but I take that as a good sign that the education is working and that new homes across the GTA are becoming more and more energy efficient.

Paul Golini Jr. is Chair of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD). You can read more from Paul and BILD by visiting the Association's official blogTwitterFacebook and Youtube accounts.