It’s easy for city-dwellers to slip into the misconception that green building is an urban issue. But as the 14th annual Enerquality Awards gala in Niagara Falls has just reminded us, suburban doesn’t always mean what we think it means.
Take Sloot Construction
, for instance. They’re a homebuilder in and around Guelph, and they built Ontario’s first house under the new Energy Star for New Homes Standard in April for which, among other things, they won the Building Innovation Award for "technical excellence while implementing high-performance building practices."
Or Steve Snider Construction
, out of Port Perry, who started building R-2000 homes as early as 1986, and exclusively starting in the 1990s. He got the Green Renovation Project of the Year award.
"Sloot and Sniderman are standouts," says Corey McBurney, Enerquality's president. "They're the thin edge of the wedge." Because they are small operators in what McBurney calls small community housing markets (everything but the GTA), they're able to do things, like build homes to the very high R-2000 standard, that McBurney estimates are almost a decade ahead of what production builders like Mattamy Homes
(which McBurney estimates builds 2,400 homes a year) can do in the GTA.
Suburbs and exurbs leading the charge? Who knew?
But Toronto wasn’t entirely left out. Empire Communities
took home the big prize, Ontario Green Builder of the Year. Based in Vaughan, Empire is the developer behind Mark, Rain, Beyond the Sea, Modern, Fly, The Hub and Schoolhouse, all in the downtown core, along with projects in Markham, Mississauga, Brampton and beyond.
, founded in 1998, is an association that runs programs described as being "designed to encourage and support developers, builders and renovators improve building performance and reduce the environmental impact of housing."
Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Sarah Margolius
Row 1 left to right
Doug Tarry, Doug Tarry Homes, Andy Goyda, Owens Corning, John Sloot, Sloot Construction, Jim Dunstan, Union Gas, Larry Brydon, Ozz Electric, Rick Martins, Eastforest Homes
Row 2 left to right
Nikki Bettinelli, Empire Communities, Michelle Vestergaard, Enbridge Gas, Paul Golini, Empire Communities, Shannon Bertuzzi, Enbridge Gas, Darlene Fraser, Eastforest Homes, Carrie Alexander, Steven Doty, Empire Communities
Row 3 left to right
Corey McBurney, EnerQuality, Margaret Ward, Enbridge Gas, Dorothy Stewart, Enbridge Gas, Stephen Doty, Empire Communities