April 4, 2014

Commitment to excellence

Builders, renovators and developers compete for national SAM Awards recognizing outstanding work in the industry

BY STEVEN THRENDYLE

Theme this year is ‘outstanding’

“Where’s SAM?” “He’s in Whistler this year.”

Indeed. The Canadian Home Builders’ Association SAM Awards will be presented at the association’s 71st national conference on April 4 in Whistler.

Since 1943, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association has been “the voice of Canada’s residential construction industry” – one of the most vital and enterprising industries in Canada. CHBA National SAM Awards are presented for projects of varying sizes in the following categories: New Home Awards (eight in total), Home Renovation Awards (five in total), and Marketing Awards (six in total). In addition, single National SAM Awards are presented for: Green Home, Community Development, Marketing Excellence, and the Grand SAM, which recognizes the new home builder who demonstrates the highest level of excellence in both building and marketing.

Commenting on the CHBA National SAM Award finalists, CHBA President Deep Shergill noted, “Our theme for this year’s SAM Awards is ‘Outstanding’ and that certainly speaks to the character and commitment of the new home builders, renovators, and developers who make up our award finalists. These companies set a high bar in terms of building and renovating homes and developing the new communities that make Canada such a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

Many CHBA-BC members are finalists in this year’s competition – several in multiple categories. Adera and Solterra Development are finalists in two marketing awards, while Eurohouse, Algra, and Zebra Group are finalists for other awards.

Located on the banks of the Fraser River in Delta, Linwood Homes is nominated for New Homes/Production, (less than 1,500 square feet and homes from 1,500 to 2,200 square feet), as well as for Best Single Detached Custom Home (under 2,500 square feet). Linwood Homes President Bill Mascott proudly states that “Linwood’s longstanding commitment to green design and the very best materials make these homes award worthy. Approximately 75 per cent of a Linwood home package is made from renewable resources.”

Vancouver based Concert Properties has won 11 SAM Awards to date, and – rather uniquely – is a dual finalist in the Best New Multifamily category for projects in two different cities. Axis (Vancouver) and Motion (Toronto) represent the best in new rental homes available in Canada and are the only two rental buildings short-listed in the SAM new homes category. Both projects fulfil very high standards of energy efficiency. Axis meets the University of B.C.’s stringent Residential Environmental Assessment Program (REAP) Gold Certification, while Motion is built to Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards.

Portrait Homes is a finalist for New Homes/Production, (1,500 to 2,200 square feet) and its Hampstead at Silver Ridge is up for Best Community Development. President Robert Grimm says, “The SAM Awards have reinforced our reputation for being the best builder in B.C. for several years in a row. These awards can give home buyers confidence when it comes to choosing who to build their dream home. We also attract quality trades people as a result of our awards – people who want to be associated with someone trusted within the industry who takes pride in what they do.”

No stranger to the CHBA/SAM award stage, Vancouver’s Adera is a finalist for Multi Family Project, Community Development, and the Grand SAM Award. A leader in sustainable development, Sail by Adera is the first six-storey wood-frame development at UBC and its 172 new apartment homes in two buildings are part of the Pacific Spirit Collection of homes. Adera’s adherence to REAP standards was recently honoured with the first Platinum home certification. President Norm Couttie says the decision to choose sustainably-sourced wood was a no-brainer, especially given Sail’s natural setting on the Point Grey peninsula. “Sail’s clean lines and natural materials create a sophisticated, sustainable living environment.”

Home renovation is a huge contributor to the provincial economy, and previous multi-SAM Award winner TQ Construction from Burnaby is a finalist for Best Kitchen, “any room,” and Whole House (over$500,000). Being nominated and winning SAM Awards helps homeowners with their home’s marketability, according to TQ’s Helene Belisle. “It helps reassure homeowners that the company they selected is upholding the industry’s highest standards. They can take pleasure in the fact that their dream renovation is a reality.”

Perhaps the most visually “outstanding” category is Custom Homes. Brad Johnson’s Coastal Construction from Sidney has won one award in three different categories over the years (homes below 2,500 square feet, homes between 2,500 to 4,000 square feet, and homes above 4,000 square feet). With a portfolio of outstanding homes throughout Vancouver Island, Johnson says, “We’ve been in business now for 21 years and winning these awards shows our commitment to professionalism.”

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