Bulldozing archaic construction methods: The modular process and its benefits
April 13, 2021
It’s all about people. Modular construction has a variety of benefits throughout the building process, but Nick Sackville with Big Block Construction says its most important benefit is that it has a positive community impact.
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Energy monitoring gives renters, builders the power to lower their environmental footprint
March 16, 2021
At the Net Zero Ready units at Willowview Heights in Saskatoon, renters will be able to visit a website that will let them see energy trends in their home. The data will be available in real time, and as historical data that can be referenced daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly, giving direct feedback on the occupant's energy usage.
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Willowview Heights heads into Phase 3 of Net Zero research program: Analyzing
February 24, 2021
The National Affordable Housing Corporation's Willowview Heights project is one of only six buildings that are part of a special research program happening in Canada right now. Now Big Block is the first of the builders in the program to have completed the second stage, building the project.
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CMHC relies on local partnerships to meet housing, sustainability goals
January 20, 2021
The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has set a goal of ensuring that everyone in Canada has access to a home that not only meets their needs but is also affordable for their lifestyle — meaning that the cost of their housing doesn’t exceed 30 per cent of their before-tax income. CMHC has partnered with Big Block Construction in our Willowview Heights project, a Net Zero Ready multi-unit residential building located in Saskatoon. 
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Measuring success: Willowview Heights goes above and beyond Net Zero standards
January 20, 2021
Throughout the construction of any residential building, there are a number of quality assurance tests that need to be done in order to achieve the Net Zero standard. One such of these tests is a blower door test — which Big Block had Sun Ridge Residential conduct for Willowview Heights. Willowview Heights’ ACH clocked in at 0.5 ACH — exceeding the requirements for a Net Zero build by 75%.
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Looking back at 2020: Willowview Heights from start to finish
December 27, 2020
This year has been a long and strange one due to the pandemic, but at Big Block, we were lucky enough to be able to continue our work consulting and building housing for purpose-driven companies. Our big project in 2020 was Willowview Heights in the Willowgrove neighbourhood of Saskatoon, one of the province’s first Net Zero Ready multi-unit residential buildings, and we documented the project along the way.
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How natural gas is a natural fit for Net Zero
November 3, 2020
One might believe that a Net Zero rating comes at the exclusion of traditional energy sources or that the goal of all green initiatives is to completely cease use of non-renewable energy — but this is not the case at Willowview Heights. Big Block Construction has partnered with SaskEnergy in order to provide residents with reliable heating through Saskatchewan’s cold winters while still maintaining a focus on responsible energy use. 
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Building better communities with energy efficient, affordable homes
October 18, 2020
In any city, people fall along a housing continuum, from the extreme of homelessness to luxury homes in the top two per cent of the market. Then there’s everything in between. “During your life, you’re moving up and down that continuum,” says Chris Guerette, CEO of Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association. “In any municipality, to have a healthy housing continuum it means you have a variety of options — styles, amenities, price points, locations.” In the Saskatoon neighbourhood of Willowgrove, the Willowview Heights development is one of the only builds of its type.
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Building sustainable homes that stand the test of time: Quality assurance of the building envelope
September 24, 2020
When someone makes an investment in a new home, they expect the building to last long after they have moved on, especially when it comes to the structure itself. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. Details may be overlooked, and one place that this sometimes happens is with the building envelope of the home. Sun Ridge is a third-party partner on a new quality assurance program Saskatchewan New Home Warranty Program is offering builders that focuses specifically on the building envelope.
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‘Exciting and fast-paced’: Craning day on a Net Zero Ready modular build
August 18, 2020
Seeing a modular build come together is an amazing sight: A building seems to almost magically appear in a day! If only it were as easy as waving a wand — in reality, it takes a community of well-coordinated workers to make it happen.
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Affordable from the ground up: How the NAHC is building for all
August 3, 2020
Stacie Beever with the National Affordable Housing Corporation wants every Canadian to have access to affordable housing. For years, the NAHC’s main focus was on home ownership, but that goal has shifted to more of a focus on rentals. “If the rental market is left to dwindle and no new developments are taken on, vacancy rates continue to fall while the cost to rent skyrockets,” said Beever, who is the chief operation officer for the NAHC.
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Building for the future: Saskatoon’s Low Emissions Community Plan aims to slow global warming
July 15, 2020
Residential buildings made up one-quarter of Saskatoon’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 — that’s 913,000 tonnes of CO2. So when the City began to draft its Low Emissions Community Plan in 2019, residential buildings were one of the sectors that could be improved to reduce emissions and slow the effects of global warming.
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Efficient, strong, and time-saving: Adapting modular construction to Net Zero standards
July 9, 2020
To the untrained eye, a modularly constructed building looks nearly identical to one built using traditional methods, but Jeff Enns with Grandeur Housing hopes that people will take notice of the role that factory construction played in bringing the Willowview Heights Net Zero project to fruition.
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Using Net Zero tech to build better multi-unit residential buildings
June 25, 2020
The Canadian Home Builders’ Association has embarked on an exciting mission: to provide healthier homes for Canadians using the fastest and most efficient methods, including Net Zero technologies. Big Block’s Willowview Heights will be one of the first multi-unit residential buildings (MURB) qualified under the CHBA Net Zero Home Labelling Program.
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How we used the LEEP process to design a Net Zero Ready multi-unit residential building
June 11, 2020
Collaboration is better when you have different disciplines at the table together, and the Big Block team saw this in action through a series of design charettes we undertook as part of the Willowview Heights Net Zero Ready project.
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Laying the foundation for a Net Zero multi-unit residential building
May 28, 2020
In May 2021, our tradespeople laid the foundation for the Willowview Heights project. The basement crawl space was excavated and the footings were poured; sewer, water and storm lines were done; and we installed the ICF block that forms the foundation walls.
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Big Block nominated for CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence
March 5, 2020
Big Block Construction, Innovative Residential, and Grandeur Housing are thrilled to be finalists for the 2020 Canadian Home Builders’ Association National Awards for Housing Excellence!
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