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 is one of the first multi-unit residential buildings (MURB) qualified under the CHBA Net Zero Home Labelling Program.
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