The value of measuring energy efficiency in multi-unit residential buildings
February 23, 2024
January 2, 2024
Energy efficient buildings are extremely important to the future of Canada’s housing industry. Not only is the federal government aiming to have all new homes Net Zero Energy Ready by 2035, energy efficient homes help homeowners and building operators save money on energy costs and insurance claims. The Silver Sage Housing Corporation Horse Dance Lodge / misatimosimôwin mîhkowâp is 28% more energy efficient than code and will consume 48% less heating energy than a code-built equivalent building. But how did we get those numbers? And why is it important to have these measurements?
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MLI Select: A multi-unit mortgage loan insurance product for companies that care
March 29, 2022
A new CMHC financing program provides generous mortgage loan insurance incentives for energy-efficient multi-unit housing. Based on a points system, the best terms are unlocked at 100 points, and Big Block can help our clients achieve that on new construction through energy efficiency alone.
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Willowview Heights becomes first multi-unit residential building in Canada with Net Zero Ready label
October 14, 2021
The National Affordable Housing Corporation’s (NAHC) Willowview Heights includes one multi-unit residential building in Saskatoon that will achieve the first Net Zero Ready label for a multi-family residential building in Canada. It’s part of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Net Zero Home Labelling program, with a goal to understand the best way to make multi-family residential buildings (MURBs) Net Zero, modular, affordable and marketable.
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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: Using the blower door test for 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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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. 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 quality assurance program Saskatchewan New Home Warranty Program is offering builders that focuses specifically on the building envelope.
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