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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Attention professional Regina trades: Work on a new construction project in your community
December 27, 2020
Big Block will be building a new multi-family project in Regina in 2021 and we want to help support local trades by contracting them for this build where possible. If you want to work with us, contact us at operations@bigblockconstuction.ca, and we’ll add you to our contractor list and make sure you receive a tender package when they are released in the coming weeks and months. Follow the link to see the full list of areas we're looking for help with.
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Now hiring: Join a team that is advancing the way communities are built
November 18, 2020
We're looking for a Jr. Finance Analyst to join our team! Our culture is innovative, collaborative, exceptional, honest, tenacious, and fun, and we're looking for people who want to help Big Block Construction advance the way communities are built throughout the Canadian prairies.
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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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Designing a Net Zero Ready building
September 13, 2020
There are many design considerations to take into account when designing a Net Zero / Net Zero Ready building. We outline five of them in this short video: Insulation, staggered stud framing, windows, furnace/water heater with air source heat pump and a drain water heat recovery coil.
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Watch the modular craning process from start to finish
September 9, 2020
Aug. 20, 2020, Big Block Construction craned the Net Zero / Net Zero Ready modular building at Willowview Heights in the Willowgrove neighbourhood of Saskatoon, Sask. We captured the process from start to finish. It's amazing to watch everyone working together to make it happen.
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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 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 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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Saskatchewan’s first Net Zero multi-unit residential building breaks ground
May 18, 2020
Big Block Construction is leading the way to the future of energy-efficient, sustainable housing in Saskatchewan with the province’s first Net Zero multi-unit residential building.
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Cory Crossing Craning Time Lapse
March 23, 2020
Watch the craning of a modular-built 16-unit stacked townhouse building in just one minute. The 24 modules were placed in a single workday. From the Cory Crossing project in Saskatoon, SK.
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Urban Flats Craning Time Lapse
March 23, 2020
Watch the craning of a modular-built 42-unit apartment building in just one minute. The 30 modules were placed over the course of three workdays. From the Urban Flats project in Saskatoon, SK.
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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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a construction revolution
Old-school ways of building are broken
Traditional construction methods are resource-heavy and inefficient, so we decided to change that.
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