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.
Western Exteriors Magazine highlighted the National Affordable Housing Corporation Willowview Heights building as it's Featured Project in its Spring 2021 issue. "Big Block Construction’s new project, Willowview Heights, is setting new standards in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan by seeking to solve issues around improved sustainability," the article says.
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.
The Journal of Commerce by ConstructConnect covered Alex Miller's talk at the Future of Off-Site Construction, a workshop presented by Alberta Wood WORKS! Author Don Proctor asks, "Is the multi-family construction sector overripe for shifting from stick built to modular construction, particularly in the affordable housing sector?"
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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 email@example.com, 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.
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.