Willowview Heights

A rendering of Willowview Heights townhouses in Saskatoon, Sask.


107 Thode Ave., Saskatoon


Innovative Residential
National Affordable Housing Corporation


City of Saskatoon
Canadian Home Builders' Association
Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
Saskatchewan New Home Warranty Program
Sun Ridge Residential
Grandeur Housing


  • Saskatchewan's first Net Zero multi-unit residential building
  • 1 of 7 projects nationally
  • Results will provide direction to the National Building Code of Canada
Willowview Heights in the Willowgrove neighbourhood of Saskatoon features the province’s first Net Zero multi-unit residential building, and the first of its kind to be labelled Net Zero Ready in Canada.

One of only seven such projects nationally, the building will be studied to provide direction to the National Building Code of Canada. The Net Zero units at Willowview Heights will be highly energy-efficient and it's designed so that any energy consumed can be offset by renewable solar energy generation in the future. 

Net Zero Ready features include:

  • R80 attic insulation
  • R36 insulation in the walls
  • Insulated concrete forms
  • Low-E, argon triple pane windows
  • Air source heat pump domestic hot water heaters
  • Hot water heat recovery drain coils
  • Right-sized, energy-efficient modulating furnaces with air source heat pump
  • Interactive energy monitoring system
  • Highly efficient LED lighting
  • Solar panel array
  • Passive solar design elements
  • Engineered modular construction method

Through its various housing partnerships, the NAHC is dedicating a percentage of the purpose-built rental units as affordable units.

When this property was rezoned for multi-unit residential development in 2018, Big Block applied architectural controls to the design so the exterior features, materials and colours complement neighbouring houses. Throughout the construction process, we kept regular communication with neighbouring residents and made every effort to significantly minimize disruptions. By utilizing advancements in modular construction, the bulk of the project was built off-site in a factory environment. Construction materials and supplies deliveries were reduced by up to 70% and overall build time was reduced by approximately 6 months.

An environmentally-friendly benefit of modular builds is the reduced waste generated by its construction. With less material in transit and transition like on a conventional building site, there is less likelihood of accidents, spills, and environmental damage to the building material. The factory setting also makes it easier to reuse and recycle waste materials. Overall, it is estimated that waste is reduced from 10% to 15% in a conventional project to 5% with a modular-built project.

Additionally, consolidating work at a factory, in combination with the more efficient construction operations, results in modular-built projects producing up to 50% less CO2 emissions than conventional site-built projects.

Construction on this project started in May 2020, and the project was completed and ready for move-in by October 2020.

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