The Construction Source


All the best, The Editorial Team We will keep adding business units that enhance our offering and separate us from our competition. “ ” Editor From The Dear Reader, Welcome to the latest issue of Construction Source Canada, the magazine that highlights the best in building and building products across the country. With this edition, we close the chapter on 2022. It was a challenging year, with ongoing supply chain challenges following the pandemic as well as ongoing labour shortages – but in the face those challenges, the companies featured in our pages have continued to grow and get better at what they do. Our cover story this month is a good example – Platinum Signature Homes is an Edmonton-based builder of acclaimed custom homes that we’ve covered before. This time out, we talked to founder and president Sunny Sahni about their last couple of years specifically. In those years, despite the difficulties they have faced, they have grown, they have won awards, and they have been recognized as a ‘Holmes Approved Builder.’ We talked to Sunny all about that recognition. Also featured in this issue is Elgin Innovation Centre (EIC) – a business park in Aylmer, Ontario, that’s home to 35 companies with over 500 employees. Helping their tenants grow and thrive even during challenging times is their whole reason for being. They were founded after the 2005 closure of an Imperial Tobacco Plant that eliminated a lot of jobs in their community. Ever since, the goal of EIC’s founders – including Jack Baribeau, who told us their story – has been to create a space that “enables innovation, job-creation, and diversification so that this property can continue being a vital piece of the local economy.” There’s also Norseman Construction – they are a GTA builder specializing in the full spectrum of home improvement projects, and they are another company that has been growing steadily and improving continuously, even and especially over the past couple years. According to Kris Potts, president and founder, the key to their success has been their innovative use of technology. He talked to us all about how that technology works and how it has helped them thrive as a renovator. For more stories like those – stories of innovation, growth, and continuous improvement – just keep flipping the pages. Until next year – have a happy holiday season, and thank you for reading!



THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA With over 90,000 senior executive readers, The Construction Source is proud to offer an attractive platform to share you message with the people that matter most - your customers. Whether your objective is to promote a new condo development, attract financial investment in your upcoming projects, or to build brand recognition, we stand ready to help! To find out more about having your company or latest project feature in The Construction Source, please contact our Group Publisher. Jermaine Poulsen e: The Costruction Source Canada 2201 - 250 Yonge St Toronto, Ontario M5B 2L7 E: Group Publisher Jermaine Poulsen General Manager Alexandra Box Operations Manager Joshua Stewart-Boyd Head of Editorial Content Tamara Breen Production Manager Vicki Lee Editor Zach Janes Graphic Design Pranim Thapa

DECEMBER 2022 ELGIN INNOVATION CENTRE A supportive business environment PLATINUM SIGNATURE HOMES An exciting time DESA GLASS The complete glazing solution KARVIN DEVELOPMENTS Quality meets affordability TOOKETREE PASSIVE HOMES Building for the future RIDGEPOINT HOMES Building relationships and quality homes NORSEMAN CONSTRUCTION Quality and confidence COULEE RIDGE DEVELOPMENT Natural beauty meets modern convenience AIM DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING Attainable development INDUSTRY INNOVATIONS INCINERATING TOILETS IN THIS ISSUE DECEMBER 2022 COULEE RIDGE DEVELOPMENT RIDGEPOINT HOMES



THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA Water connection not required Requires little space No odour Easy installation No frost protection needed Secure for children ash to be emptied No waste handling, only and more Bunkies, For Home, Cottages, Shops, 3 - 4 visits per hour High capacity Propane&Electric models ABOUT CINDERELLA ECO GROUP Cinderella Eco Group is a family-owned company located in the north-western coastal community of Midsund in Romsdal, with deep roots in the beautiful Norwegian fjord-landscape. We have more than 20 years’ experience with the Cinderella Incineration Toilet, a water-free, ecological solution for the management of toilet waste. Cinderella, the natural first choice for those who place high demands on quality and functionality. HIGHLIGHTS OF INCINERATION TOILETS:



In October, 2005, the Imperial Tobacco Company announced they were closing their Aylmer, Ontario, processing plant after 82 years of production. During peak season, that facility – at one time hailed as the largest plant of its kind in the British Empire – employed roughly 600 people and processed 100 million tonnes of tobacco per year, making it a leading exporter in the country and a major economic player in the region. The closing of those doors left a significant hole. Fortunately, a team of investors and local business people stepped in to fill that hole – and the Elgin Innovation Centre (EIC) is the result. A supportive business environment

In 2010, the EIC teampurchased the property that was once the Imperial Tobacco Plant with a vision to repurpose it into a multi-tenant “industrial mall,” so that it would never again be susceptible to a single industry shutting down. The project was a massive undertaking taken on by a small team of driven, hardworking founders. “Our vision was to maximize the potential of this millionsquare-foot, 55-acre property by creating an industrial center full of diverse, innovative, and sustainable businesses to replace the economic and employment loss from the closure of the Imperial Tobacco Plant,” says Jack Baribeau – one of the founders of the EIC, as well as the founding president of Baribeau Construction. Prior to getting involvedwith the EIC, Jackhadbeenself-employed and working in construction since he was 18 years old. He grew up in Saskatchewan, where he estimates he built “hundreds of homes,” and then after coming to Ontario he got into commercial building. In the years since, Baribeau Construction has grown steadily in both size and reputation. They are now one of the leaders in commercial contracting in the London region. Jack was first exposed to the site that would become the EIC when he used to drive by it while taking his kids to play hockey. After the old Imperial Tobacco Plant shut down, he decided to drop in and talk to their representative. “I said ‘It’s probably costing you about one-and-a-half million per year just sitting here empty. Why don’t you give it to us and we’ll break it into small pieces and create jobs for the Clear Solutions Inc. started in 2019 as a small wood finishing shop within a small unit at the EIC. As their capability grew, so did their space requirement. By working with the EIC team, we were able to revitalize an old section of the building and convert it into a fully functional 14,000sqf workshop for CNC cutting, wood & plastic products, and paint finishing. DECEMBER 2022

Mitchell’s Soup Company is an artisan soup manufacturer that was bursting at the seams of their 4,000 square foot production facility in St. Thomas. They approached the EIC team in 2021 looking for space. Together we selected an existing warehouse and converted it into a 20,000 square foot food grade production facility. This space has allowed the company to grow expeditionary providing stable, local jobs for the community. THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

community again?’” Jack recalls. “They kind of laughed and kicked me out. They said ‘Sorry, we can’t give you the building.’ A month later they called me back and said ‘We can’t give it to you for free, but we’re intrigued by your vision and we’d like to meet again.” After discussing it further and working out a fair price, a deal was struck. Jack brought on some business partners – the other founders of the EIC – and “we bought a million square foot empty building with five security guards working in it.” When the EIC team first purchased the site, the property was “big and clean and empty,” Jack recalls. “I warned my wife we may end up living under a bridge,” he jokes. “So I took her down to the bridge in Dorchester, showed her the view, and showed her when we’d plant the trees to support her hammock. She said ‘Okay, let’s go for it.’ That was about 13 years ago now.” In the early days the team experienced many challenges with firm alarms freezing sprinkler systems hazardous building materials family to Aylmer so he could be minutes away from the facility for when the next emergency happened. Fortunately, the EIC was a success and Jack ultimately never had to reside under that bridge. Jack recalls the facility being 75 per cent sold out before they even started to list it. Today, the centre is 100 percent occupied with over 35 tenants and more than 500 people working there. From the beginning, what has made the EIC unique was the approach of the founders, which is uniquely handson. The property has always been owner-managed, with management striving to be as supportive and responsive as possible to allow for business change and growth. In addition, they have always had a “willingness to work with and provide support to early-stage companies,” and “to take risks An aerial photo of the facility is the only way to comprehend the size of the facility that Imperial Tobacco used to operate. It has taken over a decade to revitalize 1,000,000 square feet of warehouse, office, and industrial space into fully functional space for businesses to thrive in. DECEMBER 2022

by investing in improvements to create the ideal facility for each business.” According to Jack, the EIC team see themselves as “supportive landlords” with the businesses there, not just landlords. By taking this approach, they have been able to welcome many new businesses to the facility, as well as many businesses looking to expand – and “we are happy to have been a part of their success.” As an example of how the team at EIC partners with incoming businesses and go above and beyond their roles as landlords, Jack cites Planet Shrimp Inc., one of their early tenants. Within the EIC, Planet Shrimp now have four rows of tanks, with six tanks on top of each other in each row, with the dimensions of each tank being 16 feet wide by 320 feet long. The team at EIC helped set all that up. “That had never been done before,” Jack recalls. “We worked with them and helped with the design and helped them make it food grade. That was one of the higher-risk early projects.” Early on, the EIC also reserved an area for brand-new innovative small businesses that were just starting out. They would charge those businesses “little-to-no-rent” for a while to help promote local innovation. They would also help them write business plans, help them set up their financing, even help them acquire necessary certifications. “We are supportive landlords,” Jack says. “We give our tenants a supportive environment. We’ve helped a lot of companies get started and we’ve helped a lot THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

of companies grow.” Today, as previously mentioned, the Elgin Innovation Centre is home to more than 500 employees. They offer manufacturing, industrial, warehouse, and office space to meet the needs of any growing business or start-up. Notable examples of EIC success stories include Motif Labs, PakFab, and Mitchell’s Soup Company, and the Imperial Farmer’s Market. Motif Labs, for example, has grown form just two founders in 2018 to over employing more than 200 employees four years later. PakFab, meanwhile, originally expanded into 7,000 square feet of space at the EIC. They now occupy over 100,000 square feet of the former processing portion of the plant off of Elm Street. They also have multiple locations spanning Ontario, Ohio, and Mexico, and they have been recognized as one of Canada’s top 500 fastest growing companies by Profit Magazine and the Globe and Mail. Those are just a couple examples of longstanding tenants. According to Jack, that kind of longevity is typical at the EIC. “We build solid relationships with our tenants,” Jack says. “They realize quickly that we’re here to help them, and they tend to stick around for a long time. They see that it’s not all about the money for us. What it’s about is creating jobs in the community. That’s what we were called to do. That’s what drives us.” Sante Manufacturing Inc. is a Toronto based health and beauty product company. Their 105,000 square foot unit was renovated in 2021 after they saw the potential of what Aylmer had to offer. Today, produce bottles and soap from this facility and have added over 50 jobs to the community. DECEMBER 2022

Thinking outside the box To this day, the EIC team continues to invest heavily in the property, adding new access roads, power infrastructure, utility infrastructure, shipping and receiving facilities, as well as fiber optic internet. According to Jack, the mission remains the same as ever – “to strive to create a space that enables innovation, jobcreation, and diversification so that this property can continue being a vital piece of the local economy.” To further that mission, the EIC has also experimented with other uses for the property. For example, last year they took a street-facing section of the original wood building – originally constructed in the 1930s and 40s – and converted into a farmer’s market around Christmas time. That experiment was successful, so this year they upgraded the space to roughly 20,000 square feet and they opened a permanent farmer’s market. “That’s been running Saturday,” Jack explains. “It’s been filling up This is an image inside Mitchell’s Soup Production Floor. The yellow floor not only brings life to the building, it also hides stains from the spice they use in some of the soups! THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

with local vendors. We’re getting 2,500 to 3,000 people through every week. We have already seen that the added traffic to Aylmer provides benefits to many other local businesses.” The next step, Jack says, is to keep the momentum going and help this market become a staple destination for the Aylmer community and abroad. To that end, they are currently are considering all sorts of creative offerings. That’s a particular focus of the “next generation” of EIC leadership, which includes two of Jack’s sons and his business partner’s daughters. “We’ve always been able to think outside the box with objective of helping other businesses succeed,” Jack says. “That’s been the foundation of our success. That’s what we’ll continue doing. ” The Old Imperial Farmer’s Market is the newest adventure that the EIC team has embarked on. With the facility nearly full, the team decided that a market was something the community was missing. As a way of giving back to the community of Aylmer, we partnered with local experts in the retail industry and dove in! Today, the market is less than 6 months old and it is thriving. The history of the building brings a feeling of nostalgia to many locals and the quality of product brings tourists from near and far! DECEMBER 2022

For more on Elgin innovation Centre, their available spaces, the businesses already there, and the latest news on the facility, visit For more on the new year-round farmers market and everything it has to offer the community, visit Percision Fab Inc, (now PakFab Engineered Solutions) has been a prime example of local entrepreneurship and one of the first businesses to call EIC home. Finding their niche in the automotive packaging industry, PFI grew from a small 8,000 square foot machine shop into a backbone employer in Aylmer. With over xxx employees and utilizing more than 200,000 square feet of space, PFI’s continued innovation is showing no signs of slowing down. THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

An exciting time

Platinum Signature Homes is an Edmonton-based builder of acclaimed custom homes, the kind designed-and-built to reflect the client’s individual vision, lifestyle and design aesthetic. Over the years they have built an industry reputation for the quality of both their homes and their customer service. Over the last few years, they have bolstered that reputation by delivering a series of acclaimed and award-winning show homes and homes for clients.

“There have been a lot of positives over the last couple of years,” says Sunny Sahni, the company’s founder and president. “We’ve grown as a company. We’re building more homes. We’re getting a lot of recognition. It’s an exciting time.” Sunny has personally been building homes since 2004. Over the years, he’s progressed from building production homes to slightly bigger custom homes to custom luxury estate homes, which is what the company is known for today. That progression has been abetted by a series of awards and other industry nods. For example, Platinum Signature Homes is now a ‘Holmes Approved Builder,’ as recognized by Mike Holmes fromTV’s ‘Holmes on Homes.’ At the 2022 BILD Alberta Awards, the company also recently won the ‘Single Family Home $600,000 to $800,000’ category for a home they built last year in the Creekwood Collections at Chappelle. “That means a lot,” Sunny says of the industry recognition. “It’s always nice to be recognized by your peers. It’s nice to know that they appreciate what you do. It makes us feel like we’re doing something right.” That most recent awardwinning home was originally intended to be a show home. With it, Sunny wanted to create a smaller home than he normally does, as the market was unstable at the time and he wanted to a display that showed he could cater to smaller budgets as well. “I wanted to show that you don’t have to build an estate home and spend millions of dollars to get quality,” he says. “If you DECEMBER 2022


use the right elements and products in a smaller home, and you can still get something that looks and feels amazing. The products don’t even need to be expensive. They just need to be the right products and the home has to have the right energy and flow.” Initially, the idea was to use that show home to generate sales for other lots in the nearby area. By the time the home was ready, however, most of the lots in the area had already been sold – by Sunny, in fact, who is also a realtor. “So there was no point opening it as a show home,” he says. “It was designed for us to get some orders for smaller homes in that area. But then we didn’t have any lots left in that area! So we ended up selling it.” After they made the call to sell it, that home ended up selling “very, very, very fast.” As soon as they put it on the market, Sunny says, they had offers “coming in left right and center.” He credits that interest to the “functionality and details” of the home. “It didn’t have a lot of details, but the details were in the right place,” he says. “It was also a great location. There was a walkout basement backing up onto a pond. It was a beautiful site.” Sunny also credits that commercial response – as well as the industry awards – to the high quality of workmanship displayed in the home. In turn, he credits that workmanship to the hard work and dedication of the company’s trade partners. Many of those partners have been working with Platinum Signature Homes for over eight years now, and Sunny says they DECEMBER 2022

enjoy close-knit relationships based on trust and mutual respect. “We’ve always believed in using the same trades over and over, because they know what is expected,” he says. “They know they’re going to be paid well, they know they’re going to be paid on time, and they know they are going to get treated with respect – and they know that I expect quality in return.” “They also know that I’m not in a rush,” he adds. “A lot of builders will say they can finish an estate product in 12 months. I’m okay with telling the client that I’ll need a year-and-a-half. Because if one of my trade partners says they need five days to do a job, I’m going to give them seven. I’m not going to rush it. When you rush, quality is compromised, and details get ignored. I believe that paying close attention to the finer details makes all the difference.” One example of a longstanding partner isQuantumMechanical, a locally-based plumbing and heating contractor. They do both commercial and residential, and on the residential side they specialize in large custom homes. They offer a wide range of services and they are dedicated to providing premier custom service as well as durable and cost-effective workmanship. Platinum Signature Homes’ relies on partners like them to keep their quality high. THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA


Trying new things Currently, Platinum Signature Homes is in themidst of building a brand new show homes, located in an exclusive gated community called ‘the Banks at Hendriks Pointe in Keswick.’ At 13,700 square feet, it will be the company’s largest show home to date. “I really wanted to build a big home,” Sunny recalls the origin of that project. “I wanted to showcase more of what I could do at that size. I wanted to try some new things, bring in some new elements.” “Most of the homes I build, I build for clients,” he adds. “So normally it depends on what the client wants in the home. But I always wanted to build a home to my taste. The only way I can do that is building a show home. So I decided to go for it.” Fortunately, Sunny says, the developer was very supportive and very open to the idea, even though there were only 21 lots in the community. His subcontractors and suppliers were similarly supportive – they pitched a lot of new products for THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

the home and offered especially competitive pricing. “Our trade partners really wanted to be part of it,” Sunny says. “They all wanted to contribute. They all wanted to promote their products. They were a huge help.” Platinum Signature Homes is currently in the framing stage of that project, and they are using a lot of steel to make the structure even stronger. They currently project to be open by the end of 2023. 2023, in general, is looking to be a very busy year for Platinum Signature Homes. According to Sunny, interest in the company’s product is at an all-time high. He believes that’s partly a credit to the industry recognition they have received recently, but more than that it’s a credit to the relationships he has built with his past clients. “My business is almost all referral-based,” he says. “I think that shows that we do a great job at keeping clients happy. I think it proves that we have a good reputation in the market for building high quality homes.” Platinum Signature Homes also has a reputation for working closely with clients, according to Sunny. He believes that’s been a key driver of the company’s success. “We get the client very involved in both the design process and the build process,” Sunny says. “I personally take them through their house probably 15-to-20 times throughout the whole process. I walk them through every step, from the planning stage all the way to final possession. I’m very hands-on, very personable, and I get personally involved. I don’t just hand them off to the site manager and say ‘Hey, take DECEMBER 2022


them through the house.’ I do it personally.” “I think that personal touch is important,” he adds. “As builders, we can’t lose sight of the fact that this is going to be one of the biggest purchases the client will ever make in their life. It might just be another day in the office for us, but it’s hugely important to the client. So it’s important for me to hold their hand and walk them through the process. I think that’s key.” Again, that approach has led to a lot of success and a lot of interest – especially recently. Sunny reiterates that next year will likely be the company’s busiest ever. To accommodate that business, they are now on the lookout for new trades who fit their values and who can meet their quality standards. They are also experimenting with new products and new building technology. “The future looks amazing,” Sunny concludes. “We are so busy. We have so many orders for next year. The amount of homes we’re building now, I’ve never built so many in my life. It’s going to be a challenge, but it’s going to be a fun challenge. I’m very excited.” DECEMBER 2022

For more on Platinum Signature Homes, their design-and-build process, and their recent award-winning projects – and to get in touch with Sunny and his team – visit THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

The complete glazing solution

DESA Glass is an Alberta-based company that fabricates and installs a wide variety of commercial aluminum glazing performance systems. Since forming over 30 years ago, they have continuously improved and evolved in order to meet the needs of an ever-evolving building envelope market. Today, they operate out of a 72,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in Rocky View County, Alberta, where they design, engineer, develop, test and manufacture products capable of responding to themost stringent of thermal andstructural requirements.

“Over the years, DESA has developed an extensive product portfolio that is at the forefront of innovation,” says Fred Frank, Director of Project Management. “Our systems range from complex Curtain Wall Systems, unitized and stick build, to custom interior tenant packages. While maintaining both structural and thermal performance requirements, we also achieve a high quality, aesthetically pleasing product – we are the complete glazing solution.” DESA was originally formed in 1988 by company president Dan Barker, along with two partners. They started as a dealer for a large curtail wall supplier and at first worked exclusively with their systems. In 1999, Dan’s two partners retired and he took over sole ownership of DESA. Since then, he has continued to grow and evolve the company into one of the largest glazing contractors in Alberta, with works spanning across Western Canada and the Northwest Territories. One of the biggest drivers of DESA’s evolution has been the development of their own improved commercial glazing systems. Their first in-house design was called the ‘DESA 45 Series Curtain Wall System.’ It was released in 1993 and quickly became very successful. That success put them on the path of creating a multitude of DESA designed building envelope systems. Today, DESA manufactures complete building envelope systems varying in size from storefronts to curtain walls spanningmulti-storeybuildings. According to Fred, what sets them apart is their “full-service DECEMBER 2022


approach,” where they can be part of the construction team from start-to-finish. That approach includes Preconstruction Design and Engineering Assistance for clients, contractors, and architects; rapid response to quotation requests; finding and suggesting cost-saving opportunities; precision manufacturing; on-time delivery; and client support throughout the lifecycle of the project. “We can provide a ‘one-stopshop’ approach,” Fred says. “From estimating to in-house drafting and engineering, as well as project management, all the way up to in-house performance testing using our own laboratory and test facility. We can prepare, develop, and execute any size project all under one roof, with no limitations to complexity, performance requirements or value.” DESA also offers clients design assistance, which is another point of difference – “We’ll meet with the architect, discuss the concept, and we’ll figure out how we can provide the best possible product within the available budget.” The company is also set apart by their reputation, which they are very serious about preserving. Ever since DESA was founded, Fred says “we’ve always been considered a reliable partner in the construction industry, and we maintain that reputation to this day.” Being reliable, Fred explains, means being responsive to clients when they have questions or requests. It also means being fair and reasonable when it comes to pricing and keeping projects on budget. Furthermore, being reliable means living up to their delivery commitments. DESA ensures they can do that by keeping large quantities of material in stock, readily available in their lot. On site, they further ensure that by using only qualified installers and properly vetted subcontractors. DECEMBER 2022


Solutions on budget As recent examples of what DESA is capable of, Fred points to the company’s work on a couple different landmark projects, including City Centre 3 in Surrey, BC, and the BLUME Towers and the deVille Towers in Calgary, Alberta. CityCentre3 is locatedinSurrey’s Health and Technology District, right in the heart of the city and adjacent to popular landmarks and amenities. DESA’s scope included the fabrication and installation of the DESA 2500HP Curtain Wall System on the ground floor, Unitized Curtain Wall on levels 2-through-10, glass canopies, sunshades and aluminum doors and entrances. On that project, Fred says that DESA was given the opportunity toworkcloselywiththearchitect, and they were given quite a few design challenges to overcome. For example, the architect had the idea for a glass ceiling below an outward-leaning CurtainWall on the corner of a building. In working with the architect, DESA Glass designed the glass ceiling which even had integrated LED lighting. DECEMBER 2022

“Due to the slope and tri angle shape of the glass ceiling, it was a challenging task, and we had to address all the issues it presented,” Fred says. “By collaborating with the architects and the owner, we were able to meet their design intent, while staying within the owner’s budget.” “Now everybody really likes it,” Fred adds. “The architect had nothing but positive comments and the owner nominated us for a VRCA award. We gave them exactly what they wanted while staying within their budget.” The BLUME Towers are located in the community of Dalhousie, Calgary Alberta. That project is made up of two towers reaching 15 storeys high. DESA was responsible for the fabrication and installation of 35,000 square feet of DESA 2500HP Curtain Wall and over 4,500 panels of OBE 6500 Series Unitized Curtain Wall, which they assembled in their own facility in Rocky View. There, Fred says the architect had a “challenging design with five or six different colours in the opaque areas.” “We had to look for ways to achieve thatwithout blowing the budget,” Fred recalls. “Printing on glass was not an option so we came up with the idea of using a film application for the opaque areas. We applied a film on the inner surface of the sealed units, which gave the architect an extreme level of design freedom.” Fred credits DESA’s success on both projects, again, to their capacity as a ‘one-stop-shop’ and their ability to collaborate with the architects throughout the entire process. At the same time, he also credits the hard work and dedication of DESA’s team. That includes their team of in-house designers, Project THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

Managers, Engineers and drafts people, not to forget the field and shop staff, but it also includes their roster of suppliers, subcontractors, and other external partners. “DESA Glass considers our suppliers as beingour partners,” Fred says. “Their input in suggesting and providing specific products that meet or exceed requirements in project specifications makes them a valued asset.” “All our suppliers are properly vetted regarding their products, services, and reliability. In some cases, we form longstanding working relationships, making our suppliers a part of the DESA Glass family.” One such ‘family member’ is Grant Metal Products – a Calgary-based company that custom manufactures high quality, precision-made metal components. For over 35 years, Grant Metal has built and maintained industry reputation for providing customers with top-of-theline products. They are known for responding to challenging requirements, budgets, and production timelines without compromising product integrity. They are exactly the kind of reputable and capable company that DESA seeks to partner with. DECEMBER 2022

Bigger and better Moving forward, DESA Glass aims to continue growing, in terms of both project size and geographic reach. According to Fred, their vision is to “be a leader in the glazing, building envelope industry by delivering high performance and sustainable products that will meet the needs of today and the future” and to “enhance the way we all live and work by providing visionary glazing and building envelope solutions.” Geographically, DESA plans to expand more throughout Western Canada in the coming years, specifically into British Columbia. They recently completedone project in Surrey, they now have a few more underway, and “we are excited to see what other projects we can be a part of.” Project-wise, meanwhile, Fred says that “bigger and better projects are always the goal for any business,” and DESA is no exception. As they grow, DESA is also investing in technology to THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

make sure they are operating as efficiently as possible. For example, they use highend drafting software such as Athena, and they recently upgraded from a regular 4-axis CNC machines to a 5-axis CNC machines. “We’re continuously growing,” Fred says. “We’re getting bigger, and we’re getting better at what we do.” “And what we’re achieving is a healthy growth,” he adds. “It’s a controlled growth. We’re growing, but we’re making sure that we always have the horsepower to fulfill our commitments and maintain our standards. As long as we do that, I think the sky is the limit.” Lastly, as they grow, DESA also seeks to continue building genuine relationships with stakeholders in their community. The company currently supports a number of different charitable and notfor-profit organizations, and they are always on the lookout for more opportunities to make a difference. One such community organization DESA currently supports is Next StepMinistries, a faith based not-for-profit agency that works with women transitioning from sexual exploitation towards a life of hope and healing. They provide transitional housing, help in pursuing educational goals, and assist them in developing strong self-images and feelings of self-worth. They work with collaborative partners like DESA to assist women in the healing process as they return to society. Additionally, the DESA team comes together every year before the holidays to collect donations and nonperishable food items. Those items are picked up by local transportation companies and delivered directly to charities within the community. DESA has participated for the past 10 plus years and is looking forward to participating for many more years to come. When it comes to engaging with the community, DESA also seeks to support the next generation. In 2016, they started participating in the Registered Apprenticeship Program, where they are given the opportunity to train, and mentor high school students during the summer months. During these two months, they can better prepare these DECEMBER 2022


students for their future by giving them hands on industry experience while working in a safe and fun environment. “Giving back is a very important thing for us,” Fred says. “We like to engage with the community, and we like to go above and beyond just giving money. We want to be way more involved than that.” Finally, lookingforward,DESAiscommitted to keeping their employees safe and healthy. Safety is one of the company’s core values; it is a “guiding principle within our operations,” Fred says. The company holds their Certificate of Recognition from the Alberta Construction Association and has developed an extensive safety program. They proactively contribute to, as well as protect, the physical, psychological, and social well-being of all employees, subcontractors, clients, the public and others. DESA’s unwavering commitment to safety is reflected in their company name – they are Dedicated to Employee Safety Awareness. DECEMBER 2022

For more on DESA Glass, their products, their past projects, and their relationships with their clients and their community, visit THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

Quality meets affordability

Karvin Developments is a builder and developer based in Chilliwack, BC, dedicated to delivering thoughtfully-crafted, high-quality, and longlasting homes and properties. Founder and owner John Vander Hoek has over 30 years’ experience in the local industry, a passion for the local community, and extensive knowledge of Chilliwack and the surrounding areas. Armedwith that experienceandpassion, hehasbecomeknown for building long-standing relationships with team members and partners, and for delivering homes that exceed the expectations of clients.

With their own projects, Karvin Developments is now focused on providing homes that are affordable and accessible. With projects for clients, they are dedicated to providing not just quality homes, but quality experiences. “Building and buying houses is complicated,” John says. “On top of that, it’s often the largest purchase you’ll ever make, adding to the stress. Jobs can go over budget, and builder mistakes can cost you more.” “We work hard to take the stress away from your new home build. We do that through thoughtful budgeting, avoiding home deficiencies, and proper planning.” “We want the homeowner to feel comfortable through the whole building process. Because building their own home is actually a special time for someone. They shouldn’t have to feel stressed about it. They should feel comfortable and enjoy the process.” John personally started working in the construction industry as a labourer in 1987. Since then, he has earned more than 30 years of experience as a successful framer, framing contractor, home builder, and land developer in the Fraser Valley. In that time, he estimates he’s built at least 10 houses for himself and his wife, which has given him a good insight into what the homebuilding experience is like for clients. From the moment he started his own company, John’s goal was to use his knowledge and expertise to provide clients with a better, stress-free homebuilding experience. For a long time, he did that under the banner of ‘Vander Hoek DECEMBER 2022


Construction. In 2008, John started doing some low-rise apartment developments with a partner, and the company eventually rebranded. Today, under the ‘Karvin Developments’ brand, the company’s service offering is extensive – they develop, build and sell their own homes, they build custom homes for clients, and they build and manage rental properties. They do “a little bit of everything,” according to John. “We do custom homes for clients, we do pre-sold customs, and we do our own developments,” he explains. On the development side, Karvin’s first project was a 44unit apartment complex on Corbould Street. Their second apartment, which they recently completed, is located on Edwards Street. It consists of 28 rental units that were created with affordability in mind, all with rents 10 per cent below market rates. Beyond even the affordability, that Edwards Street project has a lot going for it – it is handicap accessible, the building features tasteful colours and modern textures, as well as large covered verandas, secure underground parking with ample overflow, and camera security in all public areas. It is also conveniently located – it is across from Chilliwack General Hospital, within a short walk to a gym, swimming pool, and ice arena, and in a neighborhood that has shopping, restaurants, and pharmacies. That project started with Karvin Developments purchasing a lot in the city that was “really narrow and really long,” and at first they weren’t sure what DECEMBER 2022

they were going to be able to do with it. Initially, with the original zoning, all council would approve was a duplex – so “to get a 28-unit apartment squeezed in there was a major feat,” John says. “I was exhausted by the time we get it rezoned,” he says. “But then building it was a big challenge, too. There was such limited access. It was a challenge right from the getgo.” John and his team persevered, however. They accepted the challenge, they put in a lot of hard work and long hours, and they figured out how to get it done. John says that they were highly motivated because they believed in the project and they believed in the concept of providing affordable housing. He also says they are extremely proud of the end-result. THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA


A quality mindset In addition to doing their own projects and developments, Karvin Developments also continues tobuild theoccasional custom home for clients. According to John, those clients are drawn to the company due to their experience, the quality of their work, and the affordability of their product. “Our quality is really good and our prices are really affordable,” John says. “We have the prices of a spec builder and the quality of a custom builder. We’re organized, we know how to keep our costs down, and we know how to deliver to a high quality.” That combination of quality and affordability is also a big part of what sets Karvin Developments’ multi-res product apart. “Having an affordable rent is huge,” John says, “but our apartments are not just affordable, they’re also really well managed. We have a fantastic crew in place. Our apartments are really clean, really well-maintained, really THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

well taken care of. When you walk through them, you can tell right away. We spend extra money on that.” Because Karvin Developments is a construction company, they can also respond quickly and efficiently when there are maintenance issues. “We keep up with it,” John says. “We don’t let anything go in our building. If there are renovations that need to be done, we’re there right away.” The company’s apartments, just like their houses, are also built to a really high standard to begin with. John credits that partly to his personal experience, as he’s been in the construction industry since he was 19 years old. He also credits his extended team of local tradespeople, architects, engineers, consultants, and city officials. Over the years, he says he has built an “exclusive network of long-term relationships” with those kinds of partners. “The intrinsic value of our company comes from those relationships,” he says. “We seek out those who demonstrate honesty, integrity, fairness, reliability, and the pursuit of excellence.” Many of those relationships, John explains, go all the way back to “day one.” “I still use some of the same trades I was using in my 20s when I first started building. If they have the same mindset and the same quality, I see no reason to change.” Looking forward, Karvin Developments hopes to continue maintaining those relationships. As the company grows, they hope those partners continue to grow with them. And if their growth requires them to bring on new partners, they hope to find ones that prove to be just as loyal and capable. Speaking of growth, John sees DECEMBER 2022

most of that growth happening in the multi-residential sector. He says that’s the direction the company wants to go – away form custom homes and towards more affordable multiresidential properties and presold subdivisions. That’s where they feel like they can make the bigger difference. Currently, KarvinDevelopments already has a third apartment project coming up in the city that will consist of 64 units, making it their largest to date. They are also working on 51-lot subdivision on Little Mountain, where they are building some higher-end homes on some sizable lots. Within that community, John describes their sales model as “a mix between custom and spec.” “We’re trying to provide a building experience where the customer can make decisions and have input into their home but within certain parameters,” he explains. “They can choose colours; they can change their cabinet layouts; et cetera. They can make a certain amount of changes without affecting the process and the cost.” “By doing it this way, we can make sure we’re building as efficiently as possible every time,” he says. “This way we can keep the costs down and we can keep the prices affordable, while also still letting the customer take part in the process.” Between that subdivision and upcoming apartment, Karvin Developments is set to pretty busy over the next couple years. John says there is room to get busier, but it will depend on if they can find the right team members. “I think thesizeof thecompany is going to be based on the quality of the people we have,” he says. “Right now, we have some core THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

guys who are playing a large part in the company. They’re young, they’re organized, and they’re super motivated. If we can keep finding guys like them, I believe the sky is the limit. The potential is there to get a lot bigger.” No matter how big the company gets, however, John wants to maintain their same transparent approach to customer service. That transparency is something he highly values. He believes it’s a key driver of the company’s success. “We have to be 100 per cent transparent with our clients,” he says. “That’s something I tell my guys that all the time. I really emphasize that to them. Because when we focus on transparency, it forces us to be accountable. When we make a mistake, it’s obvious to everybody, and because of that we don’t make that same mistake again.” “It also makes the process enjoyable for clients,” he adds. “It helps them relax. It gives them peace of mind. They feel confident that nobody is taking advantage of them. That’s really important to us. We want them to be able to enjoy themselves.” DECEMBER 2022

For more on Karvin Developments, their projects, their homeowner care, and to hear from past clients – and to get in touch with John and his team today – visit THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA

Tooketree Passive Homes is an Ontario company dedicated to creating energy-efficient, sustainable buildings that meet Canada’smost rigorous health and environmental standards. From their 7,000-square-foot factory in Muskoka, they design, build, and install pre-fabricated walls, floors, and roofs for new homes, offices, garages, and cottages. They believe in a better, healthier, and more sustainable future, and they are doing their part by delivering ecologically-responsible living and work spaces that are highly-efficient, cost-friendly, andhealthy for inhabitants. Building for the future

In order to achieve their high level of both quality and sustainability, Tooketree uses Sustainable, Ecological, Efficient, Durable (SEED) Building Systems, which they developed in-house. SEED walls use standard natural building materials with a few special considerations, such as using ‘smart’ membranes as vapour control layers. Those membranes prevent air movement but allow any moisture in the walls to dry out in either direction, helping to minimize the risk of mold. SEED panels are exceptionally wellinsulated, air-tight, weather resistant, and engineered to be long-lasting. “Our goal was to create the most environmentally-friendly panels available,” says Rick Zytaruk, co-founder and CFO of the company. “We wanted to create the healthiest homes possible, and we wanted to do our part to help transform the building industry by demonstrating how it can be done.” Tooketree Passive Homes was founded by Rick and his daughter, Melinda Zytaruk, in early 2017. Melinda has over 15 years of experience as a general contractor with a focus on green building and renovations. She is also general manager of the Fourth Pig Green and Natural Construction, which is Tooketree’s lead construction partner. Rick has extensive experience as a business consultant and a builder. He spent much of his career working in the application of technology and process improvement to address business problems. Throughout his career, he has been passionate about innovation and progress. DECEMBER 2022


Prior to forming Tooketree, Melinda was already using allnatural materials doing “healthy renovations.” Inspired by her, Rick started doing research and taking courses on sustainable building and he discovered that the building industry is nearly half of our climate problem. “The built environment generates about 40 to 50 per cent of annual global carbon emissions,” Rick says. “The City of Toronto website, which tracks their carbon emissions, claims it’s somewhere between 44 and 47 per cent.” “It makes sense when you think about how we create and source building materials,” he adds. “For example, the extreme heat needed to make cement involves a huge amount of carbon creation. Concrete alone contributes roughly seven to 10 per cent of the global carbon problem.” Of the total emissions that buildings generate, building operations – such as heating and cooling – are responsible for a significant percentage annually, while construction materials are responsible for the rest. When it comes to heating and cooling, there is already an active public movement to get away from fossil fuels. There is currently little public focus, however, on moving away from the use of fossil fuels to create building materials. Upon realizing that, Rick was spurred to action. “Once you learn something like this, it’s hard to unlearn it,” he says. “So I was sitting here thinking about my four grandchildren. One day they’re going to be old enough to say ‘Papa, what did you do to mitigate this big climate problem that we have?’ The DECEMBER 2022