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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 start the chapter on 2022 – on what’s sure to be a year of innovation, as the construction industry continues to tackle a wide array of challenges, including rising costs of building, the changing environment, and the ongoing effects of the pandemic. Prestige Steel is an Ontario company well-poised to address the environmental challenges. They are a family-owned-andoperated offering highly-specialized, custom steel buildings for business and personal use. Their products are economical, recyclable, built strong, built to last, and can be delivered and installed at a faster pace than other materials. We talked to founder and President Jason Gullett about those advantages and the problems that steel buildings can solve – for example, we talked about his goal to build steel houses in the Bahamas, where they would be well suited due to their ability to withstand the winds of a hurricane. We also talked to Bryce Alston of Alston Properties, a renowned developer of multi-family apartments in Winnipeg, Calgary and Victoria. In that case, we talked particularly about their work in Winnipeg, where they are doing their part to encourage the city’s downtown revitalization. Bryce walked us through some of their landmark and award-winning projects in the city, including their work on the historic James Avenue Pump House in the East Exchange. Prior to their involvement, 17 attempts were made to revive that structure but the proposals were all denied. Bryce talked about how Alston Properties was motivated by that challenge, how they were able to finally push through, and the acclaimed result they have since achieved. Continuing west, this issue also features a look at Sunstone Pemberton, an ongoingmaster-planned neighbourhood nestled at the base of BC’s Mount Currie. Cam McIvor, Development Manager, talked about the latest news on that project, including the status of ELEVATE at Sunstone, their upcoming collection of highly-sought after duplexes. For those stories and many more like them – about builders and developers from all over the country – just keep reading.
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JANUARY 2022 PRESTIGE STEEL Built strong, built to last ALSTON PROPERTIES Loving the challenge ELEVATE AT SUNSTONE Rare and exceptional LES MAISON BRUYERE HOMES Every step of the way TOWN OF DRAYTON VALLEY A long time coming SOTIRIOS Sustainable living CORWEST / TROIKA GROUP Building sustainable communities EKOBUILT High performance, low energy INDUSTRY INNOVATIONS INCINERATING TOILETS SOTIRIOS IN THIS ISSUE JANUARY 2022 CORWEST / TROIKA GROUP EKOBUILT
THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA PRESTIGE STEEL
JANUARY 2022 Industry INNOVATIONS MODERN & ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY TOILET SOLUTIONS
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:
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Built strong, built to last
Prestige Steel is a family-owned-and-operated business offering highly-specialized, custom steel buildings for business and personal use throughout Canada. Since commencing a little over a decade ago, they have developed a reputation for providing top-quality buildings, attentive custom service, and attention to detail. Throughout the metal building industry, they are known for being reliable and dependable, and for raising the profile of steel buildings in Ontario and beyond. With every year in business, they have strived to promote the benefits of building with steel, and to make the practice wider spread.
“Steel buildings are economical, recyclable, built strong, built to last, and can be delivered and installed at a faster pace than other materials,” says Jason Gullett, the founder and president of Prestige Steel. Steel building also has “green characteristics,” Jason adds. Not only are metal buildings recyclable and durable, but when strategically designed, they can also contribute to a building’s improved energy efficiency. In doing so, they can reduce the number of materials necessary for the building envelope, making them often more cost-effective than other non-metal construction materials. Jason was personally drawn to steel building early on his career. His father owned a larger construction company that did prefabricated buildings, and Jason started working with him at about 14-years-old. He later spent a few years working at a construction rental company, before returning to the world of prefabrication and forming Prestige Steel in 2011. From the start, Jason’s vision for Prestige was to work directly with commercial end-users. He also envisioned working with a variety of users, on projects ranging from 1,200 to 10,000 square feet. “We started off with boxes,” he recalls. “Well-insulated garages, THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA “We started off with boxes,” he recalls. “Well-insulated garages, warehouses, workshops, truck stops. Then as we got more comfortable with that, we progressed into some more complex builds. For example, we built a luggage conveyor building at Pearson Terminal 3 – that was pretty complicated.”
PRESTIGE STEEL warehouses, workshops, truck stops. Then as we got more comfortable with that, we progressed into some more complex builds. For example, we built a luggage conveyor building at Pearson Terminal 3 – that was pretty complicated.” Three years ago, Prestige started doing residential projects. Their first foray was a steel building attached to Jason’s own house, which made him realize the potential first hand. “I ended up staying in the steel building more than the house,” he says. “It was so open, it was so modern. I really loved it. I realized, ‘I should build houses out of these.’” Today, Prestige Steel offers a wide range of steel buildings for a variety of uses. The buildings they design and sell can include commercial buildings, aircraft hangers, boat strange buildings, boat racking systems, industrial structures, storage buildings, prefabricated metal garages, manufactural facilities, recreational facilities, agricultural facilities, steel homes, “barndominiums,” and more. In addition, Prestige offers installation services. They provide “the complete foundation package,” Jason says. Their concrete formers and steel building erectors are experienced experts who take pride in their work, and who excel in delivering steel buildings quickly and within budget constraints. They also work fast – Prestige’s prefabricated steel buildings are easy to install and can be erected in less than two weeks, depending on the size. These days, Prestige also offers more than “just the shell of the building,” Jason says. Over the years, they have steadily added to their capabilities and services. They can now help with everything frompermitting to site plans to groundwork to electrical work and more. “We’re not a full general contractor,” Jason explains. “We let the owners be their own general contractor and help
THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA them save some money. We assist them along the way with helping them with electrical, plumbing, groundwork, where to buy windows – we’ve just expanded into more and more areas over the years.” Jason believes that depth of service and capability is one of the main reasons clients choose Prestige Steel. Another reason, he believes, is the company’s policy of honesty and transparency. Prestige Steel’s consistency of quality also attracts clients, Jason says. He credits that consistency to the diligence of their team – starting with production manager Dave Simmons, who personally conducts multiple site inspections each week. The company also has a stringent quality a control program, which includes checklists that need to be tickedoffat every stageof the job – before excavation starts, after excavation is complete, before the foundation starts, and so on. “We strive to be perfect,” Jason says. “But at the same time, we know that’s not how it works in building. Nothing’s ever 100 per cent perfect. There are always some issues – we’re just very good at catching them beforehand, and then we take care of them.” Jason also credits the company’s consistency to their external team of subcontractors and tradespeople. He says that in the early years of Prestige Steel, he worked hard to filter out companies that didn’t fit
PRESTIGE STEEL with Prestige’s ethics, and that couldn’t consistently deliver to their expected standard of quality. When he finds partners that he can trust, however, he makes sure to stick with them. One trusted partner is Granite Engineering Services, a Muskoka-based provider of multi-discipline engineering and project management services. They are a trusted local company that has been working in the region since 2002. Prestige likes to work with them because of the depth of expertise they bring to the table – they offer a full range of engineering disciplines, and are able to assist in many different areas, from building design, through to site development, site plan approvals, variances, severances, and much more. They can help with projects from conception to completion. Granite Engineering Services is also “reliable,” Jason says – and the same goes for all of the company’s key subcontractors and suppliers. He says that’s the main value he looks for. It’s what customers expect out of Prestige, and it’s what he expects out of his partners.
Building trust Over the years, Prestige Steel’s high quality product – and equally high quality customer service – has been repeatedly rewarded with repeat work and referrals. Jason has personally formed friendships with many past clients, which would not likely be possible if they weren’t satisfied with the quality of Prestige’s work. J-Craft Boats, for example, has worked with Prestige Steels multiple times now. Jason recalls a recent conversation he had with the owner: “He said that he keeps coming back because of our attention to detail,” he says. “He’s an excinematographer, so he really pays attention to detail, and he likes that we do too. He also likes how creative we are. He likes how good we are at problem solving on the fly. He said that he could ‘just trust us.’ That’s why he likes working with us.” “That’s the case with a lot of our THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA
customers,” Jason adds. “They trust us. We do everything we can to earn that trust – and once we’ve built it, we do everything we can to maintain it. We believe that it’s the relationships we build with customers that powers our growth.” Moving forward, Prestige Steel’s goal is to continue building and maintaining trusts with all their customers. They also want to continue growing – but cautiously, and maybe not at the rate they have been over the past year. “When it first started, we really thought COVID was going to slow business down,” Jason says, “but instead it ended up increasing it drastically. We sold a lot of buildings last year. On average, we sold between oneand-a-half and two buildings per week.” The majority of those sales were for commercial buildings, but in the future the company hopes to do more residential homes – and not just in Canada. Jason also sees a lot of potential for steel houses in the Bahamas, because they can be engineered to withstand the winds of a hurricane. “When you see a hurricane go through the Bahamas, you see a lot of roofs get ripped off,” Jason explains. “The walls stay standing but the roofs are gone. But when you do a steel building, you have steel rafters and an engineered steel roofing system. It can withstand hurricane force winds. We see a lot of opportunity in that.” Domestically, Jason concludes, the goal is to also build more houses. “The house I’m sitting in now is our new office,” he says. “We’ve designed it as a show building. We wanted to show off what steel houses are capable of, how beautiful they can be.” PRESTIGE STEEL
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THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA For more on Prestige Stele, their services, building types, and the many benefits of building with steel, visit https://prestigesteel.ca/
Loving the challenge Alston Properties is an investor and developer of multifamily apartments in Winnipeg, Calgary, and Victoria. With general contracting and property management capabilities in-house, they are capable of taking projects from land acquisition, through to construction, completion, and management. Their specialty is purchasing older, well-positioned properties that pose unique challenges, and using their expertise to solve those challenges and deliver interesting and engaging projects.
Once their projects are complete, Alston also takes pride in building loyal and longterm relationships with their tenants. They achieve that loyalty by being transparent, by treating all tenants with respect and honesty, and by responding to their concerns quickly and effectively with their own inhouse team. Alston Properties is a private family-owned company, originally founded in Vancouver in the 1980s, by President Michael Alston. His son, Bryce – who oversees of the company’s operations in Winnipeg – joined the business out of university in 2012. Initially, he spent a couple years working alongside his father in Victoria, and then moved to Winnipeg in 2014 in order to establish a Manitoba office. When he first came to Winnipeg, Bryce recalls the city’s downtown was “on the precipice of revitalization,” and there were a number of grants available for redevelopment projects. Heritage projects were already an interest of his, and Alston Properties had a lot of experience doing heritage projects in Victoria – so “it seemed like a great opportunity,” Bryce says. Alston Properties’ first project in the city was a six-storey heritage warehouse building. Following the success of that project, the company began acquiring THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA “A lot of the new rental apartment construction that we’re seeing in Winnipeg right now is very similar,” he says. “There are a lot of suburban builders putting up the same type of product. But the stuff that we’re bringing to market is different. What we do is unique – it’s more boutique.”
ALSTON PROPERTIES more heritage properties. Their second project, for instance – located at 344 Ross Avenue in the West Exchange – was a redevelopment of a fivestorey heritage building plus an addition of a five-storey wood frame building to the existing building. Later on, Alston also spearheaded the rehabilitation of the Porter/Galpern Building at 165 Dermot Avenue. There, they converted a building initially constructed in 1906 into more than30 luxury apartments and four townhouses with a rooftop deck. That building now not only provides much-needed affordable rental housing to Winnipeg’s downtown, but the conservation also made a significant contribution to the social and cultural vitality of the streetscape. Accordingly, that project was a recipient of Heritage Winnipeg’s 2019 Conservation Excellence Award, as well as the National Trust for Canada’s Cornerstone Award for ‘Transformative Project.’ Following their success with the Porter Building, Alston Properties went on to acquire the historic Pump House at 109 James Avenue in the East Exchange. That’s amulti-phased project involving a combination of heritage redevelopment and new construction. Alston is working on the third phase of that project now – more on that later. Meanwhile, Alston is also currently working at 433 Main Street, where they are converting a 15-storey office building into 94 residential apartments. Currently, they are about three-quarters of the way through construction. According to Bryce, those projects all have their unique points of difference, but what unites them is their “uniqueness.” He says that’s what Alston looks for in all their projects: “We generally like to compete by not competing,” he explains. “We differentiate ourselves by doing projects that are extremely unique, that provide a different offering to the
THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA public.” “We do a lot of projects that not many developers would take on,” he adds. “We get ourselves involved in projects that are inherently risky ventures – but we rationalize and internalize a lot of that riskby self-performing a lot of the functions associated with development. We do most of our own construction, for example. We’re not relying on subcontractors or consultants.” “A lot of the new rental apartment construction that we’re seeing in Winnipeg right now is very similar,” he says. “There are a lot of suburban builders putting up the same type of product. But the stuff that we’re bringing to market is different. What we do is unique – it’s more boutique.”
Bold and engaging The Pump House is a mixeduse development on 109 James Avenue, in the East Exchange District in Downtown Winnipeg. It was designed by 5468792 Architecture – who received a 2018 Canadian Architect Award of Merit for their efforts. The history of the James Avenue Pumping Station dates back to 1904, when much of downtown Winnipeg was threatened by an out-of-control fire at James Ashdown’s Main Street hardware store. The domestic water supply proved inadequate in fighting that fire, so untreated Red River water was pumped into the domestic supply in order to increase water pressure. The fire was extinguished as a result, but the city’s water supply was contaminated in the process. In response, the James Avenue Pumping Station – which housed the massive equipment required to run a high-pressure water system for firefighting – was opened three years later. By 1986, the station was no ALSTON PROPERTIES
longer needed, and the building remained vacant for almost 30 years. Within that period of vacancy, 17 attempts were made to revive the historic structure, but the proposals were all denied, and the building was eventually slated for demolition. That’s when Alston Properties got involved. At the time, Alston was working on the Porter Building, which was itself a challenging project that other developers had tried and failed to make sense of. One of the stakeholders on the project was the CentreVenture Development Corporation – an arms-length agency of the City of Winnipeg, whose mandate is to provide leadership in the planning, development, coordination and implementation of projects in the downtown. They were impressed with Alston’s success on that job, and they were the ones that encouraged them to take on The Pump House. They even offered a substantial grant to make the project more appealing. “I was motivated to say yes because of everyone that had failed,” Bryce says. “The challenge motivated me. I love a project with a good sense of challenge. That keeps me going.” Ultimately, Alston Properties purchased the property in 2015 and immediately brought 5468792 Architecture on board. The two companies had already worked together on the Porter Building, and had established a strong and collaborative relationship based on their mutual creativity and forwardthinking. “What I really appreciate about THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA
their firm is their ability to think outside the box,” Bryce explains. “They come up with very creative solutions to unique challenges. They are perfect for that kind of site. They knew what would work, they knew what kind of density we needed to get to, but they knew we didn’t want to get into high-rise building measures. They came up with a concept that checked all the boxes.” Together, Alston and 5468792 came up with a proposal that council accepted. Over three phases, they would restore the pump house and build three mixed-use buildings on the east and west ends of the parcel. Bryce believes that Alston’s proposal succeeded where others failed because of how well it fit into the area: “We had a well-conceived concept that suited the neighbourhood,” he explains. “We weren’t proposing to build a 24-storey tower on top of the building, which a previous developer was looking at doing – that was really pushing the envelope as far as what contextually fits within that area, and we weren’t looking to do that.” Bryce also believes that Alston Properties’ reputation went a long way: “The city knew we had the capability to do the project,” he says. “They had seen what we were doing with the Porter Building. They knew our track record from out west. And they knew we were financially capable of doing it as well. They took a chance on us, for sure, but they had a good sense that we’d be able to see it through and get it done.” ALSTON PROPERTIES
The first phase of the project involved the restoration and renovation of the pumping station building into 11,250 square feet of office and retail space. That phase has been completed, and the office space is fully occupied. Phase two of the project involved the creation of 28 high end rental apartments on Waterfront Drive. That phase has also been completed, and those 28 units are also fullyleased and occupied. There’s also a barbershop on the main level which is fully operational. Phase three, which is still ongoing, will involve the delivery of 65 rental apartments. Those apartments are projected to be fully occupied by fall 2022. In designing the project, Bryce says that Alston Properties had a number of key goals. One of them was to highlight the historic pump hall, which was a well-preserved example of the “golden age of machinery.” In order to make sure that history was honoured, Alston and 5468792 left the pumps on the main floor free and clear of complicated programming, instead building a new floor within the existing building for an office tenant they already had lined up (the new floor had to be within the building, because the pump house’s foundation was not capable of supporting the construction of additional floors on top.) The design also made the great pump hall newly accessible to the public, and they made sure that views of the historic pump house were available from a variety of vantage points, including the approach to the site, the neighbouring exterior walkways, and the intimate alleyways that were formed between the buildings. THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA
Again, for their work on The Pump House, 5468792 won a Canadian Architect Award of Merit. In their comments, the jury praised the project for the way it engages with the heritage of the site. “Hats off to the development team, because it has taken some-25 years for something to happen on this site, with its remarkable heritage building,” wrote one juror. “The addition has an appropriately industrial character that links to the pump house machinery that is retained on the lower level. It’s bold and tries new ways of engaging the historic.” In general, Bryce reiterates, being “bold” and “trying new things” is what Alston Properties all about. In the case of the James Avenue Pump House, he says that even the new builds on either side of the existing heritage building “are extremely unique.” “They are mass-timber framed buildings. They’ve got unique features. They have full-glass window walls facing the river and the park. There’s nothing else like that in the city,” he says. Bryce credits The Pump House’s success so far – both the award-success and commercial success – to several factors, including the uniqueness of the offering, as well as the appeal of the neighbourhood. “It’s in a phenomenal area,” he says. “People are seeing that area’s vibrancy, and that’s just going to continue. It’s on such a good trajectory. People want to be there and businesses want to be there.” “The suites themselves are also pretty phenomenal,” he adds. “Every single unit has ALSTON PROPERTIES
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phenomenal views of the park as well as the river. They are really cool units. It’s a very boutique-style development. The feedback has been exceptional.” Bryce also credits the success to the building’s quality and high-end finishes. He credits that quality, in turn, to the team that worked on it. He reiterates that Alston self-performs a lot of that work – that’s part of what enables them to take on riskier projects – but he also says that their extended team of subcontractors and suppliers deserves recognition. According to Bryce, many of those partners are longstanding. He says that Alston Properties has been working with many of the same companies in both Alberta and Victoria for many years. For example, a longstanding Winnipeg-based partner is Holz Constructors, a custom prefabricated construction company. From lofts, to roof decks, to complex condo structures, they can prefab anything, for any building project. Over the years they have refined their particular prefab process to maximise sustainability, accuracy, and quality. Those qualities – combined with their emphasis on customer satisfaction, as well as their commitment to community service – make them an ideal partner for a developer like Alston. A lot of the same applies to Phoenix Ironworks, also a Winnipeg-based company. They are a designer, fabricator and installer of structural steel and miscellaneous metals, and their team of draftspeople, fitters and welders has decades of experience in the city and surrounding areas. They are committed to excellence in their work and excellence in their business relationships. Moving forward, those are the kind of partnerships that Alston Properties hopes to continue to foster, in Winnipeg and beyond. In Winnipeg and beyond, Bryce also says the business will continue to grow, and continue to build their track record of unique and interesting projects. “We have a number of projects that we’ve committed to,” he says. “We’re actively trying to grow our portfolio in Victoria, Alberta, and Manitoba. We’ve got one project in Calgary that we’re in the preconstruction phase and we’ve got a number of project that we’re about to start in Winnipeg.” “We’re motivated to do cool and interesting projects, and to solve problems that other developers don’t want to solve,” he concludes. “We want to do projects that are uniquely challenging. That’s what keeps us going.” ALSTON PROPERTIES
THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA For more on Alston Properties and their many innovative properties and developments, including the Pump House, visit https://alstonproperties.com/
Rare and exceptional Sunstone Pemberton is a thoughtfully planned neighbourhood in one of British Columbia’s premier locations. The community sits on a south-facing forested hillside, surrounded by a rock bluff, trees, and sweeping views of Mount Currie and Pemberton Valley below.
ELEVATE AT SUNSTONE
Integrated with that natural setting, the neighbourhood features green space, a community garden, a vast number of hiking and biking trails, and convenient access to year-round recreational amenities. Residents can enjoy a relaxed rural lifestyle while still remaining close to all that Whistler has to offer. “Sunstone is a rare and exceptional community,” says Cam McIvor, Development Manager. “It’s a place that people will be proud to come home to.” The community is being delivered in phases. Phase 1A included 39 carefully planned single-family lots ranging in size from 3,900 to 20,000 square feet. Phase 1B later included 24 lots, with sizes ranging from 8,900 to 24,700 square feet. Phase 2 is currently underway – the 2A release included 15 single-family lots, which are now sold out, and the upcoming 2B and 2C releases will add another 25 lots between them. The Phase 2 lots range in size from 10,000 to 30,000 square feet. “It’s quite generous zoning, which makes sense because of the way we live here,” Cam explains. “The lots are slightly larger than usual to accommodate all the trucks, and boats, and other toys that we use here in Pemberton.” THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA “Sunstone is a rare and exceptional community,” says Cam McIvor, Development Manager. “It’s a place that people will be proud to come home to.”
ELEVATE AT SUNSTONE In addition to the single-family offering, Sunstone also includes a multi-family component, called ELEVATE at Sunstone. ELEVATE is comprised of four townhomes and 46 elegant and contemporary duplexes. Each unit is spacious, encompassing more than 2,000 square feet including three bedrooms (with an option for four). The duplexes feature openconcept layouts, spacious living rooms, expansive decks, and large garages, complete with unobstructed views of Mount Currie. The ELEVATE duplexes also feature designer interiors. Sloped, 12-foot over-height ceilings with large windows in the living rooms maximize the mountain views and natural light throughout the homes. The kitchen cabinetry is professionally designed with contemporary stainlesssteel appliances. Every home includes composite quartz stone countertops with a freestanding island. The bathrooms and ensuites are spa-inspired, with designer plumbing fixtures and over-size porcelain tiles on the floor and walls. As of October 2021, ELEVATE at Sunstone was over 60 per cent sold. According to Cam, buyers have flocked to the project – and to Sunstone Pemberton in general – primarily because of the location. “It’s the premier place to live in Pemberton,” he says. “In my opinion, it’s the best place to live in the whole Sea-to-Sky Corridor.” “We’re at the north end, only 25 minutes from Whistler, but we don’t have the traffic that you have south of Whistler,” he explains. “We have mountain bike trails in the backyard, beautiful agricultural and mountain views to the south, and all-day sun from morning to evening.” Up until last year, Cam estimates that 75 per cent of the community’s buyers were Whistler and Pemberton locals. He says that locals had spent many years waiting for the project to get started because they knew better than anyone how special the location was.
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ELEVATE AT SUNSTONE
A top quality product The history of Sunstone Pemberton dates back to 2004 when the development team first acquired the 160 acres of hillside land that would eventually become Sunstone. Their vision was to create a community for people to live and experience the outdoor lifestyle the area is famous for. Pemberton was already well known for having places to enjoy cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in winter, along with a range of summer activities including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and water sports such as canoeing, kayaking, and swimming. Cam was personally very familiar with those recreational opportunities because he lives in Pemberton. He moved to the village roughly 25 years ago and spent 15 years helping to create the Pemberton Industrial Park, which now holds many of the villages’ largest business buildings and storage yards. Coming off that project, he THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA
became a partner in Sunstone Pemberton to help facilitate the next phase of the village’s evolution. To design the masterplan, Cam and his partners teamed up with several local experts. That list includes engineer Grant Campbell, who Cam had been working with for 20 years; Webster Engineering, who are specialists in hillside projects; Crosland Doak Design, an accomplished Whistler-based design studio that provides land use planning and landscape architecture services; Cascade Environmental, an experienced environmental and recreation consulting services provider; and Kontur Geotechnical, a B.C.- based geotechnical engineering consultancy. “Those are the fundamental consultants that we use,” Cam says. “We’ve all been working together for a number of years, and they’ve done an excellent job helping us design a masterplanned hillside.” In particular, Cam says, they have done an excellent job integrating Sunstone Pemberton with neighbouring projects and nearby recreation. On ELEVATE at Sunstone, Cam and his team have also formed some strong relationships with their project partners and consultants. For example, ELEVATEwas designedbyUrban West Architect, showcases beautiful interior design by AK Design, is engineered by Webster Engineering, and is being built by local company TM Builders Inc. Cam highly praises all those partners. Urban West, for example, he calls a “young, lean firm” that “came in with some great design concepts that worked with our hillside.” “Creating a two-storey, large duplex in a hillside environment required some thought,” he says. “They came up with a design that was functional, that maintained all the views, and that provided enough space to almost make you think you were in a single-family home.” TM Builders, meanwhile, will also be helping the team at Sunstone deliver a couple of spec homes on single-family lots that were held back in Phase 1B. Cam credits the success of that relationship to TM’s experience in the WhistlerPemberton region. “They have been building in Whistler and Pemberton for a number of years,” he explains. “They have a stable of contractors that they work with and trust – and when you’re working in this area, that’s a must. You have to have connections to local trades and contractors to get anything done. TM came in with a full team. They were able to pull together all the trades, meet our deadlines, and deliver a top-quality product.” ELEVATE AT SUNSTONE
Value all the way through The team at Sunstone Pemberton has also formed strong relationships with their buyers. It helps, Cam admits, that he already knew some of them from before, because of how many locals purchased lots and units early. It also helps, Cam says, that Sunstone has “offered good value all the way through.” “We’ve gone through some price increases, but we have not gone as far as we think the market wouldallow,” heexplains. “We’ve left room for people to come in and build their dream homes without stretching too far. In these times of inflating costs, that’s hard to do, but I think we’ve done it. I think we have offered an incredible product at a very reasonable price point – especially in relation to the rest of the Corridor and the Lower Mainland.” Sunstone also offered several enticing perks for buyers, Cam adds. For example, as a THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA
“housewarming gift” from them and TELUS, they offer buyers one year of free internet and Optik TV. They also offer two adult golf memberships at the nearby Sunstone Golf Club, which includes unlimited golf for two seasons and discounts at the golf shop and Sunstone Bar & Grill. Sunstone purchased that golf course and club several years ago, and since the onset of COVID has led it through a rebranding and revitalization. That’s an example of how they have worked with the community to develop and expand local recreation – moving forward, Cam says the goal is to continue down that path. For example, they recently built two brand new grass soccer fields, and they are now working on a $1 million mountain bike skills park. “We continue to work with the community on adding amenities,” Cam says. “We’re providing the earthworks, and the community is securing the funds to build the infrastructure.” Lastly, Cam says that he is looking forward to Phase 4 of the community. That phase will take place across 100 acres, on land that ranges from 400 to 900 feet above the valley floor. “It’s quite a spectacular piece of land,” he says. “We’re currently working on the design now. We’re very excited about what we have in store.” ELEVATE AT SUNSTONE
THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA For more on Sunstone Pemberton, the location, the lifestyle, and everything else the community has to offer, visit https://www. sunstonepemberton.com/ For more on ELEVATE at Sunstone specifically, including the latest news, visit https://elevatesunstone.com/
Every step of the way Les Maisons Bruyère Homes is a custom home builder based in the Russell Township, serving the Greater Ottawa Area. Founder and President Philippe Bruyère formed the company in 2011 with the goal of one-of-a-kind projects for clients who cared about quality. In the years since, the business has steadily expanded in both size and capacity. Today, they provide a wide range of construction and design services, encompassing everything a client would need to make their dream home a reality.
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Philippe personally has almost 20 years’ experience in the design and construction industries. He is a certified architectural technologist and worked for an architectural firm prior to establishing his own company. In 2008, he started a small renovation company. Three years later, after becoming a fully-insured registered member with the Ontario New Home Warranty Program, he started building custom homes and Les Maisons Bruyère Homes was born. Sabrina Granata, meanwhile, is a design consultant and project coordinator with the company. She and Philippe married in 2012, and she officially joined the Les Maisons team in 2020 to help manage their massive growth. She comes from a psychological background – which helps with customer satisfaction – and she has also helped build three houses for herself, so she is very familiar with the process and the common stresses and challenges. “My role is helping the client through the process,” she says. “I help them with the design, with the material selection, I make sure they always know what’s going on and that they’re getting what they want. Building a custom home can be a really stressful process, but it can help when you have someone who has done it before guiding you every step of the way.” THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA “Our clients can bring us a Pinterest picture of something they like, and even if it’s something we’ve never done before, we’ll figure it out together,” he explains. “We’ll find the materials we need, we’ll work with trades we’ve never worked with before – we’ll do everything we can to realize the client’s vision.”
LES MAISONS BRUYÈRE HOMES Today, Les Maisons Bruyère Homes takes on a wide range of projects in terms of size and value. According to Philippe, when evaluating a job, they don’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ based on the price point: “We can do smaller homes and we can do multimillion dollar homes,” he explains. “We look at every project individually. It’s not about the budget; it’s about the client and how we fit together.” “We like to work with clients who think outside the box,” Sabrina says. “We don’t love doing cookie cutter homes. It’s more fun professionally to build homes that are more custom – that use different materials, that have unique floor plans, and that have higher-end finishes.” Another factor they look at, Sabrina explains, is proximity. The company has worked as far as Brockville in the past, but nowadays, the closer to Ottawa and surroundings, the better – that way they can work faster and be more responsive if anything ever comes up on site. On the other side of the coin, she believes that the clients who fit that bill choose Les Maisons Bruyère Homes due to their reputation and completed projects. “What we hear a lot is ‘I love the houses that you’ve built,’” Sabrina says. “That’s how we meet a lot of our clients. They see the work we have done in the past and they reach out to us.” Les Maisons Bruyère Homes also has a reputation for being flexible and for being willing and ready to try new things. Philippe believes that reputation attracts likeminded: “Our clients can bring us a Pinterest picture of something they like, and even if it’s something we’ve never done before, we’ll figure it out together,” he explains. “We’ll find the materials we need, we’ll work with trades we’ve never worked with before – we’ll do everything we can to realize the client’s vision.”
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LES MAISONS BRUYÈRE HOMES “We’re not the kind of builder that says ‘No, we don’t do that,’” he adds. “We don’t say ‘You have to do it this way, because this is the way we always do it.’ We’re flexible. We’re responsive. We’ll work with the client to get the end-result they want.” Clients also appreciate the consistent quality of work that Les Maisons Bruyère Homes delivers. Philippe credits that consistency to the company’s roster of subcontractors and suppliers. He recalls spending a lot of time early on finding the right people and companies to fill those roles: “Fromthe beginning, I wanted to partner up with subcontractors and suppliers that I could count on to deliver quality,” he says. “I never wanted to use lowgrade products or unreliable trades. I wanted to make sure I was working with people and products that I could trust.” It did not take Philippe all that long to find those people and products. Since 2012, Les Maisons Bruyère Homes has been working with the same partners on a consistent basis. “This way, everybody knows what to expect,” he says. “They know our quality requirements, and we know what they need from us. We work well together. We have great relationships.” “That’s the way we like it,” he adds. “I’d love to keep the same team going until I retire, or until they do.”
Show-stopping quality Over the years, Les Maisons Bruyère Homes has delivered a long list of high-quality homes and renovations, and even commercial projects. Philippe says he is proud of everything that the company has built, but he says that one project in particular has earned them a lot of attention – a farmhouse-style home with a walkout basement on Eadie Road, in Russell. “That’s kind of a showstopper,” he says. “When you drive by that street, you can’t help but take notice. The house stands out.” “They were satisfied and grateful clients,” Sabrina adds. “They were really easy to work with. The whole process was a pleasure.” Philippe recalls those clients approaching him while he and Sabrina were building their own personal home – their latest one, where they are living now. The clients saw that home under construction and later showed THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA
up in the company’s office. “They said ‘We want to build something really similar,’” Philippe says. “So we shared the same style,” Sabrina adds. “Thatmade things easy. When they were making choices, we invited them into our own house multiple times to give them inspiration.” The relationship with those clients remained strong throughout the entire duration of the build, and it even remains strong today. Philippe says they were “very pleased” with the end-result, and now whenever they cross paths, they stop to talk. “They always let us know that if we ever need a past client to refer people to, then we shouldn’t be shy to give their number,” Philippe says. “They are more than happy to share their experience.” Moving forward, that’s the level of client satisfaction that Les Maisons Bruyère Homes aims to continue achieving. They also aim to maintain their current size and workload – in spite of the pandemic, their past year was the company’s busiest year ever, and they don’t necessarily want to get any bigger. “Custom homes take a lot of time and attention, so we don’t want to take on too much and risk compromising that,” Philippe explains. “We want to make sure that every client gets thequalityandcustomer service they expect and deserve.” The sweet spot, Philippe believes, issomewherebetween five and 10 custom homes per year, depending on the size and scope. Here and there, they also see themselves continuing LES MAISONS BRUYÈRE HOMES
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do some light commercial light work – they recently built a hairdressing school, for instance. “We like to make sure we’re not always doing the same stuff,” Sabrina explains. “We like to mix it up. That makes things interesting for us and keeps our team engaged.” On the same note, the company also intends to dabble in their own developments. This year, they intend to build a mixeduse multi-residential building, with commercial tenancies on the ground and apartment rentals up above. That’s being designed by the architectural firm Philippe used to work for. He says that if the project goes well – and if he and Sabrina enjoy working on it – they will look into doing more buildings along the same lines. “We’re open-minded,” Sabrina concludes. “We want to do different things. We also want to use different products. We want to keep up with the latest trends and innovations. I think that helps with clients too – they want what’s ‘in,’ and we stay on top of that. I think that makes us stand out.” LES MAISONS BRUYÈRE HOMES
THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA For more on Les Maisons Bruyère Homes, including their services, past projects, and customer testimonials – and to get in touch with Philippe and Sabrina – visit https://bruyereconstruction.com/
A long time coming The Drayton Valley Brazeau Aquatic Centre is a new state-of-the-art recreation facility, located in the Town of Drayton Valley, in Brazeau County. After more than a decade in development, the project was officially funded in 2020 and an official ground-breaking ceremony took place in April, 2021.
The facility is now being delivered utilizing an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) framework, by a close-knit and collaborative team that includes the architect, the electrical, structural, mechanical and civil engineers, the contractor, and various partners such pool mechanical, electrical, steel and flooring subtrades, and the Town of Drayton. Representatives from each project met every week throughout the design process, and they continue to meet every week throughout construction. The result has been an exceptionally smooth delivery process.
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“From the client’s perspective, I would recommend this process to any municipality looking to construct a major facility,” says Annette Driessen, General Manager of Community Services for the Town of Drayton Valley. “It’s been a delight. It’s been well worth it. I can’t say enoughabout the team we’ve assembled.” The Drayton Valley Aquatic Centre will encompass roughly 27,000 square-feet and be valued at just over $21 million. The new facility will include: an eight lane, 25-metre lap pool; a leisure pool and lazy river; a hot tub; a steam room; a multipurpose room; support spaces; and a waterslide. The new pool will also be dimensional and outfitted to suit regional and provincial competition standards with a large viewing area. Brazeau County and the Town of Drayton Valley have been attempting to develop this project for the past 12 years. According to Annette, the community’s existing indoor swimming facility had numerous deficiencies, and the community had long outgrown its capacity. Drayton Valley is a small rural area, however, so it took time to put together the funds for a replacement facility. In2020, the community received a $7.5 million grant from the federal government’s ‘Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.’ Both the Town of Drayton Valley and Brazeau THE CONSTRUCTION SOURCE CANADA “We do schools, we do rec centres, we do libraries,” he explains. “It’s a sector we do a lot of work in. We’re very familiar with it. We understand what clients are looking for and we know how to help them achieve their objectives.”
DRAYTON VALLEY BRAZEAU AQUATIC CENTRE County also committed to $5 million each from their 2020 budgets. Add in some community sponsorships, and the new Drayton Valley Brazeau Aquatic Centre was finally a go. Annette says the new aquatic facility is a “key component” of the Town of Drayton Valley’s goals, which include “economic growth, building a sense of community, and building a sustainable future.” She says the Drayton Valley Brazeau Aquatic Centre will help tick all those boxes. “It will not only serve the people that we have here right now, it will attract people to the community. We know from employers that one of the things they look for when they are looking to set up in a community is amenities. They want to make sure their employees have things to do, and places to go.” “So it’s a place the community can enjoy, it’s a place to learn life-saving skills, and it’s also an economic driver,” she says. To deliver the project, the Town of Drayton Valley decided early on to pursue an IPD framework – a framework where all the project participants work together as one team, and accept and manage design and construction risks as a team. The framework was first recommended to the Town by a consultant they commissioned to conduct one of their early studies to determine if a new facility was feasible. That consultant explained the benefits of the IPD process, and how it had been proven to reduce the number of requests for information, change orders, delays, disputes and claims made. “As a municipal operation, if there’s one thing you don’t want to see, it’s a budget that goes all over the place,” Annette explains. “The IPD process gives you certainty. It gives you certainty in terms of the cost, and it gives you certainty in terms of when it’s going to be delivered to the community. Those are critical things for us, since we have to be accountable