Posted by Stu Niebergall on 2017-02-04 12:00 AM
A couple of weeks ago, I attended the International Builders’ Show and Kitchen and Bath Show in Orlando. It is a grand event, hosting more than 125,000 industry professionals from across North America and around the world. With more than 565,000 square feet of trade show space, the show featured the latest in home construction, kitchen and bath design, finishing products, and the latest in housing technology.
Everything you can imagine was right there at your fingertips, for you to see, touch, discuss, and be inspired by. More than 70 educational presenters shared their expertise on subjects ranging from home design, neighbourhood development, community planning, multi-family building, 50 plus housing, high performance, energy efficient building etc., this was the place to immerse yourself in innovation.
While in Orlando, we toured the New American Home which is a newly built 8,753-square-foot one level contemporary home designed for gracious living as a multi-generational show home that takes full advantage of Florida’s year-round climate. As we toured the architectural style, construction techniques, new products and lifestyle trends of this large showcase model home, I was reminded how unique Regina’s own new home market and style is.
I have attended the International Show several times, always returning home to Regina in time to attend the Regina & Region Home Builders’ Association (RRHBA) Master Awards Gala, which celebrates excellence in new housing, community design, and home remodelling in Regina and area. After seeing the best that North America has to offer at the International Builders’ Show, I am always struck at our Master Awards Gala with just how well the RRHBA builders are delivering the best in home design, innovation, and technology, right here in Regina.
When it comes to innovation in Regina, new home buyers and the community at large are looking for innovation in community design, along with flexible options to service a wide variety of housing needs. The innovative options the Regina home builders and developers can offer are only limited by the regulatory environment which they operate within, and this is set by the City of Regina and the Government of Saskatchewan.
As citizens we should encourage the City of Regina to allow for even more innovation in new housing and designs, which our builders and developers are working hard to deliver. This means the city as a regulator needs to ensure there is clarity, accessibility and processes in place that ensures the city is a facilitator of innovation in the new housing market and not a roadblock to innovation. Until the City of Regina embraces innovation and flexibility in housing and neighbourhood design, there are limitations to the residential construction industry truly pushing the envelope on innovative housing forms that should be available to Regina citizens.
At the 25th Annual Master Awards Gala, Harmony Builders was named Home Builder of the Year for the second year in a row. This award is a highly coveted distinction in our industry. In the spirit of recognizing and rewarding innovation in our city, Harmony Builders along with Anagram Homes won Environmental Leadership in Housing Awards, while Deveraux Homes received the Green Build of the Year Award. Deveraux also won the Community Service Award for its work with The Street Culture Project. The Innovation Award was captured by Clark’s Custom Creations for its SiteSage Energy Management Solution.
We applaud all the finalists and award recipients. You can find these award recipients posted on our website at http://www.reginahomebuilders.com/awards. There you will find great examples not only of innovation, but of the calibre of home building that is available right here in our city.
Our association is doing what it can to promote our vision of creating an innovative, sustainable and diverse community. Our members work hard to deliver this in the Regina market. Our city and province have a real opportunity to be leaders in encouraging housing innovation by providing the right regularity framework and process for it to flourish. Our community developers and new home builders will not disappoint on the high level of innovation, housing choices, and amenities they can bring to the new homes market in Regina.