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WHA's first Passive-House family home nominated for two awards

Whistler's RDC Fine Homes also earns pair of Georgie nods
SPRUCED UP A resident-restricted, single-family home in Spruce Grove was recently recognized with a pair of provincial award nominations for its energy-efficient, Passive-House-inspired design. Photo submitted

The first Whistler House Authority (WHA) residential home built using elements of the Passive House building standard has been recognized with two provincial award nominations.

Last week, it was announced that Schreyer Construction had been nominated for a pair of Georgie Awards, which celebrate excellence in home building, for a house in Spruce Grove that was constructed with the international energy-efficient standard in mind. The Whistler-based company received nods in the Best Environmental Initiative and Best Public-Private Partnership categories.

"We are pleased that the house received recognition in these categories," said Katarina Schreyer, the company's CFO, in an email. "Building energy-efficient homes is a large contributor to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing our overall environmental footprint. We are also pleased that the WHA is taking action in producing quality energy-efficient accommodations."

The first single-family unit of its kind in the WHA inventory, the three-storey home sold for $950,000 this summer. It's a sign of the municipal subsidiary's growing appetite for the Passive-House model, a rigorous, voluntary building standard that reduces a home's ecological footprint and requires less energy for space heating and cooling.

"The WHA is proud to have been involved in such an innovative housing project and will be leveraging the experience gained from this building innovation for our next resident restricted apartment building that the WHA is developing," said WHA general manager Marla Zucht in an email.

To go along with two existing duplexes in Rainbow built to the standard, the WHA also has plans in the works to erect a resident-restricted apartment building in Cheakamus Crossing that will be the first multi-family Passive House in the Sea to Sky.

Matheo Durfeld, partner at BC Passive House, said the nominations are a sign of the increasing demand and awareness of the Passive House standard in the wider construction industry. He noted how when the first Passive House was built in Whistler in 2011, "nobody knew" what the building standard was.

"We couldn't even buy a job. Now, it's becoming part of the mainstay," said Durfeld.

Also nominated this year was Whistler-based RDC Fine Homes, previous winners of a whopping 11 Georgies.

"It's still exciting (to be nominated) and crushingly disappointing when you don't win," said RDC president Bob Deeks.

The home builders were nominated in the Custom Home Between $1.9 and $3 Million category for a beautiful, contemporary design in Blueberry, as well as for Best Condo Renovation under $250,000 for a unit in the Hearthstone Lodge.

Deeks said the projects were essentially "polar opposites:" one a lavish and modern energy-efficient design for clients out of Hong Kong, the other a tightly-budgeted renovation of an "almost original" unit in one of the village's oldest buildings.

"We did a complete facelift on it and brightened it up with some great splashes of colour," Deeks said of the custom renovation. "It looks awesome and it's very exciting to see a low-budget project like that make it all the way to the finals."

The 26th annual Georgie Awards Gala will be held on March 10, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver.

For the full list of nominees, visit

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