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Whistler companies up for Georgie Awards

Peak Ventures, RDC Custom Homes and Heike Designs Inc. are finalists
the finalists Peak Ventures' custom fir-panelled kitchen in a Whistler condo (pictured here) is one project nominated for a Georgie Award. RDC Fine Homes also is nominated for several awards. PHOTO submitted

Two local home builders and a landscape design company are up for a few Georgie Awards — and their designs signal a shift from what has marked mountain-resort living for decades.

"I think a lot of architects and designers are giving it a rethink, trying to move away from what I call the traditional Whistler chalet look. They're using different materials and different designs to come up with unique properties, which is a lot of fun," said Dave Girard of Peak Ventures. The Whistler company is a finalist in two categories: one for best kitchen renovation under $125,000, and one for best condo renovation over $250,000.

Girard sees a lot of tired décor where sometimes there haven't been updates for 30 years.

"It's kind of like walking into a time capsule," he said.

The Peak Ventures condo project is a village property in which Girard and his team flipped the layout of the kitchen and bathroom, then used honey-coloured fir that is sleek and contemporary, but very cozy.

"It's not often that you see that much wood integrated in that way. It fits with it really well, makes it really warm looking," he said.

Also a finalist is Whistler's RDC Fine Homes, for the best single-family detached home of more than 2,300 sq. ft and under $700,000, as well as a custom home between $500,000 and $899,999. The custom home, in Squamish's Crumpit Woods, is a contemporary design that is as stylish as it is energy-efficient.

"We're really focused on what we call building a high-performance home, better durability, better indoor comfort and ultimately, much better at energy efficiency," said RDC's Bob Deeks. "Everything that we build is certified and tested to make sure it meets that certification level. We're one of a few builders who build to a very high standard and one of the reasons we can get to the finals and the awards is we're consistently getting very high energy ratings on all our projects."

Deeks said that by 2032, all new construction will have to have a net-zero standard, so a house will produce as much energy as it uses for lighting, appliances and heating.

"We will certainly see greater emphasis on this — with a serious reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions," said Deeks.

Heike Designs Inc. is a finalist for the Crumpet Woods Oasis project.

"I am happy and proud about it," said Heike Stippler in an email. "We work closely with our clients to achieve the vision and final product they are looking for. This project was specifically meant to enhance the house with all its efforts of environmentally friendly and sustainability practices.

"Plants and other materials were chosen to be native or close relatives. Draught tolerance was an important factor and the building’s rain water collection is utilized for drip irrigation while ensuring proper drainage with a planted rainwater garden/ dry stream. Various areas have been defined and include large planters for edibles that are incorporated in the garden."

The Georgie Awards will take place March 11 in Vancouver.