FAQ

The Homebuilders Association Vancouver (HAVAN) Awards for Housing Excellence is an annual awards program, which recognizes excellence in residential new-home construction, renovation and design in Metro Vancouver. HAVAN members are invited to participate.

To be eligible to enter the HAVAN Awards and be acknowledged in any Award-associated promotions, the entrant, major associates, and associate companies listed on the entries must be HAVAN members in good standing. All entered projects in all categories are required to identify a HAVAN builder member on the entry form as a Primary Entrant (or Major Associate, only where specifically permitted).

Non-HAVAN members will not be promoted in any Awards-related promotions, regardless of whether the project wins or not, as this is a HAVAN members marketing program. If non-members worked on your project, make sure to inform them of this requirement and encourage them to become a HAVAN member before the entry deadline.

GET YOUR MAJOR ASSOCIATES/ASSOCIATES TO BECOME A MEMBER AND SHARE THE WIN!

The HAVAN Awards for Housing Excellence only acknowledge companies that are HAVAN members in good standing, so if your project associates are not yet members, encourage them to contact HAVAN for membership information, or add them as associates and HAVAN will follow-up with them. HAVAN builders are can acknowledge up to two Major Associates and three Associates.

Associate companies will not be added after the Call for Entries deadline.

Projects built, renovated, and/or marketed within a two-year window — January 1, 2022, to January 15, 2024 for the 2024 HAVAN Awards — are eligible to enter the HAVAN Awards. Projects must be complete, except if entering categories #44 Best Interior
Design Display Suite: Multi-Family Home, #45 Best Interior Design Display Home: Single-Family Production
Home, and #48 Best Marketing Campaign, and for these categories, a building permit must be in place.  Project location may be outside of Greater Vancouver but must be within British Columbia.

Projects/phases entered into past HAVAN Awards are only eligible to re-enter if submitted into different categories than those previously entered the year prior and still fall within the two-year eligibility period, regardless if the entry won or not.  There are a few noted exceptions so make sure to review those in the Call for Entries package. 

If a new phase is entered, it must have notable, significant differences from prior phases entered. Additionally, a showhome in a development can only be entered in the HAVAN Awards once, even if the same showhome is used to sell multiple phases.

Entrants may enter the same development into more than one square feet (s.f.) size-based category if it has units that meet the size requirements.  Entry and supporting materials must be of a unit that meets the category s.f. requirement.

The HAVAN Awards Call for Entries launches late-October and the deadline to enter the third Monday in January. 

For the 2024 HAVAN Awards, the Call for Entries opens Monday, October 24, 2023 and closes Monday, January 15, 2024 at 4 p.m.

All entry forms including supporting materials requested in the categories (photos, plans, budgets), AND your complete payment are due by the Call for Entries deadline.

Save time by paying with your Visa or MasterCard directly on the online form. Cheques made payable to HAVAN must be sent to HAVAN by the deadline. No extensions. Unpaid entries will not be submitted for judging.

Fees:
• Award Categories 1 – 56: $299 + GST per entry.
• Grand HAVAN Awards (categories 57 – 63): $499 + GST per entry

There is no limit to the number of entries per company.

All assets for the HAVAN Awards are submitted via the online entry form, which is only accessible when the Call for Entries is open. Review the Call for Entries package, which includes the complete entry information.

A unique ID number is generated for each online entry. This number is to be used to label/identify any required supporting documentation (i.e. floorplans, images, authorization forms). Make sure to go to the online entry platform first and start the entry to get your unique ID before you label your photos and other supporting materials.

All entry materials must be anonymous, using only the unique ID number. Inclusion of company names, logos, addresses or any type of identification anywhere on entry materials, other than on the entry and permission forms, will result in the entry being disqualified, unless specified in the category.  Make sure to carefully review photos and plans for any company identification (yours or your project collaborators).

Exceptions:
a) Best Marketing Campaign: permitted to keep company and project branding on photos and digital assets.
b) Grand HAVAN categories: permitted to submit photos of people engaging in activites that support the entry but company branding must be removed. 

A video supporting the entry may also be submitted but will only used for post-judging marketing. 

  • Refer to the categories for specific requirements.

In general:

  • Photos: Refer to each category’s criteria for allowable number of images and specific photo requests. Additional photo requirements:
    • ALL IMAGES MUST BE ANONYMOUS – do not include logos, signage, or any identifying features in your images, unless specified in the category criteria.
    • DO NOT SUBMIT RENDERINGS (exterior or interiors), photo collages or virtual furnishings/staging.  What is submitted must be available to be seen in person. – EXCEPTION: Renderings of buildings are permitted in the Best Marketing Campaign category only.
    • PEOPLE ARE NOT PERMITTED IN PHOTOS, including stylized/anonymous people/models.
      –  EXCEPTION ‘before’ renovation photos, where unavoidable. Person must be blurred, and company identification worn on that person must be removed.
    • RESOLUTION: 300 dpi with a maximum file size of 5 MB (print-ready quality)
    • FORMAT: Only high-resolution .jpg files are accepted.
    • ORIENTATION: Images may be vertical, horizontal, or square in orientation.
    • COLOUR: Images must be in colour (black-and-white, grayscale or sepia images will not be judged).
    • Images may not include layers or borders/frames.
    • Images may not be modified, enhanced, or distorted (removing identifiable signage/people is permitted).
    • Do not add text overlays on photos.
    • Images must be clear. Dusk/evening photography is permitted. NOTE: judges must be able to see home details to accurately judge the entry.
  • Entries submitted by someone other than the HAVAN-member builder must include a signed Builder Authorization form.
  • Where noted in specific categories, entries must also include signed Homeowner Authorization form. You may use the CHBA homeowner authorization form that gives sign-off for all three Association level award programs (CHBA National, Georgies and HAVAN Awards. 
  • Plans: Where requested, PDF copies of the plans (floor, site and/or landscape, etc.) must be uploaded with entry.  Submit multiple-page plans as one PDF document.
  • Project Description: Text is limited to a maximum of 300 words (bullet point is recommended), except for the Grand HAVAN Award categories that allow 400 words.
  • Entry Marketing Write-up: This is optional. Limit 150 words and is a ready-to-publish write-up about the project (as it relates to that category). It may be used for marketing purposes (website, social posts).  It is NOT presented to the judges nor applicable for points.  This may also be submitted after the finalist announcement.
  • Budgets: Categories that require project budgets have a designated tab on the online entry form for you to complete. Some categories only require a budget total or selling price. Round totals to the nearest $100.  Use the budget worksheet to prepare your entry before entering the budget values online.

TIP: Prepare your entries’ write ups on a separate document first then cut and paste into the online form.  This way, if there is an issue or technical glitch, you don’t lose all your work.   Use this Award Category worksheet as a template.

Categories that require project budgets have a designated ‘Budget’ tab on the online entry form for you to type in the numbers. Some categories only require a budget total or selling price. Round totals to the nearest $100.

Budgets are scrutinized by judges who are professionals in the homebuilding industry, so ensure you include the appropriate line items as shown on the budget form (use the budget worksheet on the Enter Awards page as a guide).

What is shown in the photos must be accounted in the budget at fair market value (except decorative items, small appliances and furniture), even if you received discounts to build it (eg. A builder entering one’s own home, may have paid lower project management fee, at-cost trades/services, etc.). This is to ensure when HAVAN finalist/winning projects are promoted to the public, especially in the value-determined categories, consumers can reasonably expect to pay a similar price for a similar project.

Project Description is the information that the judges use to judge the entries – how well the entry addresses the criteria in the category. Text is limited to a maximum of 300 words for non-Grand Award categories and the Grand Award categories allow up to 400 words, so point form is strongly recommended. Each criterion is worth up to 10 points.  Ensure the write-up is tailored to each category to maximize points.

Entry Marketing write-up is the entrant’s OPTIONAL opportunity to provide HAVAN with a publish-ready write-up about the project (as it relates to that category). It will be used for marketing purposes. If a Grand HAVAN Award winner, it may be used as a voiceover to accompany photos shown as you come to the stage. This is NOT presented to the judges nor eligible for points. Limit 150 words.

The Call for Entries package lists all the available categories as well as the criteria against which each of entries will be judged. Your score is a combination of points gathered from the written submission, photos, and supporting documents. Ensure that you review the criteria (each is worth up to 10 points) and provide the required information.

There are up to four finalists per category – the highest four scores across the judges’ scores. Scores are audited by an accounting firm.

The finalists will be announced at the Finalists’ Reveal.

From the list of finalists, one will move on to become the winner (to be announced at the Gala). The winners have the top scores in their respective categories.

At the Finalists Reveal and the Awards Gala, the HAVAN-member builders and Major Associates will be announced during the events. Any mentions in relation to the HAVAN Awards are member exclusive.

FINALISTS: HAVAN-member builders and Major Associates are mentioned at the finalist reveal, in the media release, on the website, and receive a finalist certificate.  Associates are listed on the website and receive a certificate. 

WINNERS: HAVAN-member builders and Major Associates are mentioned at the Gala, in the media release and on the website, and receive a certificate and trophy.  On the certificate and trophy, the builder and major associate will be co-named and both will receive a dupliate copy.  Eg. ABC Construction with XYZ Design Studio. HAVAN-member Associates receive a certificate and mentioned on HAVAN Awards website.  Associates may purchase a trophy after the event.

HAVAN selects the Judges each year from across British Columbia, Canada and at times, the United States, based on their respective expertise in the homebuilding industry. Judges’ identity remains anonymous as Judges are often asked to proceed over the entries for more than one year.

The HAVAN Awards of Housing Excellence provides a premier opportunity for HAVAN members to align their brands with the best in the local homebuilding industry. Take a look at this year’s Sponsors.

There are limited sponsorship opportunities available as most of our incumbent Sponsors return each year so connect with Wendy McNeil, HAVAN VP of Marketing and Education, wendy@havan.ca if you are interested in becoming a Sponsor.

Ensure your projects are entered into the correct categories.

The HAVAN Awards distinguishes project types:

Production (single- and multi-family): The home plan is part of a production (tract) builder’s stockplans
(models) intended to be repeated on several home sites and offered for sale on speculation. Typically, these
homes are built as large-scale projects like master-planned communities.

Custom-spec homes: Custom-spec homes are built for sale on speculation and typically built on a single lot.
In the HAVAN Awards, custom-spec builders must enter projects in the Custom/Custom-Spec categories, NOT
Production categories. This applies also to the design categories.

Multiplex homes: Multiplex homes are considered custom-spec builds and should be entered in those
specified categories. It is an in-fill home/project that increases site density, with each unit having a separate
entrance. This includes renovated/custom/custom-spec projects on a single-lot and conversion dwellings,
which are existing houses that have been divided into two or more dwelling units (e.g. duplex, triplex); thereby
increasing density.

Custom homes: Site-specific home built from a unique set of plans for a specific client.


ASK US! If you are not sure where a project belongs, contact HAVAN before you submit the project. Projects entered
in incorrect categories will be moved or disqualified without notice or compensation. A project cannot be entered in
both Production and Custom/Custom-Spec categories.

HAVAN wants you to enter the Awards, so wants to make the process as easy as possible. Here are some resources to help you:

• New to the Awards program? Check out this 40-minute video created by HAVAN-member, Martin Knowles Photo/Media, who is also a long-time supporter of the program. He walks you through category selection, some of the eligibility requirements, tips and advice on submitting your best photography. He partners with Susan Boyce who is a long-time journalist in this industry, to provide tips on your written submission.
• Want to enter but don’t have the time? There are HAVAN members who offer award-package services photography, writing or the entire package  and they look forward to assisting you. See the full list here
• Still have questions? Contact Wendy McNeil, HAVAN VP of Marketing and Education, at 778-373-9781 or wendy@havan.ca

Contact Us

Homebuilders Association Vancouver
#1011 – 7445 132 Street, Surrey BC V3W 1J8

Phone        778-565-4288
Fax             778-565-4289
Email         awards@havan.ca

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