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 and be acknowledged in the program and promotions, the entrant and any associate companies listed on the entries must be HAVAN members in good standing.

In categories 1 – 30, 45 – 53 (except 47), the builder is acknowledged as the primary entrant. Builders are encouraged to acknowledge collaborators as Major Associates (up to two per entry) or Associates (up to three per entry). Projects entered in categories 31 – 44, 47 can name the builder as the primary or associate entrant.


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.

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

Projects built, renovated, developed, created and/or marketed within the period of January 1, 2018 to January 20, 2020 are eligible to enter the 2020 HAVAN Awards for Housing Excellence. A building permit must be in place for any pre-sale marketing. Project location may be outside of Greater Vancouver but must be within British Columbia.

Projects/phases entered in past Ovation Awards are ONLY eligible to enter the 2020 HAVAN Awards for Housing Excellence if submitted into different categories than those previously entered, regardless if the entry won or not. If a new phase is entered, it must have notable, significant differences from prior phases entered. In addition, a showhome in a development can only be entered once, even if the same showhome is used to sell more than one phase.

Entrants may enter the same development into more than one square feet (s.f.) size-based categories (eg. Best Multi-Family Lowrise/Highrise Unit: Less than 800 s.f. AND Best Multi-Family Lowrise/Highrise Unit: 800 s.f. and Over) if it has units that meet the size requirements. Entry description, photos, floorplans must be of a unit that meets the category s.f. requirement.

The HAVAN Awards Call for Entries launches mid-October and the deadline to enter is typically the third Monday in January. The 2020 HAVAN Awards deadline was January 20, 2020.

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.

• Award Categories 1 – 51: $250 + GST per entry.
• Grand HAVAN Awards (categories 52 – 57): $450 + GST per entry

There is no limit to the number of entries submitted.

All assets for the HAVAN Awards are submitted via the online entry form, found here. 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.

a) Best Marketing Campaign: permitted to keep company and project branding on photos.
b) Grand Ovation categories: permitted to submit one team photo (not seen by the judges).

Refer to the categories for specific requirements.

In general:
• All entries must include signed Builder Authorization form, even if the builder is the entrant.
• 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. Download it here.
• Plans: Where requested, PDF copies of the plans (floor, site and/or landscape, etc.) must be uploaded with entry.
• Project Description: Text is limited to a maximum of 300 words (bullet point is recommended)
• Entry Marketing Write-up: **NEW FOR 2020 AND IS OPTIONAL** Limit 150 words and is a publish-ready write-up about the project (as it relates to that category). It will be used for marketing purposes only – it is NOT presented to the judges nor applicable for points.
• 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.

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.

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 Call for Entries 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, so point form is strongly recommended. Each criterion is worth up to 10 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 will 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 Soiree.

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 Soiree and 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 will receive a certificate, as well as all (HAVAN-member) mentioned Major Associates and Associates. Finalists and Major Associates will be named in the media release. All Finalists, Major Associates and Associates will be acknowledged on the Awards webpage.

Winners and HAVAN-member Major Associates will receive a certificate, trophy and be mentioned in the media release. HAVAN-member Associates will receive a certificate. All Winners, Major Associates and Associates will be acknowledged on the Awards webpage.

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.

To ensure projects are entered into the correct categories, refer to the information below:

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 this competition, Custom-spec builders must enter projects in the Custom/Custom-spec categories, NOT Production categories. This applies also to the design categories. Custom categories are separated by dollar value so projects can be judged equitably.

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

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