Recognizing net zero was within reach of being a reality, Perspective Homes by Pacific adapted the project to help the homeowner realize their goal to build a design-forward, future-proof home with sustainable features using renewable energy.
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About the Speaker
Chris Wimbles, Operations Manager, Perspective Home by Pacific
Chris has been building homes across the West Coast his entire adult life. He has experience with projects of all scopes and sizes, and loves working with families to craft a custom space perfectly suited to their needs and lifestyle.
Drew Bonnell, homeowner, and owner, Newport Developments
Here's the Full Transcript of this Episode
[00:00:00] Jennifer-Lee: Hey Mike, we’re back in the studio again for HAVAN’s Measure Twice, Cut Once.
[00:00:05] Mike: Yeah, we certainly are Jennifer Lee, and it’s great to see you again. And as always, it’s great to be back for another interview with an industry leading member, or in this case, members.
[00:00:15] Jennifer-Lee: I really enjoyed speaking with Harv Sidhu from Build Smartr last week. It really brought home the idea of choices that are available to homeowners and builders when they are looking to lessen their footprint and improve the efficiencies in our homes.
[00:00:28] Mike: I could not agree with you more. And this is the same thing we’re hearing from all our other guests this season. They continuously emphasize it, and we hear it over and over again that the industry is changing. We’re going through a period of huge change. We’re no longer building homes the way we have been over the last hundred years, and I think everyone here is going to welcome that as a positive development.
[00:00:48] Jennifer-Lee: Here. Here, the new government policies and building codes are driving this change for the better. And with any change, there are learning curves, some steeper than others. And so today we thought we’d chat with a couple of guys who’ve recently built their first high-performance home to get their firsthand experience because we all benefit from shared experiences.
[00:01:08] Mike: I’m really excited about today’s episode and the conversation we’re going to have. And on that note, let’s welcome today’s guest. First of all, we have Chris Wimble from Perspective Homes by Pacific and homeowner, Drew Bonnell, who’s also developer of Newport Development. Welcome gentlemen.
[00:01:24] Chris: Thank you.
[00:01:24] Drew: Great to be here.
[00:01:25] Jennifer-Lee: So, tell us a little bit about yourself, because obviously no one knows who you are on this podcast yet, but we’re going to get to know you. I always like to say, what is your story? Tell us your story. Obviously keep it to like a few minutes, but what is your life story?
[00:01:41] Drew: Yeah, it’s Drew here. So, I grew up in the building industry, so long history in building and was building back in the day when it was old school building and just full circle now, wanted to build a home with high performance home that embrace sustainable practices and renewable energy. And those things. So, we went about partnering up with the Pacific and Perspective Group and went about to do that over the last couple years.
[00:02:09] Chris: Yeah. And I’m Chris, I work for Perspective Homes by Pacific and they’re like a division of Pacific Solutions contracting, and they are kind of known around the city for tenant improvements and commercial builds. They do a ton of restaurants you guys are probably familiar with, like Tofino or Published, you know, a bunch of stuff. They’re all over the place. They’ve got really good branding and out of the pandemic, that kind of side of their business really got the squeeze. And so, the owners really wanted to start residential side to that kind of focused on high performance building, boutique building, kind of smaller, more cared for projects. And so, perspective was their kind of baby out of that. And I come from a long history of building. My dad was a builder in California, and I cut my teeth down there with him and have been kind of building residential homes for the better part of my career. And one of the owners brought me along a couple years ago to kind of get this going with them. And so, we’ve kind of created a team within, uh, that group. As like a backbone and, and Drew was kind of our first big high-performance home.
[00:03:10] Mike: So now we know who you guys are let’s dig into the fun stuff, which is talking about this project because it is a very unique project and there are some things that we’re going to talk about that I think will be very exciting for our listeners. Drew, why don’t you tell us a little about the home and why you wanted to build the home?
[00:03:24] Drew: I’ve been living on the North Shore for about the last 25 years, mostly on the side of a mountain in West Van. Prior to that I would live in Whistler on the side of a mountain. So, you know, as you get older, you know, we started to think about future-proofing a home and having it down on a, a lower flatter elevation. Found a piece of property that we liked in the suburb of North Van and then this was actually, this goes back a ways because it was eight years ago when this project first came into inception. So, we bought this piece of property and then lived in the home that was there for what we thought was only going to be a year or two, and it turned out to be eight. So, the project has been sort of nurturing along since then. The whole premise was to build a future-proof home with sustainable features and renewable energy and as progressive as we could with the budget we had to work with. So that’s how we kind of the inception of this idea. And as it became real a number of years after, sort of first thinking it through, you know, I set up a development company due to my background in building and as I said, partnered with the Pacific Perspective team and, and we went about building it in that location.
[00:04:26] Mike: At the beginning of the process, did you envision a net zero home?
[00:04:29] Drew: To be honest, no. We weren’t looking at net zero at the beginning because this was basically three years ago, and Net Zero was brand new. But as we went through the steps of, uh, refining high performance and installing that technology in the home, we realized that we were really close to, to what was becoming this net Zero standard. And then, you know, based on a sort of, uh, assessment and estimates and what that was going to cost to, you know, that was something that I wanted to do.
[00:04:54] Chris: Yeah, it was interesting because it was, it was a bit of a realization I think around the framing stage where we realized, you know, if we tweaked a few metrics that we could actually get this thing net zero. So, you know, kudos to Drew for pushing that and, and wanting that and we had to make some adjustments and some changes to some of the assemblies and things like that, but, you know, we were able to, you know, ultimately pull it off. So, it was cool too, to try to figure it out. You know, you guys kind of touched on, you know, how would we do this maybe better the second time probably figuring that you wanted to do a net zero home right from the start is one of the, one of the keys. Because you can, uh, avoid a lot of stuff. But I mean, doing it this way actually was probably, you know, the greatest learning, uh, opportunity.
[00:05:34] Jennifer-Lee: And how did you guys come to be? Because like, you obviously have the developer side, so how did you decide to choose Pacific Homes? Because you know, you’ve got the knowledge, but like we talk about this all the time, like choosing the right builder for you. How did you choose the right builder?
[00:05:48] Drew: And I think that was born out of a friendship with one of the owners of Pacific that I developed with. You know, a number of years working on a different project, a completely different project. We came together and he was a builder on a, another project I was involved with. And so, we got to know each other and liked who he, who, who he was and what he was doing, and a very savvy businessman in the construction industry. So, it was just a real positive experience. So then, uh, you know, I told him about what, what I was trying to do and what I wanted to do, and, uh, he was keen. And so, that sort of brought us together. And then the rest is history. Here we are.
[00:06:27] Mike: How’d that conversation go when you said, hey, by the way, we’re building net zero now?
[00:06:31] Chris: Yeah, I mean, I did actually. I was super keen, obviously as a builder, to explore, you know, the latest technologies and what’s coming down the, the line. Because I think, you know, like you mentioned earlier, the sea change of construction is happening. And so, the more opportunity you get to build these kinds of homes, the better. And I’ve always been fascinated with solar. I’ve always been fascinated with renewables and high-performance homes. And just seeing, like getting to use these different products and talk to people that are really knowledgeable about them and seeing them getting installed is a real kind of treat for us too. So, it was exciting. It was a great opportunity and it’s been a great experience.
[00:07:08] Jennifer-Lee: So, besides the fact of staying, that should have been a net zero from the beginning, is there anything else that you would like to learn more about in this new space that you feel like, oh, I wish I had more knowledge on this aspect of the home. Or are you just perfect?
[00:07:24] Chris: Yeah, one, one of our like core values at Pacific is always learning. So it’s a thing that I think is going to continue on, and I don’t think we’re done at net zero, you know, like, I think there’s, this is a, this is another iteration of home building and it’s another iteration of, of how we’re going to move to the future of something that’s, you know, better than what we, we can do currently. So, I think this is a good step in the right direction, but, you know, I think that there’s going to be other advancements to building over time.
[00:07:55] Mike: One of the things that’s most intriguing about any type of new introduction of logic in building is the technology aspect of it and how technology supports the overarching goals of the project. In this case we’re going to talk about solar power. Now, before we jump into solar power specifically in this home, I want to clarify something. I was on a panel the other day talking about electricity, and there may have been some misconceptions among people there that solar power doesn’t work in our climate because sometimes it rains. I’d love to have a conversation with you about how you made solar power work in this climate and fix that misconception while talking about how you actually integrated solar into the greater plans for your home. So, can you start us off by talking about specifically what type of solar technology you used in this home, because not all solar panels are the same, correct?
[00:08:46] Chris: Yeah, that’s correct. And to answer your first question about the misconception, you know, solar panels pick up PV panels is the system that we use, and it picks up UV rays. So, UV rays still penetrate clouds and oftentimes actually bounce back and forth from the ground to the cloud. So, on a cloudy day you definitely still can generate some electricity. The orientation of the solar panel is really critical. You know, you’re going to get the most power from south facing exposure to the sun. So obviously on a day, you know, like today anything that’s facing south is going to be kind of your best bet. But the system that we’ve got installed at Drews is you know, a 31 panel, 450 watt per panel system that to get to net zero, it basically offsets any energy consumption of the home, which is about 51 kilojoules. That’s how they measure it.
[00:09:37] Drew: So yeah, it’s tied into the BC Hydro grid. So, on a daily basis, if we produce more power than we need, it goes back into the grid. We’re actually selling power back into the grid from our mini power plant.
[00:09:51] Mike: That’s amazing. Actually, you just talk about it, it’s the opposite. It’s like net minus, it’s not even net zero at that point.
[00:09:57] Drew: Yeah, for that particular moment in time. But then, you know, balance out over the course of the year when you have the darker months, they don’t generate as much power as in the summer months. And then we’re in surplus. So, they balance each other up.
[00:10:09] Jennifer-Lee: And when you started to do your project, did you have in your mind, I know that you didn’t have fully net zero in your mind, but were you like, no, I want to have solar panels, or was that something that Chris and the team decided to. Suggest to you?
[00:10:20] Drew: No, no. I was always thinking solar panels, given that we were already in the electric car space. And then, you know, nothing better than the idea that, well, if you got solar panels on the roof, then that’s a direct connection to charging your cars. So, that was always kind of there. The style of the panels and the system and the array. That was a question mark. Didn’t know that, but you know, wanted to go for solar panels as an offset.
[00:10:41] Jennifer-Lee: And at Perspective Homes by Pacific, are you guys getting a lot of requests for solar panels or is this something fairly new still that you guys are implementing?
[00:10:49] Chris: People are a little bit hesitant to drop in on a system because they don’t really understand it. You know, we worked with a really great solar company Terim at Vancouver Solar Electrical, and the way he kind of lays out the system you know, he runs through the metrics of the finances. So, what does it cost to install the system? How long will it take to pay it off, you know, kind of what that net amount is. And so, when people kind of look at the numbers there and if they’re attracted at all to the renewable aspect of it, they can kind of makes sense of it from an investment standpoint. So, I think all the homes in Vancouver and, I think a bunch of other municipalities have PV ready chases that you have to put in anyways. So, the upgrade to actually do a solar system on even a home that was built five years ago is, is pretty easy to do.
[00:11:33] Mike: Are you using any means to capture the solar energy? I mean, there are battery backup solutions. Tesla obviously has some solutions. How are you capturing the excess energy to use later?
[00:11:42] Drew: Yeah, good question. And that was something we looked at. We looked at that in depth. At the end of the day there’s some new technology that came out about it, probably a year and a half or two years ago now, where it can use your car. Basically, your car becomes your wall battery. So, you know, we’ve got two EVs, two cars getting a third one for our son. So, we got these three big battery banks right there. So those become our sort of repositories for energy. And the next step in this host development is putting in a management system so that if there’s a power outage, then the cars then become our battery backup for the house.
[00:12:21] Jennifer-Lee: Yeah, it’s something that we don’t think of, like the power does go out a lot, especially in North and West Vancouver as well. I know my parents live out that way, and it’s just like things that we need to start thinking about if we have something huge happen, earthquake, any natural disaster, we never prepare for that either. And it’s like, okay, last time we were locked in our homes and, and that was great, but next time what happens if we have a power outage for four months or something like really drastic.
[00:12:48] Mike: Well, I think it’s really exciting too because there are some challenges in more rural parts of Canada building onto a grid, for lack of a better term. There is no infrastructure, however many of those same parts there is the sun. So, if we look at what you guys are doing and trying to scale, you’ve really created a template for anybody to have a fully functioning home. They literally need a Tesla or Rivian vehicle in the garage or any other fine electric vehicle. They need some of this technology on the roof. They need a couple pieces in the middle, and boom, you’ve got electricity for many months of the year and at a very affordable, renewable way that is responsible. So, kudos to both of you for making this work, because there’s a lot of people who want to do this but haven’t made it work yet.
[00:13:27] Chris: Oh, I was just going to say, I think that’s an important point is like solar. Solar is interesting in the sense that it’s probably the most viable thing that we can do, especially in Metro Vancouver. I mean, we don’t have space for wind farms or, you know, geothermal can be used in certain areas, but solar is I think a very accessible renewable technology. That’s, as it gets used more, the cost and the, the people putting it in, everything just starts to come down and makes it more attainable for you know, everybody.
[00:13:54] Jennifer-Lee: and I don’t, correct me if I’m wrong, not as controversial cause I know wind farms are very controversial, so it’s probably a little bit easier to sell to people. So, after doing this project, Chris, are you sold, would you want to do solar panels in your own home after seeing that?
[00:14:09] Chris: Yeah, a hundred percent, absolutely. And also, just to speak to Mike’s point earlier, the idea of doing something off-grid becomes actually not as challenging or as intimidating. The systems and the way that they’re set up are actually pretty easy to use. Our guy, Terim actually is, he’s in Trinidad right now, setting up an off-grid bird watching thing he’s got going. So, it’s, it’s really cool. And it’s, that part to me is really exciting to think about, like maybe going, building a cabin or something one day and using it, getting some off grid technology and having that be part of it also think’s exciting.
[00:14:42] Mike: We’re, we’re in the midst of a housing crisis, and so the idea of adapting this technology to smaller footprint homes or higher density homes where people can actually have their own space, the possibilities are limitless. The only limitation is our imagination. And as we start, as a society, think of more creative ways to solve problems, what you’re doing will scale up and it will scale down as well. So that’s really, really exciting. Chris Drew, I’m really enjoying hearing about your high-performance home End, the discussion. How about the use and benefits of solar? It is really compelling, and I definitely want to take a deeper dive into lessons learned being that this is your first run for both of you building a home of this style. But first, we definitely need a quick break to thank our awesome podcast partners.
[00:15:19] Jennifer-Lee: Measure Twice, Cut Once is grateful to our podcast partners FortisBC, Vicostone Canada Inc, and Trail Appliances. Support from our partners helps us share expert knowledge and resources with families looking to build, design, and renovate the home right for you.
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Okay. Welcome back. So, I know we touched a little bit upon this at the beginning about how you guys met and then how you guys decided to go with a net zero home. But what are some other steps that we’re missing? I know you said you were passionate already about wanting to do a home that had some high-performance qualities to it. What made you say, hey, this is the year I’m going to do it. This is where I’m going to start. Uh, budget. Budget. There we go. That’s always a good place to start.
[00:17:28] Drew: Budget and financing. Open the door for, you know, for me to step into this world and do this.
[00:17:30] Jennifer Lee: Yeah.
[00:17:35] Mike: What for you is the breakeven point? Like how many years do you think you have to invest in this technology where you feel, oh, I’ve broken even, or I’m now coming out ahead, because likely it’ll be even less as we get better at doing this type of construction so you’re going to give us a really good basis point to start.
[00:17:50] Drew: Yeah, I certainly in my head I think 10 to 15 years is the window for me. For payback on the investment in solar technology, and then most of the other upgrades we did to the house.
[00:18:02] Jennifer-Lee: Well, we always discuss on this podcast, and like I said, we touched a little bit at the beginning, no house is built by just the builder. It takes a team of professionals. So, at Perspective Homes by Pacific, how do you choose your professionals that are going to be the one team to help create this project?
[00:18:18] Chris: Because Pacific Solutions is a larger company that has a kind of a broader reach in the construction industry, we get to create a lot of really good relationships with really, really interesting, well, highly skilled subtrades that, you know, have a pretty big network that we get to choose from. So, you know, we were really fortunate as well just to kind of luck out, I think with a few people that we chose and we ended up, you know, having a really great architect, a really great building envelope person, they were really vital to making this thing happen.
[00:18:48] Drew: So, you know, they’re singular, singular companies. But I think what really happened as we went along, everybody became so enamored with this project they just everybody coalesced into this amazing team and everybody had everybody’s back and we were making sure that, you know, Everybody in the room knew what was going on, and they, they really had to do a lot of interaction and working together to, to really make this thing go smoothly and get the end result.
[00:19:11] Chris: We were all looking for the role of a builder. Now, especially as systems and things get so specified, you have to kind of play just the orchestrator more than the actual person with all the individual knowledge, and you have to kind of let really good people do what they do best. And just help them, with scheduling and those kinds of things, organizational side of stuff and sequencing, you know, that’s the biggest learning curve I think for having these things go well is the sequencing aspect of it. And like when to bring in certain trades, when to, you know, how to make design changes that won’t affect the air barrier, those types of things. So that’s kind of becoming the role of the GC more is just to really help control and manage that.
[00:19:53] Mike: Well, you touched on something that’s really important, and that’s something we talk about every season, five seasons now, is you have to surround yourself with really good quality experts to get great quality results. My question for you is this, you had a highly qualified, just an amazing team of people around you, each very, very proficient in their own area. How did you manage a team of people like that and get them to work together, and what lessons did you take from that experience that’ll help you do a job like this next and improve on some of the efficiencies that you can improve on?
[00:20:25] Chris: I think just, you know, one of the biggest takeaways is just listening to people and getting to understand what they need before they come on site and being able to kind of fulfill those things. And, you know, having that open dialogue, having that communication and just, you know, doing your best to schedule things. And if things don’t go well, like, you know, construction obviously does not perfect, you know, just having that bit where you just make that phone call and you, you know, you just tell ‘them, Hey, I’m not going to make it today, or whatever the reason is. So, communication I think is a big, big part of it. And I think naturally, you know, we’re a good group of people and so I think that kind of attracts likeness. So, I think those, you know, we don’t want to work with anyone that’s not into the project or that even, no matter how good they are, they have to have a certain attitude and kind of quality as a person just to kind of be involved. And I think. You know, if you’re going to work with someone for that long, you kind of want that out of things. So, I think that was a part of it as well.
[00:21:14] Drew: I think the other part of that is too, is that, you know, we were fortunate right out of the gates that we, we designed a very inspiring home and while we we were going for high performance as it evolved, it was still a very attractive project to be on because it was just not kind of like a normal project. So, the people that did get attracted, I mean, they just really got passionate about it too. And then when we flipped the switch to say, okay, we’re going to net zero, then everybody got even more excited. It’s like for a lot of the guys that other than the energy guys who were used to working in net zero space, the other guys hadn’t been. And, and so it was really an exciting project for everybody involved, you know, and I think that carried a lot of that too and got everybody working together.
[00:22:00] Chris: We would have design meetings, you know, kind of biweekly and, you know, things would get changed or added or deleted or moved around, you know, as construction went forward. And the architect Jason would use 3D modeling that we would actually all share on a Zoom screen. And so, he could do it in real time. He could change, you know, the position of a window or a layout or something like that. And I thought that was such a cool communication piece. I think that that part of construction is really changing too, is this way that, you know, building professionals, you know we stare at 2D drawings all day and we kind of get a sense of what things look like in those, in that space, but it’s hard sometimes for homeowners or, or people that aren’t involved in that to kind of recognize like, what, how big is that room or, or what does this look like? And so, the 3D kind of stuff, then the 3D modeling and, and this real time kind of stuff makes it a lot more. You know, you can see the space, you can get a sense of what it is 3D modeling.
[00:22:52] Jennifer-Lee: That must be so helpful. And it’s getting so neat because my family has owned a construction company. That’s the biggest thing sometimes is the relationship between the builder, interior designer, architect, and the client. Until you start building, everything looks good on paper. But when you come up, sometimes the client too is like, oh, I only get this much space now. And then it’s like, how are we going to do this? And like, how are we going to refigure that? So, it’s nice that we’ve got these tools.
[00:23:12] Mike: Like it’s especially helpful, those of us who don’t. Didn’t grow up in families of builders who don’t build ourselves. We look at these pictures and go, it’s a box, and then you go and look at either 3D renderings or like Walk on Plans or one of those companies where you can actually see the size and see, see where shoulders hit and everything else. It’s really changing how we design; I think. Is it safe to say that using some of this new technology eliminates a lot of maybe their regret that someone might have going through this process as well?
[00:23:41] Drew: Yeah, absolutely. It, it just makes it real for those that aren’t comfortable with looking at 2D plans and drawings, and, and there it is. You can see it in 3D, and you can, you can put, you know, a mockup of people in there. So, you can get a perspective on, you know, the size of it. If you’re building a, you know, a 10-foot wall, what’s that going to look like with a, you know, a six-foot person in it? Those kinds of things and so you can get it. It helps, really helps a lot too.
[00:24:04] Jennifer-Lee: It beats having to use cardboard and make mockups, which we’ve done in the past.
[00:24:09] Chris: Not to say we haven’t done that too.
[00:24:11] Mike: Drew, it must have been interesting for you because you’re not a typical homeowner. You have this deep background in construction, so. Your experience is not exactly the same as our experience, but the fact that you’re using a lot of these tools says a lot about how powerful they are and how much more pervasive they are than they were even just a few years ago. Can you talk about any other technology while we’re on the topic of technology that, you know, was unique to this project or was new to you for this project?
[00:24:36] Drew: Yeah, well certainly the 3d architectural renderings that was new. I think that was probably new to all of us.
[00:24:43] Chris: I think the sophistication of the AV package and the smart home stuff, I think was a big, I mean the stuff that the products that are coming out now are getting pretty crazy. Then, you’ve got a, a system that’s controlled by a touch screen that when you walk in the door and, you know, we’ll do lights and blinds and a bunch of other things. And I think that technology is going to keep evolving and that to me, that side of it to me also as a builder, you know, you’re running, you know, we’ve got, Drew’s got a tower in his house for heat and he is got, you know, processing and all these things in a closet.
And it’s something that you have to consider now as a builder is people are going to want more of these kind of options and what you have to do to, you know, vent those things or cool those things or allow space for those, or pre-think of wiring chases and things like that.
[00:25:30] Mike: Thermal management is as hard as figuring out a lot of the acoustics some of the time.
[00:25:35] Chris: It can be for sure. It can be, and it, you don’t, wouldn’t expect that in a home. But now again, the price point of these things is coming down quite a quite a bit and you know, I think your average home is going to start seeing even more of that stuff.
[00:25:47] Mike: What you’re talking about used to be a luxury item. Now it’s essential for a net zero home because, as an example, if you have a room that has 10 self-facing windows, the intelligence in the automation knows that at two o’clock every day to drop those blinds and then we don’t have to turn on the air conditioner for four hours. So, we’re really using it less as a luxury to enjoy music and TV and stuff and more as to actually achieve and support the goals of the home. So, it’s really great that you’re using technology for that. Because really at the end of the day, that’s the fun, that’s where the fun starts to begin. Okay, I can listen to music. Awesome. You can do that anywhere. Being able to really hyper manage your house is really, really exciting.
[00:26:27] Jennifer-Lee: Because I always love when you’re on the other side when you’re an expert in something and have been in it for a long time. But is there anything that surprised you by having the shoe on the other foot?
[00:26:36] Drew: just the evolution in the evolution in the industry. I’ve been out of the industry for quite a while doing other things and, I mean it’s has changed a lot from when I was actually, you know, working the tools and was building. That was interesting and you know, I had some catch up to do on just sort of what was going on, but again I had at least the foresight and the experience to know sort of why things were changed and why they were going on. But yeah, I think that was probably the biggest thing was just, the change in the industry in general.
[00:27:08] Jennifer-Lee: And for you, is it, do you think harder or easier working with someone that has at least been involved in the industry before?
[00:27:16] Chris: I think it just depends on the person. I don’t think I wouldn’t say it’s harder or easier based on that. I think just, you know, Drew’s been really great to work with. His family’s been really great to work with. We’ve had a good rapport this whole way. You know, we’re still doing the last little bit of landscaping and some exterior work right now that we’re kind of getting hung up with some colder temperatures at night and, you know, he doesn’t want to kill us yet. So, I think, you know, this has been a long relationship and when you get to the end of it, it’s, it’s the most difficult part because everyone is kind of anxious to have this thing wrapped up. And, you know, he’s been a really, really patient throughout the process, really understanding – you know, of things that were just out of our control and, you know, giving us, allowing us freedom to, you know, correct some things or, or move some things around if they needed to be. So, I think you can get that from a person that’s got building experience or you can get that from a, a regular person as well. But I think his, his eye for detail is probably pretty stringent. So that’s been, but that’s been a good thing for us too.
[00:28:16] Jennifer-Lee: So, the marriage has been successful, the building marriage,
[00:28:20] Drew: We’re almost there. We’re almost there.
[00:28:22] Mike: Is there anything throughout this entire journey from a process point of view that either you would change or do differently in the future?
[00:28:29] Chris: From a building standpoint, what we’ve really learned is like having as many design decisions and as many as close as you can to the final product from the onset. is, you know, ideal. You know, obviously high-end custom home buildings, there’s always going to be changes. There’s always going to be things that move. But really, if you are a homeowner and you want to build something, really trying to figure out what it is you want from the beginning and investing in that kind of pre-construction, investing in the design of the home and what you’re going to actually put into it. Especially with Covid, especially with all these supply chain issues that we’re still having in the industry, getting lead time items, it’s critical that you set aside kind of a schedule and in a way that that can get all get achieved. So that’s kind of my biggest take away.
[00:29:18] Drew: And I think for me, I think the, it’s pretty straightforward, and you hear it all the time, but it’s just, you know, communication. Because this was complex and because we had so many moving parts and we had so many people involved doing things is if there were challenges, it was probably through a lack of communication then too much communication. I mean, I would put that right up at the, at the top of the list of what is needed to sort of make a successful sort of project go. It’s just you really sort of go heavy on the communication. You know the old adage, there’s just no stupid questions. Just get it out there, let’s air it, talk about it, and then it’ll save time and money later.
[00:30:00] Mike: Chris Drew, want to say thank you so much for taking the time today to share your experience building your first high performance home. Sharing your firsthand experience is both the builder and homeowner is invaluable as there are a lot of homeowners like myself and builders out there who have yet to tackle building to the new performance levels required by the energy step code being incorporated in BC and in our building code this May. As we’ve discussed, this is changing the way we build our homes, and we’ve learned a lot through this discussion. A few of the things we’ve learned are that solar power is a lot more reliable than it used to be, and it works great in our climate environment. It takes a team to build a home today, there’s no longer just a builder. There is a bunch of people for the builders out there yet to build to higher performance levels surround yourself with expert professionals as it takes a team, and many of these people do have the experience that you could draw on, rely on, and create success in your own projects. And homeowners find a builder who not only knows the current codes but is also current on the building science. And if they have yet to build a higher performance home before, assure that they have assembled the proper team with the experience behind them to be able to complete the project and create results similar to what you guys have created in your project.
[00:31:18] Jennifer-Lee: And Chris and Drew, we always like to end an episode by letting you give us one more piece of wisdom. I know you guys have said a lot, but if you could give one tip to perspective, uh, people that are thinking of building or renovating their home, what would it be?
[00:31:34] Drew: Sure. I think you know, going in eyes wide open, realistic budget, being, being sort of disciplined about your budget. And then just sort of really paying attention to the details as you go through the whole process is paramount to a success story.
[00:31:53] Chris: You know, reaching out to other builders as well to talk about their experiences. You know, it used to be, I think, a lot more competitive in the building community and builders versus builders. I think the climate nowadays is a lot more collaborative. And so, if you’re wondering how to do certain details or how to get through certain problems, you know, I’ve had great conversations with other builders that have a lot more experience, you know, doing these, these types of homes and they were happy to share what they’d learned and some things to watch out for.
[00:32:24] Mike: Thank you so much Chris and Drew. It’s been a great conversation. It’s been a pleasure having you on our podcast. To our listeners, if you enjoyed this podcast, please follow, share, and like. Tell your family, tell your friends. The more followers we have, the more people will find our podcast and the excellent resources our guests, like Chris and Drew are sharing.
[00:32:42] Jennifer-Lee: And for notes and links to everything mentioned on today’s episode, including resources shared by Chris and Drew go to www.havan.ca/measuretwicecutonce. See you next week when we will be joined by none other than the local legend in the making Shaun St Amour from Clay Construction to wrap up season five, sharing his insight on passive homes. Passionate about everything passive. it’s going to be a great conversation packed with eye-opening data. Shaun is all about the data. Thank you for joining us.