HAVAN Award nominations highlight Vancouver’s latest home building and reno trends

The Homebuilders Association Vancouver (HAVAN) has announced the finalists for its 2021 HAVAN Awards for Housing Excellence.

The Homebuilders Association Vancouver (HAVAN) has announced the finalists for its 2021 HAVAN Awards for Housing Excellence. They reflect the latest home design, building and renovation trends. The awards shine a light on the talented and highly skilled home-designers and builders in Greater Vancouver.


Eighty builders have been nominated in over 150 categories, such as Best Kitchen Renovation under $75,000, Best Renovation under $200,000 and Best Renovation over $1 million. Other categories include new-home construction production and custom homes, design-build, interior design and special achievements.

Finalist in HAVAN Award’s Best In-Fill Development (10 Units or Less): Campbell Residences by South Street Development Group (Vancouver). PHOTO BY SOUTH STREET DEVELOPMENT GROUP /PNG

Some of the trends highlighted this year include a growing demand for multi-generational homes — renovated or newly built — with families looking to stay connected, remain in neighbourhoods where they grew up and have access to more affordable housing, says Wendy McNeil, VP of marketing and education for Homebuilders Association Vancouver.

Finalist in HAVAN Award’s Best Outdoor Living Space: Custom or Renovated, Tsawwas-Zen Garden Retreat by Craine Projects Ltd. (Delta). PHOTO BY CRAINE PROJECTS LTD /PNG

Builders and homeowners are also focussing more on high-performance homes that require less energy to operate and are built to last for generations, says McNeil.

There is an increasing demand for outdoor living spaces, which is reflected in the homes submitted for the HAVAN awards this year. “Whether it’s creating walk paths in forested areas, as part of a townhouse development, quiet places for reflection, or entertaining spaces, we’re seeing a lot of focus on extending the usability of outdoor spaces,” she says.

“Not all homeowners are looking for a single-family detached building. Some enjoy the lifestyle and community multi-family living offers and are renovating spaces to be more functional for the long term,” says McNeil.

Some of the biggest, ongoing stumbling blocks for builders and homeowners in Vancouver include high land values and complicated approval and permitting processes, and a complex regulatory environment, says McNeil.

Finalist in HAVAN Award’s Best New Small-Scale Home: Three Cube House by Bhaus Construction (Vancouver). PHOTO BY BHAUS CONSTRUCTION /PNG

Because Vancouver is one of the most desirable cities in the world, it is a hub for home buying, building and design, she says.

“B.C. is leading the way in raising the standard of homebuilding, with the introduction of the Energy Step Code. And in Metro Vancouver, our builders are industry leaders; many are working towards the goal to be Net Zero in 2032 (homes that generate as much energy as they consume), some more than ten years ahead of this requirement.

If you are considering building new or renovating a home, it’s worth spending the time seeking out, consulting with, and engaging professional designers and builders who fit well with what you want to achieve.

“HAVAN has a lot of free resources for homeowners, including a member directory and our consumer podcast Measure Twice Cut Once,” she says.

And be aware of the cheapest quote, McNeil adds: “Sometimes the cheapest at signing will end up costing you the most at the end.”

For a list of HAVAN award finalists and photos of the projects go to www.havan.ca/awards/finalists.  Winners will be announced at an online gala on April 30.