April 25 - Berkshire Homes, Tridel are 'Green' Builders of the Year

April 26, 2008

Berkshire Homes, Tridel are "Green" Builders of the Year
April 25, 2008, Toronto -- The sophomore winners of the Green Builder of the Year awards presented by the Building Industry & Land Development Association (BILD) are Berkshire Homes in the low-rise sector and Tridel, repeating their inaugural success, in the high-rise sector.

The association established the Green Builder of the Year awards in 2007 as part of a strategic priority to promote sustainable development and green building practices. The awards are intended not only to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of the leading home builders but to inspire other builders to take action as well.

Berkshire Homes

Laurie Gordon, principal of Berkshire Homes, deserved to win the Green Builder of the Year, low-rise award just for the work she has done as co-chair of the Green Committee of BILD, however that volunteer contribution did not even factor into the judges decision. Instead, Berkshire was chosen for a number of firsts which it has achieved on the green building front:

  • At Credit Springs in Orangeville, Berkshire became the first builder to require buyers to sign a Homeowners Environmental Guide which dictates what can and can't be done on the site. Under the agreement, homeowners agree to restrict landscaping to only species native to the area, leave trees and natural vegetation undisturbed, and generally do their part to protect the land they share. "Unless they demonstrate a commitment to stewardship of this land, we won't sell them a home," says Gordon.
  • At Bateman Lane, Berkshire is building the first LEED home in the Caledon area as a participant in the Canada Green Building Council Pilot Study Program. The Bateman Lane site also features "No touch Zones," to prevent residents from disturbing the natural vegetation.
  • Berkshire was the first ENERGY STAR builder in Orangeville and is now promoting ENERGY STAR in all its homes.

Tridel

Tridel won BILD's inaugural Green Builder of the Year, high-rise award hands down for everything it had done up to 2007 as a pioneer in the field of sustainable development and green building. Tridel won the award this year for continuing to build upon its enviable record. Specific new green initiatives included:

  •  Tridel is redeveloping a 17 acre brownfield site in Scarborough into Metrogate, one of the first LEED Neighbourhood communities. All seven buildings will incorporate energy and water conservation features while the sales centre itself has solar panels that are designed to meet up to 50 per cent of the lighting electricity with the balance sourced from Bullfrog Power (Bullfrog also powers the BILD offices);
  • Tridel's Republic project in North Toronto features a unique collaboration with the school board which will result in the first LEED Gold school in Ontario and two LEED Silver condominium towers;
  •  Tridel created the Eco-Suite, a high-design 1,900 square foot sustainable model suite open to the public with the sole purpose of educating the consumer, creating excitement about Green living and demonstrating that one does not have to sacrifice style for sustainability. More than 3,000 visitors received guided tours while another 15,000 visited the interactive website. This initiative was featured on the New York Times website.

BILD congratulates Berkshire Homes and Tridel on their environmental leadership. "It's amazing what can be achieved by the industry acting altruistically and voluntarily," said BILD Chief Executive Officer Stephen Dupuis. 

With more than 1,500 members, BILD, formed through the merger of the Greater Toronto Home Builders' Association and Urban Development Institute/Ontario is the voice of the residential land development, home building and professional renovation industry in the Greater Toronto Area. We are proudly affiliated with the Ontario and Canadian Home Builders' Associations.