awards : georgies 2012

looks like the finalists for the georgie awards are in, and there isn’t much to be impressed about again.

i hope you all know that the georgie awards are a bunch of bunk, and is more of a popularity contest than an actual award system based on quality construction and thoughtful design.

in order to win or be a finalist for a georgie award, you fist have to be a member of the chba bc (canadian homebuilders association bc) and then its only a matter of who you know/how well established your company is to get nominated and win, since the entries are not blindly judged but the company of submission is revealed. my mind still cannot comprehend how they decide who gets the award. it’s like high school all over again.

with that out of the way,  i have sifted through all the entries, gagged a bunch of times at the horrid stuff that is being built (and uplifted by the association) and come to highlight some contenders that are worth a mention :

img_2434_0winter residence by ario constrction – best single family home up to 2000 sq.ft. under $500k. this house fits well into the squamish mountain context and for a budge of under half mil , well done. could of made the driveway more permeable but otherwise excellent outcome. love all the outdoor living spaces.

img_2446_0kitsilano residence by vision built construction – custom home valued under $750k. i have been watching this house go up since framing at the corner of balaclava and 10th avenue. the architect james tuer of jwt architecture made good use of the land by also adding a small lane house. feel free to read an article in the globe&mail about the house here. anybody feeling nostalgic can take a look at the vancouver archives of this street intersection.

img_2453_0kicking horse residence by hr pacific construction management – custom home valued between $1.5mil and $3mil. the house was designed by bohlin grauman miller architects (also known as bohlin cywinsky jackson architects) and works wonderfully in the snowy climate with the large sloping roofs but yet retains its warm modernity. the house is 3500 sq.ft. so the construction value is around the $500 per sq.ft. range but it was well worth it. i have read their books ’12 houses’ and ‘nature of circumstance’ and these guys are passionate about construction and great attention to details.

img_2481_1bond renovation by coastal mountain custom homes – best residential renovation $100k – $300k. if they truly were able to do this renovation under $300k, then i am impressed.

img_2531_0michener court residence by frtis de vries architect – best single family kitchen over $100k. the renovation to the house was done by natural balance builders.

img_2612_2vancouver net zero energy ready home by insightful healthy homes – custom home valued under $750k. take a read about this house on the builder’s website. these are the same builders who built the harmony house in burnaby last year. close to a passivhaus but not quite there in regards to airtightness, but this is what we should all be striving for : an airtight, super insulated house positioned to receive the natural sunlight and ventilated with a hrv. now architecturally speaking, it’s not too sexy unfortunately which will still make selling the notion of green building harder when people see this house and think that in order to be good to the planet/yourself you have to suffer with bad ‘aesthetic’ design.

maybe winning a georgie can be good for the publicity of a company , but i still hope i can inspire and educate the general public about the deception of the georgie awards and its exclusivity.

i say, let’s forget about our egos and collecting prestige awards and focus on building the best homes we can (that our children aren’t going to want to bulldoze as soon as we’re dead).


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