Each year, the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association (SRHBA) host the annual Housing Excellence Awards. This year, the 29th annual awards were presented virtually on February 5. These awards are set in place to celebrate the achievements of the SRHBA members and winners are chosen by an international panel of judges consisting of Home Builders’ Association professional members from across North America.
Prairie ICF out of Martensville took home two of the awards; Trade Partner of the Year and the Environmental Stewardship Award. They were also finalists for the Safety Stewardship Award.
This year marked the first time that Trade Partner of the Year was included in the annual awards. It was created based out of member feedback and the desire to see trade/supplier members be recognized with awards, in addition to certified renovators and builders. The Trade Partner of the Year award was designed to recognize a general member on the basis of its community investment, environmental stewardship and safety stewardship. “This was the first year with this new award and we were honoured to recognize Prairie ICF for their accomplishments and contributions to the industry. This award is here to stay, as it recognizes a good portion of our general membership who also contribute greatly to the residential construction industry,” Paul-Rémi Poulin, Manager of Member Services for the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association stated.
Prairie ICF, located on 9th Street North in Martensville, has been in business for the past 15 years as an authorized distributor of Nudura Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) and related accessory products for Central & Northern Saskatchewan. Originally based out of North Battleford the company made the move to Martensville in 2013. Some may be more familiar with the name PR Sustainable Homes, which was in place until 2016, when it was changed to Prairie ICF to highlight the focus on the ICF industry in both the residential and commercial markets.
When it comes to their Environmental Stewardship award, Tyler Dagenais, one of the Prairie ICF owners, explained that since inception, the business has had a large focus on energy efficient homes and have worked with many top experts in the energy efficient design and construction throughout the province, as well as supplying some of the most energy efficient homes within the province. “Most people don’t realize that Saskatchewan has an impressive history in the development of energy efficient homes and the standards that are in use around the world. This includes projects like the Saskatchewan Conservation House and the Factor-9 house in Regina and the Dumont Residence in Saskatoon, which was the best insulated house in the world when it was built. We have crossed paths or worked with some of the people that have been involved with these projects over the years and are glad to share some of the lessons learned with our clients. To be recognized as a leader in an industry that includes this caliber of professionals is a huge honor,” said Dagenais.
Like many other businesses, this past year required some modifications at Prairie ICF due to the COVID pandemic, some of which included employees working from home when possible, limited in-person meetings with current and potential customers and changes to the pickup/delivery procedures. Although some changes were needed, Dagenais, noted that due to the construction industry remaining strong throughout 2020, Prairie ICF was not adversely affected in the same way as many other businesses.
“I think low interest rates, increased disposable income, and a strong year for agriculture throughout much of Saskatchewan all played a part in maintaining a robust residential construction industry over the past year. We are fortunate in that our products can be used in commercial construction, as well as residential, and this industry seems to be less volatile year-to-year when compared to residential construction. The high cost of lumber we are currently seeing is also causing homeowners to consider ICF for not just the basement, but also the main floor of their homes as this is now an economical option at construction and offers long term savings in heating/cooling costs,” Dagenais explained.
“We would like to thank our staff & customers for their support and loyalty over the years. Many of the builders we work with have been loyal customers since almost the inception of our company 16 years ago. We take great pride in working with some of the highest quality builders in the area and are thankful not only for their continued business but also the resulting friendships we were able to cultivate over the years. The past year has been a uniquely challenging time for any business and I am extremely grateful for the extra work of our staff to rise to these challenges,” Dagenais added.
ABOVE PHOTO: Tyler Dagenais with the two awards that Prairie ICF won at this year’s Housing Excellence Awards.