A Saanich construction company is living — or at least working — in the change that is coming to the building industry.
MAC Renovations Ltd. recently moved from Esquimalt to Saanich (the 5200-block of West Saanich Road) to a building known as the Ranch that used to be the site of a succession of restaurants. While the company’s initial plan was to renovate the existing building, the project eventually evolved into a full rebuild.
Blaise McDonald, owner and operations manager for MAC Renovations, said the company used this fact as an opportunity to test out and ultimately showcase new building techniques designed to lower costs and improve environmental sustainability.
“So we wanted to create a building that had a low impact to the environment, as well as create some cost-savings over the years,” said McDonald.
One specific driver for the initiative was the pending, now approved ratification of the Step Code in Saanich.
“It was coming down and we wanted to have our guys become exposed to it,” said Ed McDonald, owner and project manager, who found the home renovation company in the 1980s. “We took the initiative to do it before it became a code.”
The Step Code is voluntary building code for new homes that works like a ladder, with each of its five steps representing a higher level of energy efficiency and the stated goal of making all new buildings by 2032 net-zero energy ready. Net zero energy ready buildings — or Step 5 buildings — are buildings that could (with additional measures) generate enough energy onsite to meet their own energy needs.
McDonald said the new building represents the equivalent of a Step 4 home. As such it highlights to current and potential customers the possibilities of building to a higher efficiency standard.
“Now that we’ve finished the renovation, we can focus on improving our processes and procedures, oiling the machine to deliver better customer service and a better building experience for homeowners in Greater Victoria,” said Blaise.
This said, the building is more than just a real-life showcase. It generates benefits right now.
” The new location gives us a central location to bring our projects together,” said Blaise. “Our designers, project managers, and production team are all in one place, bringing everyone together to maximize efficiency for our clients.”
The company also expects to be busy, and is currently looking for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th-year carpenters.