Ontario Construction news staff writer
COVID-19 took the expansive gala party out of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association (GOHBA)’s 37th Annual Housing Design Awards – but not the intense competition and energy among 253 entries within 46 categories, including several special achievement recognitions.
The association announced the winners at a virtual gathering on Nov. 20, in place of the traditional annual gala that would attract more than 600 guests to the Shaw Centre downtown.
The number of entries declined from 314 last year, but organizers are satisfied they managed the event successfully. James Cunningham, the comedian master of ceremonies, led the almost 90 minute show from his basement.
Linda Oliveri Blanchard, who has chaired the Housing Design Awards committee for nine year, acknowledged in an interview with All Things Home that the online event format presented some challenges. “I’ve never had to do something so difficult,” she said.
One advantage of the online format is that it has been saved as a video “that anyone can watch,” she says.
Multi-year award winner RND Construction Ltd. collected at least five trophies, several for custom projects shared with Christopher Simmonds Architects Ltd. The custom builder and renovator also received recognition as the Renovator of the Year.
RND president Roy Nandram, who is also the current GOHBA president, told the online magazine that this year’s event wasn’t as fun as gathering in person, but “we didn’t have a choice this year.”
“This was probably the best way to do it . . . and Linda and her team have done well.”
Other companies that received several awards included: Phoenix Homes, Tanya Collins Design, Gordon Weima Design Builder, Casa Verde Construction, Flynn Architect Inc. and eQ Homes.
Elle’s WC by Greenmark Builders Inc. received the Ottawa Citizen People’s Choice Award.
In the special Innovation Awards categories, Corvinelli Homes won the Green Production Home of the Year for “Trail to Milan”, while RND with Christopher Simmonds shared recognition for their work on Spruce Grove for the Green Custom Home of the Year. Ottawa Community Housing with CSV Architects were recognized for the Green Building of the Year for 1290 Coldrey Avenue.
Other special achievement awards went to eQ Homes for Production Builder of the Year; Sascha Lafleur – West of Main for Designer of the Year, and Gordon Weima Design Builder for Custom Builder of the Year.