News » Best in Alberta

The Ralph Scurfield Award for Builder of the Year 2008 for alll of Alberta is Shane Homes.

The Calgary builder won the best-of-the-best award at the annual Alberta Awards of Excellence in Housing competition out of more than 230 entries from across the province. The awards were hosted Friday by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association—Alberta. It’s the second time Shane Homes has been honoured, the first being in 2002.

This time, the builder captured two other awards to get to the top of the podium—the best single-family home from $225,000 to $259,999 (not including lot or GST), for its Barcelona model in its Creations by Shane Homes division; and the best single-family home from$300,000to$349,999, for Shane Homes’ Stratton 3 model.

“The awards are an important part of our annual provincial conference,” says Vince Laberge, president of the CHBA-AB.“ They allow us to see the innovation, the design and the quality of workmanship happening within our industry. It allows us to see just how high someone is setting the bar.

“Builders like Shane Homes are an example of long-term commitment to this industry by setting the bar for all of us to work towards.” Shane was founded in 1979 by Cal Wenzel, president and past-president of the Alberta and Calgary home builders’ associations.

Since then it has grown to become one of Calgary’s largest-volume builders and is now in 12 communities in and around the city, including the all-new-neighbourhoods of Sage Hill in the north-central sector, the soon-to-open SkyView Ranch in northeast Calgary, and TRC Ranch in Cochrane.

The company is also involved in many charity endeavors throughout the neighbourhoods where it builds.

Some of these include constructing the grand prize homes for the Kinsmen Children’s Home Lotto, as well as a program with students from Ernest Manning High School, and the support of youth involved in the Calgary Minor Soccer Association.

The provincial Ralph Scurfield Award is chosen through points awarded by independent judges across the province for both finalists’ and winners’ placements in various categories.

For example, in the single-family home categories from $260,000 (house alone) to $549,999, 20 percent of the final mark comes from the judges scores for value per square foot, with another 20 percent for curb appeal.

Fifteen percent each is from marks for the kitchen and great room/living room, with another 10 percent each for ensuite/main bath, special features, and creative use of space/layout.

A portion of the Builder of the Year score is also determined by the builders’ placement in the new J.D. Power and Associates Power Circle Rating – a new award given out for the first time this year.

It arose after the Alberta New Home Warranty Program partnered with the U.S.-based customer satisfaction survey company, which is known for its third party, independent rating system.

The Alberta New Home Warranty Program New-Home Buyers’ Choice Awards is another new category this year. Watch for results of the first public rating scores and both the award recipients in next Saturday’s New Homes section.

Stepper Custom Homes of Calgary and Kensington Master Builder of Sherwood Park, which was the only other builder to take more than one award, were finalists for the Ralph Scurfield Builder of the Year award.

Kensington Master Builder took the single-family home award for homes $750,000 and over, as well as the Green Vision Award – a new category to honour sustainable building practices.

Stepper was given the single-family category award between $260,000 to $299,999 for its Gabriel model. Calgary builders, some with winning projects in Canmore, took nine of the 21 awards in the various categories, including three of five multi-family awards.

City builders received 30 of the 45 finalist nominations. A total of 233 entries were received from across the province.

“It was a great pleasure to see Bruce Galts, vice-president of Galko Homes in Lethbridge and the newly-appointed CHBA-AB president, included in the list of winners,” says Laberge. Galko Homes’ Willowstone model won for best single-family home under $225,000.

Other Calgary winners included Trademark Renovations’ Kennedy residence for a renovation over $125,000, and Ashton Custom Homes, whose Slabosz residence won the Calgary Region Merit Award.