“Blitz Build” project provides hope for Ontario family

For many new home builders, contributing to the community goes beyond simply building in it. Occasionally, there are opportunities to put the builder’s experience, skill and passion towards helping others and building a greater sense of community.

In the small town of St. Thomas, Ontario, one such challenge arose last July when Johnny Nooren – a well-respected building official – passed away after battling T Cell Lymphoma. Johnny’s wife Angela, and children, Luke and Aleida, were left in a tough spot financially – which inspired the team at Doug Tarry Homes, a St. Thomas-based home builder, to help the family keep a roof over their heads.

In February of 2017, Project Hope was officially launched. Calling on donated expertise, labour, and materials from others in the home building community, Doug Tarry Homes is planning to build and sell a new 1,440-square-foot bungalow with the proceeds going to support the family.

Even more impressively, the organizers are hoping they can get it built within three days – and that the home will be certified “Net Zero Ready,” putting it in the same class as some of Ontario’s most efficient buildings.

In addition to being recognized as an efficiency champion and innovator within Ontario’s home building industry, the company’s director Doug Tarry was also a member of the Review Committee that helped develop the most recent edition of Tarion’s Construction Performance Guidelines.

Even more impressively, the organizers are hoping they can get it built within three days – and that the home will be certified ‘Net Zero Ready,’

A helping hand from Tarion – and some familiar builders

For a new home builder, one of the crucial first steps in the warranty process is enrolling the new home. The enrolment fee can vary depending on the type and size of the home being built, and this fee must be paid for each home before construction begins.

Several months prior to laying the foundation for Project Hope, organizer Doug Tarry reached out to Tarion and asked if the enrolment fee for the new Nooren home could be waived. Tarion saw an opportunity to embrace one of its five Tarion Way principles – caring – and gladly agreed to help.

Of course, Tarion wasn’t the only organization to step up to help. Two of Project Hope’s earliest builder sponsors had previously been honoured as Tarion award finalists:

  • Back in 2015, Mattamy Homes was among the finalists for a Tarion Award of Excellence (later renamed the Homeowners’ Choice Awards) in the High-Rise Builder category. 

Project Hope’s growing sponsor list goes beyond builders too. It also includes companies like Great Northern Insulation which counts among its staff Brian Nooren, Johnny’s cousin.

What does “Net Zero Ready” mean?

Net Zero Ready (NZR) is a label administered and recognized by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, which provides helpful definitions on their website. The certification builds on a similar, but distinct, label – “Net Zero” – which recognizes a home that is designed, modelled, and constructed to produce as much energy as it consumes (on an annual basis).

While many Net Zero-certified homes feature renewable energy systems, the NZR label refers to a home for which the renewable energy system has been designed, but not yet installed.

Project Hope will not be Doug Tarry Homes’ first time overseeing the construction of a NZR home. In May, the CHBA honoured the builder by including them among the recipients of its Inaugural Net Zero Home Award.

What’s Next for Project Hope?

With foundation work already well underway, Project Hope’s three-day “Blitz Build” is all set to kick off on Friday, June 9 at 6:00 AM.

Those who wish to get involved by donating are invited to call Suzie Dennis at 519-637-6819 Ext. 30, send an email to suzie@dougtarryhomes.com, or join the project’s official Facebook group for more details.