WRHBA’s Education House

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

The Waterloo Region Home Builders’ Association (WRHBA) knows that our population in Waterloo Region is growing and it’s no different across Ontario. More and more, skilled trades are in demand and as our understanding of construction science grows and evolves they must be well-trained to meet the demands of changing building code and environmental needs.

WRHBA is pleased to have completed its first ever Education House, a place which brought to life all areas of study to educate students on the fundamentals for best building practices, as well as unique and innovative products so they could better understand how and what they learned in school translated to the work site. With the combined efforts from various member companies, WRHBA built the home to support and promote the Association as well as Conestoga College School of Trades and Apprenticeship.

Acting as a living classroom, the Education House combined the students’ class work with tours of the home as it was under construction and the opportunity to discuss what was being built and how it was being constructed with local trades. Being able to watch the staff at Churchill Homes build the house from start to finish meant they could witness for themselves the rewards of a commitment to craftsmanship and quality home construction. The experience proved valuable.  “While taking the theory behind buildings is certainly useful there is nothing as good as going onsite and walking through an actual building in progress,” commented Judi Westcott, Professor of Carpentry at Conestoga College. “Much of what the students saw in the home were aspects we had talked about in class including the structure itself, transference of loads to the ground, energy shield installation concerns, air barrier installation, cutouts in structural members and framing of arched windows to mention a few areas.”

The Education House is situated on a 40’ lot purchased from William J. Gies Construction Ltd. The home is set in the prestigious Waterloo Nature’s Watch community, located at 308 Westpark Crescent. Churchill Homes created their Fort Francis model, a 2195 square foot home with an oversized fabulous upper-floor family room complete with high ceilings and sliding doors that lead to a generous covered balcony; gorgeous hardwood floors along with ceramics and granite countertops in the kitchen all add to the overall beauty of this quality built energy-efficient ENERGY STAR® home.

 The Education House officially opened its doors to the public on Friday, January 28 at its ribbon-cutting ceremony and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Local dignitaries, most notably Peter Braid, MP, The Honourable John Milloy, MPP, Minister of Training & Education, Elizabeth Witmer, MPP, Dan Glenn-Graham, Acting Mayor, City of Kitchener, Jean Haalboom, Council, Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Zyg Janecki, Council, City of Kitchener, Mark Whaley, Council, City of Waterloo and Dr. John Tibbits, President, Conestoga College, all commented on the leadership demonstrated by the Education House and its strong cooperative efforts to prepare our students to become future trades and a valued cornerstone in the growth of our industry and economy.