GNB Builders named Builder of the Year

A Ladysmith company has been recognized with a sustainable building award.

And the award for BC’s Built Green and/or R2000 Builder of the Year goes to… GNB Builders Inc.

Department G, formally known as Built Green BC, has awarded Ladysmith’s own GNB Builders Inc. with this prestigious award.

Started in 1999, GNB Builders custom builds homes within central Vancouver Island. The company has been growing steadily each year, creating a strong customer base. This award is like the finishing touches on a newly constructed home.

“You work very hard, and wining the awards is great. I feel very honoured to have won this award, but really, in the end, if the client looks at you and says ‘I love our home,’ that is the most important part,” said Greg Bianchini, president of GNB Builders. “A happy client is like having an award. I am particularly proud of winning B.C.’s Built Green and/or R2000 Builder of the Year, as my team and I strive to build better, more efficient homes for our community.”

Bianchini started GNB Builders in Victoria, and he moved to Ladysmith in 2006 with his wife Heidi. He already had a successful building business in Victoria, and he wanted to move to a smaller community to start his family.

Bianchini has been a certified Built Green Builder since 2008, with all homes built since being certified either Platinum or Gold. Each home is tested by a certified energy advisor and certified by Natural Resources Canada, receiving an EnerGuide rating — just a small part of the Built Green process.

“We have been integrating many features into the homes we build that contribute to the Built Green designation, including rain water collection systems, solar panels to preheat domestic hot water and/or in floor heat, geothermal heating systems, low-VOC paints and stains, insulated hot water lines with recirculation pump, heat pumps and fibre-cement siding,” said Bianchini.

Bianchini went into business for himself in Victoria and then Ladysmith, and he’s never had “buyer’s remorse” about it.

“I wanted to branch out on my own and create and do what I wanted,” he said. “It’s in my genetic make-up. There are guys that work for companies, and there are guys that want to do their own thing.”

When Bianchini first established himself in Ladysmith, he worked to create new relationships with new sub-trades. It took time to work through to find the best of the best, but he now has a team of sub-trades he trusts and relies on for each job, and he is proud to have them as part of his team.

While many of GNB’s clients are building large homes, that is not the only market to which the company caters. Bianchini says his staff work alongside the client to build their dream house, whatever kind of house that may be

“I’ve built quite a few large custom homes,” he said. “But that’s not only what we cater to; we also build smaller modest homes, and renovations too. We sit down and talk realistic budgets … we will talk and we will build it. It is about building a quality home and having the clients excited and happy to be in their home.”

The company continues to grow and bring in more clients, but Bianchini says he wants GNB to be about quality, not always quantity.

“I don’t see GNB Builders expanding significantly,” he said. “We’ve got some good guys, and I like to keep it a tighter-knit group, just doing a better job and always striving to be better. If we can offer more client care and keep that in mind and stay at that level of service is important.”