From home building to heartwarming

wilden banner cr 3
What better way to start a career in home building than to be a part of building the Home of Tomorrow?

In 2016, a class of 17 residential construction students from Okanagan College worked on two unique homes in the Wilden development in Kelowna. The homes they built could change the way we think about energy efficiency for years to come.

The Wilden Living Laboratory is a collaborative research project spearheaded by Wilden, Okanagan College, UBC Okanagan, AuthenTech Homes and Fortis BC. Over the next three years, the energy usage of the residents of the Home of Today (built to current building code) will be compared to that of those living in the Home of Tomorrow, which was constructed using advanced green building techniques and technologies, and equipped with the latest in energy-saving appliances.

Kai Schindelka is one of the students who helped to raise both homes. The young home builder from Kelowna is not shy when it comes to talking about the confidence he gained from working on the project.

“Working on these homes taught me a lot,” says Schindelka. “I got real-world experience and training, working hands-on next to the team from AuthenTech homes.

“Getting to check out some of the new technologies and materials going into our homes was very exciting, and when I step onto the next job site, I’ll have that experience and knowledge under my belt.”

Since 2006, OC Residential Construction students and instructors have helped build homes and community buildings, from daycare facilities to food banks throughout the region.

While Schindelka and his fellow students were home building in Kelowna, their peers in Salmon Arm were working with local business owners to assuage hunger in that community.

soup salmon arm crSteaming bowls of soup made by local restaurants warmed things up on a cold winter’s day at the inaugural Enactus Okanagan College Soup’s On event in Salmon Arm. On Jan. 21, 2016, 109 guests tasted samples of delicious soups to raise awareness and funds for the Second Harvest food bank.

The event raised $1,000 for those most in need. The funds arrived during the post-holiday time when food bank shelves are often in need of replenishing. The event also raised an additional $1,000 to support ongoing Enactus Okanagan College community projects.

The event was coordinated by Okanagan College School of Business student Alexandra Jacques and fellow business student Laureen Shannon, President of Enactus Okanagan College Salmon Arm chapter.

A widow and mother of boys nine and 13-years-old, Shannon graduated in May with a diploma in business administration and plans to pursue a degree in human resource management. The event was not her first foray into community involvement, and it won’t be the last, explains Shannon, especially if the generosity of business owners helps to sustain Soup’s On as an annual event.

“Our overhead was minimal because everybody in the community was so generous,” explains Shannon. “I joined Enactus to give back to the community and to be on a team. It gives me a really good feeling to do something that’s so positive for the community. And it is really sustainable.”

Click here to go back to the OC Community Report 2016 homepage.