Questions + Answers with Stefanie Coleman

Building Knowledge Canada is so pleased to announce that Stefanie Coleman has joined our team as Marketing and Business Development Manager. With her background and her love of the homebuilding industry she is a natural fit here at BKC!

Stefanie will continue the exceptional work she has been doing by delivering industry training, supporting our industry partners and builders, managing marketing and business development efforts, and much more.

Stefanie, as Marketing and Business Development Manager, we know you do a lot more than just what the traditional role would suggest. What do you see are your main responsibilities with BKC?

Well, with marketing specifically, I would say my role is to help address the issues that most affect Canadian builders and the work that they do. I manage the creation, rollout and facilitation of our webinar series, free resources and education for builders like our Performance Path, ENERGY STAR and Net Zero checklists and guides, I write LinkedIn articles, and am managing the BKC brand, bringing it all together, and updating as we look forward to the future.

Our business development strategy is simple, look for meaningful ways to support the industry, connect with builders, our colleagues and local, provincial and national HBAs. We want to provide builders and renovators with the best, most useful building science information and tools they need, to help them do what they do best, construct homes that Canadians LOVE to live in.

What experience most prepared you for this role?

After a career in fashion design as a buyer for a national retail chain, I joined the residential construction industry in 2005 as a renovation contractor and began studying building science extensively, completing training of the HRAI Residential Air System Design Technician Certification in 2008, then becoming an NRCan energy advisor for existing and new homes in 2009, as well as a Level 1 thermographer in the same year.

In September of 2020, I was honoured to be awarded the EnerQuality Industry Leader of the Year award and currently, I am pursuing my Masters of Environment and Business degree at the University of Waterloo.

And, of course, I have been heavily involved in the Home Builders' Association during my career, at all three levels; serving as local President for the St. Thomas and Elgin Home Builders' Association in 2011/2012, and most recently serving as National President of the Canadian Home Builders' Association in 2019/2020.

What excites you about this position?

So much!

This role really pairs well with my background in design, in the creative side of things, along with all my renovation contractor experience. I can now utilize all of my know-how and combine the elements that I love, both the business and creative side of things.

My involvement with the HBAs has given me insight around advocacy work, and a lot of deep industry knowledge gained sitting at the table in technical and government policy meetings as well as taking part as building code policy was being crafted. All of this unique perspective which I am now able to bring to the team at BKC.

I really enjoyed all the learning that I did around building science over the last 15 years, so the beauty is that now all those skills come together and allow me to contribute meaningfully to our clients as I'm involved in creating the training for other builders, passing on the knowledge that was so beneficial in my career. I just love that.

Plus, I was already aiming to do more public speaking and writing, as well as a shift into coaching and teaching, and these are all coming to be through my work with BKC. I am beyond grateful that Andy and Gord asked me to join the team!

What made you want to work with BKC?

This is an easy one - the team!

Back in 2005, within my first 2 years as a renovation contractor, Al Gore's The Inconvenient Truth came out, and really woke me up to what needed to shift with the way we were doing things.

Around the same time, a group of industry leaders were working to bring ENERGY STAR for new homes to Canada, so I qualified as an energy advisor, testing and modeling existing and new homes using the Canadian NRCan EnerGuide Rating System. I wanted to understand how to renovate and build homes to offer the occupants the most comfortable, healthy living environment they can have.

Through our local HBA I was introduced to EnerQuality, started taking classes and that was my first introduction to the venerable Gord Cooke! I made sure to show up whenever Gord spoke at events, fascinated by all he was teaching, and then, over the following years, I had met and worked with much of the team. In fact, I even shadowed Rob Johnson as part of my Energy Advisor certification work!

Everyone at BKC is so well respected in the industry, both for their expertise and their character. To a person, this team is warm, welcoming, and in business to help and to serve. I have had such appreciation for them over so many years, so coming to work here just feels like joining a wonderful family. It is a great place to be!

What does BKC do best?

Put simply, we support builders in providing them the advanced building science education, services and tools they need so they can do what they do best, deliver homes that Canadians LOVE to live in.

Our HOW is that we support the industry through teaching and training building science principles and their application, so that builders can build better homes at less construction cost, with streamlined construction details, easier permitting processes, and fewer client warranty call backs.

Our WHY is that we aim every day to support builders to be successful! Our tagline says it all: better performance, better science, better bottom line. It all needs to work together, and it can, when done right. That is how we help!

How do you see the industry changing, and what is BKC's role in the future change?

Sustainability, as demanded by regulation and by consumers, is going to be the main shift we continue to see.

We already know that as it relates to climate change, there is a shift both nationally and globally towards more focus on environmental issues and we see social issues shared in the news on a regular basis. So there is a much broader awareness of these sustainable development issues and therefore more emphasis in the news and on social media platforms.

We are seeing big industry people incorporating sustainability plans across the board - big oil, major retailers, national banks and all different segments and sectors, in large part due to investor, client, and government demands. Our industry is no exception.

BKC is ideally placed, because of our long-term leadership in the building science space, to help builders move along with the regulatory changes, and to do so in the simplest and most cost-effective way.

We help builders at all levels, whether they are building to performance, better than prescriptive, LEED, ENERGY STAR or Net Zero. We support through training trades and with specs, to build in the most efficient and affordable ways, no matter which labelling program they are working towards.

We are thrilled to have Stefanie on the BKC team, as we continue our work with builders and renovators, helping them to construct homes that Canadians LOVE to live in.

You can read about our other team members on our team page.