Finding that balance between quality, aesthetics, and affordability may be a tricky endeavor if you develop properties. This post will show you how one developer’s passion for quality, attention to detail, and choice of ICF over traditional construction methods has become his path to success.
A Quest For High-end Quality
Quality was Nigel Furgus’s passion — and the defining cornerstone of his work — long before he became a successful developer in the Winnipeg area. Prior to co-founding Paragon Design Build, Nigel started by finding high-end, custom home rentals for professional athletes. While working with luxury real estate, Nigel established his brand by zeroing in on all the little details and nuances that make such a difference to high-net-worth clients.
Then, in 2016 and already the president of Paragon Design Build, Nigel focused his talents on infill development in Winnipeg. His company would buy lots, subdivide them, and build smaller homes. But while these houses had a smaller footprint, they were no less upscale than the properties Nigel sourced for his professional athlete clients.
And one of the things Nigel did differently while constructing these homes is he built the basements with Logix ICF. ICF basements are superior to their conventional peers, as they offer higher thermal resistance and waterproofing instead of just dampproofing, and they also inhibit condensation buildup in the basement walls. These key benefits are essential to occupants’ comfort, which is why Nigel adopted Logix ICF for the basements of these single-family homes his company built.
In fact, Nigel found Logix ICF to be such an effective performance and comfort upgrade that he used it to entirely construct his own home starting in 2019. Built on the tree-lined Wellington Crescent steps away from downtown Winnipeg, Nigel’s home features a full-height Logix ICF design. Opting for Logix ICF instead of a light-wood frame made quite an impression in this upscale Winnipeg neighborhood and set the stage for Nigel’s next move with Logix ICF.
Moving On to Bigger Things
Two years after building his Logix ICF home, Nigel’s Paragon embarked on a mission to boost the community’s housing supply with an affordable yet high-end multifamily residential building.
Located at 30 University Crescent in Winnipeg and known as “30 UC”, the building has 7 stories, each of them 14,041 square feet, for a total of 98,287 square feet. Each floor is home to a mix of rental units and student housing.
But despite the budget-friendly housing this building offers, it doesn’t lack quality or high-end detail. 30 UC’s exterior walls comprise Logix ICF with 6-inch concrete cores — a highly efficient design that provides airtightness and thermal lag. These properties substantially slash the load on heating and cooling systems, help conserve energy, and improve occupant comfort. Thanks to its ICF walls, 30 UC’s energy model was 25% more efficient than the reference building, and the development even received a $200,000 performance rebate.
What’s more, 30 UC’s interior party walls are also constructed with Logix ICF. While heat loss between interior spaces is less of a concern, Nigel’s design team opted for Logix ICF demising walls to curb sound transmission between units. The strategy paid off — the “soundproof construction” page on the development’s website was the most visited!
Though energy efficiency and comfort were at the forefront of the 30 UC design, Nigel’s team didn’t hold off on finishes either:
Paragon Design Build even added internet to the utility package included with the rent to sweeten the deal for prospective tenants.
The result of all this meticulous attention to detail? The 30 UC building was 96% full within 3 months of getting its occupancy permit. Nigel’s building even diverted prospective tenants from a nearby wood-frame apartment building (the latter is still unsold, despite an entire year of marketing efforts).
And, thanks to thorough planning, ICF design, and flawless execution despite a harsh Manitoba winter, 30 UC was completed on time and $500,000 under budget!
Looking to the Future
After his resounding success with 30 UC, Nigel Furgus didn’t waste much time before getting back in the game. Nowadays, Paragon Design Build is working on yet another 7-story multifamily residential building that features the same Logix ICF design as 30 UC, but with a more optimized layout and fewer jogs.
Going forward, Nigel intends to pursue more high-end multi-story developments.