Benchmarking quality control 

Are house designs evaluated in relation to cost effectiveness: minimal material waste, improved construction practices, better methods and materials? 

Does anyone evaluate the quality of details: clarity, ease of construction, performance levels or best practices? 

Are house designs and details evaluated from the perspective of energy efficiency? 

These reflective questions form part of the exercises developed for the Better Builder Series. Getting a handle on site performance requires a detailed analysis of current construction practices within the community.  This serves as a “benchmark” against which improvements can be measured.   

The other “benchmark” relates to the performance of your community’s housing operations in relation to that of other First Nations in your region.   

This course will assist your community in assessing how your operations compare with those of your area.  In essence, the course should direct the community toward making improvements in operations and construction performance. 

Of course, other decisions have a major effect on the quality of housing.  Much of the technical discussion will reflect the benefits of changing building designs, improving tendering and employing a life-cycle (longer-term) approach to assessments of housing costs. At the same time, it is acknowledged that many of these decisions fall within the control of the housing administrator and Chief-in-Council. The session will arm participants with the rationale for promoting better design and construction practices to the decision-makers in their communities. 

Some communities have made it mandatory that their contractors take the course to secure employment. They have found that by providing awareness of better housing design and construction techniques, the quality of their housing stock increases. Included in these sessions are an introduction to building sciences, how houses work, mold, wood heating and improving indoor air quality and ventilation. With limited funding for maintenance and upgrading of existing housing stock, newly constructed housing should be designed to lower replacement/maintenance costs, while taking into account the health and safety of the occupants.  

The Better Builder Series is available through the CMHC Quality Housing Initiative, and is recognized by FNNBOA as a component of certification. 

Other training courses available for contractors, carpenters, maintenance workers and housing managers include:

  • Developing Effective Community Strategies for First Nations Housing
  • Housing Coordinator Training Programs
  • Housing Policy Development
  • First Nations Builder Workshop Series
  • Project Management
  • Certified First Nations Building Officer Training
  • Arrears Management / Client Counseling
  • Basic Home Maintenance
  • Indoor Air Quality  

Ask your regional FNBO or CMHC office for details on getting these courses into your community.   

Part of the Eagle's Eye on Housing series - read more