Jacques LeBlanc, Metropolitan Homes Inc.
Written by: Claudia Simmonds, CEO, CHBA-New Brunswick
(August 20, 2015) Dieppe (NB) - The Canadian Home Builders’ Association New Brunswick (CHBA- NB) has been promoting energy efficient construction and renovation for more than 30 years throughout the province. Indeed, the Association and its members from coast to coast have played a pivotal role in promoting energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reduction across the country since the 1980s with the introduction of the R-2000 Program. The R-2000 Program was developed by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association in partnership with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). The Canadian Home Builders’ Association New Brunswick (CHBA-NB) was one of several Service Organizations licensed by NRCan to deliver the R-2000 Program and we have certified thousands of homes in New Brunswick as R-2000 Homes.
The R-2000 Program owes its success to the builders who have embraced and participated in the Program over the past 30 years. R-2000 Builders voluntarily attend ongoing building science training and build their homes to meet a voluntary energy standard - the R-2000 Standard. The R-2000 Program was considered cutting edge in the early 1980s. In fact, the R-2000 Program and its licensed builders laid the groundwork for the residential construction industry to move to construction of today’s net-zero homes – homes that do not use any purchased energy. It is expected that most homes built in Canada by 2020 will be net-zero or very close to it. Many of those early R-2000 builders are still around today, advancing building science and building R-2000 Homes. R-2000 is still the “best-in-class” energy efficiency program offered by Natural Resources Canada.
One of those R-2000 pioneers include Jacques LeBlanc of Metropolitan Homes. From the beginning, he embraced the R-2000 Program and made it a business philosophy for the homes he built. Metropolitan Homes is not the largest home builder in Canada, or New Brunswick for that matter, but LeBlanc and his team have built more than 300 R-2000 Homes in his subdivisions in the Dieppe and Moncton area. In fact, LeBlanc is one of only three builders in all of Canada who has built more than 300 R-2000 Homes. An outstanding achievement for Metropolitan Homes and for New Brunswick!
The environmental impact of Jacques LeBlanc’s commitment to R-2000 and energy efficiency is very significant. Over the past three decades, LeBlanc’s R-2000 Homes have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 820 tons annually – the equivalent of taking 174 cars of the road each year!
Lifetime Achievement Award
LeBlanc now has retirement in his sights after more than 30 years in the home building business. But before he retires, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association New Brunswick wanted to recognize and thank LeBlanc for his outstanding contributions to the home building industry, the environment, the advancement of building science and for preparing the path for the next generation of energy efficient builders and industry
At a recent Association meeting in Moncton, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association New Brunswick presented LeBlanc with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, he was presented with a Letter of Achievement signed by the Director General, Carol Buckley, of Natural Resources Canada, Offices of Energy Efficiency which was presented by The Honourable Roger Melanson, Minister of Finance for the Province of New Brunswick. LeBlanc was also awarded the R-2000 Builder of the Year for Multi-Unit Construction by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association New Brunswick. This was the 20th consecutive year he received the award for his contributions to the R-2000 Program, the environment and the advancement of energy efficiency in residential construction in New Brunswick and Canada.
LeBlanc began building R-2000 Homes for a few reasons: “first, I wanted to build a superior product, and R-
2000 was a nice fit. Second, it was common sense. If a consumer could offset the additional costs with savings on heating costs, it was a no-brainer. Then, there were the additional benefits for the environment: less energy use and fewer emissions. Also, R-2000 Homes offered an improved lifestyle with better air quality and comfort. To me, it was all common sense.”
R-2000 Homes have to meet an energy target, be airtight and meet certain environmental requirements. The R-2000 Program brings together energy efficiency and the protection of the environment under one banner. This has made the home building industry a national leader in advancing the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, outperforming Canada’s automotive, mining and transportation sectors. The R-2000 Program has also been marketed internationally and held as an example of energy efficient home construction.
LeBlanc has played a major leadership role in his industry and it does not stop at his commitment to energy efficient housing. He has volunteered thousands of hours as president of both his local and provincial Home Builders’ Associations as well as served as president of the Atlantic Home Warranty Program. In addition he served on the national Board of Directors of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association and on countless committees and councils. LeBlanc would be the first one to tell you that if you want change you have to work for change and to do that you need to get involved.
LeBlanc has also been active in his community including being a Rotarian for over 25 years. He is past president of the Dieppe Rotary Club and the Dieppe Youth House. Among other things, he has built, on a voluntary basis, the Dieppe Youth House, the Dieppe Boy Scout Building, a major addition to the Dieppe Rotary Lodge, and five homes for the Dieppe Rotary Club that were used as major fundraisers.