In 2015, the local Home Builders’ Association in Edmonton, Alberta (CHBA-Edmonton Region) began an initiative called the “Renovation Month Days of Service.” Led by its Renovator Committee, the initiative supports different charities every year by donating time, expertise, and materials through a renovation.
Last month CHBA Edmonton Region won CHBA’s Community Service Award for their activities in the past year. The award is given annually by the national level of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association to a local or provincial association that exemplifies what it means to give back to the community through new and ongoing charitable activities.
This year the members in Edmonton participated in a city clean up and a BBQ for their local hospital’s Ronald McDonald House, and volunteered at the Food Bank.
But their biggest effort in 2018 was a renovation of the indoor café and an exterior courtyard of the Alberta Hospital.
Selecting the Project
The project hit close to home for committee member Isha Ribeiro, who was instrumental in selecting the Alberta Hospital and helping to negotiate the project to fruition.
“Everyone who encounters Alberta Hospital must look very hard past its rough appearance to see the huge amount of good this place is doing,” said Isha, whose sister had previously been a patient. “All the funding and resources they receive go toward the tools it takes to keep their doors open and operating effectively. It requires a huge amount of staff, programs, equipment, beds and so much more to take care of this hospital’s functional needs.”
The communal spaces of the hospital were outdated and drab – not a welcoming environment for patients and their loved ones.
A Team Effort
In three days, over 100 skilled tradespeople and designers from CHBA member companies worked with the hospital to renovate two spaces: the indoor café and an exterior courtyard. The effort was covered by Global News Edmonton in relation to even larger-scale regeneration changes coming to mental health care in the region.
The café, Budzzz Bistro, had an outdated colour pallet and furniture in desperate need of an update. The team replaced the flooring, cabinets, counter tops, window treatments, and paint. Using bright and inviting colours, wood textures, and re-finished furniture, the team brought the café into the 21st century. It’s now an inviting and modern retreat.
The team also brought new life to the outdoor courtyard through a plant therapy area, a graffiti wall, and improved lighting.
Past President of CHBA-Edmonton Region Greg Nakatsui said, “It’s great to have warmer and friendlier spaces when you’re in this kind of situation. Hopefully, it makes [the patients’] day a little brighter.”