New renovation headquarters creates it all

By Mark Buckshon

Homeowners visiting OakWood Renovation Expert’s new 22,000 sq. ft. headquarters will discover a multi-media environment where they will be able to select from hundreds of thousands of design options – and discover right away whether their selections will be right for their homes.

“We did this for our clients,” says OakWood president John Liptak, describing the $8.7 million building at 865 Taylor Creek Dr. near Trim Rd. and Hwy. 417. “We will show our clients the variety and quality of spaces we design and build.”

The headquarters, designed to achieve the highest Canadian environmental sustainability standards, includes a two-level showroom, where clients will be able to touch, compare, and visualize their renovations in real-time.

However, unlike many new home builders’ design centres, OakWood uses 3D video/computer technology to access an incredible array of options, including fixtures and technologies not generally easy to find within the Ottawa market.

“One of the major Ottawa builders has 50 kitchen cabinet options in their design centre,” says OakWood chief operating officer Patricia Liptak.  “We’ll have at least 700.”

She adds they’ll have about 120 different samples of crown moulding, and homeowners will be able to compare five different species of wood – including walnut, pine, maple, cherry and oak.

“Then we have a 55-inch HD screen,” she says, “with a virtually infinite display on screen of all the different millwork sites from around the world, including Europe and Asia, to allow homeowners to make their choices.”

While this variety may seem daunting, the Liptaks say consumers are guided by qualified designers and project consultants, who can help them narrow their selections. As well, pricing information is available on the spot – meaning homeowners can quickly determine if the options fit their budget.

OakWood also is building hologram design rooms.

Clients wearing special 3D glasses will see in three-dimensional format how their selections will look, and can test out different options right away.

“We’re giving the choice to homeowners instead of making the choice for them,” Patricia says.  “We give them the tools to make their decision.”

John Liptak says the new design centre will still be under construction when OakWood staff move into the building’s office/staff area this fall; but even before the full centre opens, visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the OakWood experience with sample kitchens and display rooms, because the whole building is a showcase.

The headquarters has been designed to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum standards – the highest level for sustainable construction in the program overseen by the Canadian Green Building Council. (There are only two LEED Platinum buildings in Ottawa, and 31 others throughout the country.)

These rarified sustainable construction results will be achieved through an impressive array of building practices and technologies, at a cost that on the surface would deter most contractors or building owners.

However, John says the new headquarters will use less energy than the company’s previous Navan headquarters, even though the building is 22 times larger.

Clients will still be able to visit OakWood design centres at three Randall’s stores across Ottawa.

For more information, visit www.oakwood.ca or phone (613) 236-8001.