About J Norris Construction

We work closely with each client to establish priorities, research available options, develop a great design, and integrate cutting-edge sustainability options into traditional wood-frame construction. From small-scale renovations to full-sized new homes, we build for the future!

Our Philosophy

About J Norris Construction

We work closely with each client to establish priorities, research available options, develop a great design, and integrate cutting-edge sustainability options into traditional wood-frame construction. From small-scale renovations to full-sized new homes, we build for the future!

Our Philosophy

What We Do

➜ Custom Building
➜ Green Building Projects
➜ Project Management
➜ Strata & Commercial
➜ Cert. Sustainable Building Advisor
➜ Passive House
➜ Home Warranty
➜ Design Consulting
“J Norris Construction took on a very difficult build and reno for us, got it done on time and within budget. When this was completed we decided to use them again on another project which went equally as well. I would not hesitate to use them again. They do a great job and provide good trades.”

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About Jacob Norris Rodgers

Principal, project manager, journeymen carpenter

 

Trained first in Permaculture, Jacob went on to study Carpentry at BCIT. After finishing his apprenticeship working under a master carpenter and a renowned builder on sprawling West Vancouver custom homes, Jacob started J. Norris Construction to pursue his sustainable dreams. He recently finished the 9 month Sustainable Building Advisor program and is now working his way toward the ultimate goal of building Certified Passive.

Jacob is a Member Builder with Pacific Home Warranty, a Cascadia Region Green Building Council Member, Sustainable Building Advisor (SBA), and is trained in Passive House design through Canadian Passive House Institute (CanPhi).

“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.”

-Arnold Toynbee

Building With A Philosophy

Building is a process of bridging divides and reconciling differences. Every project is a constant linking of seemingly divergent disciplines, roles and even philosophies. The conventional construction world is brimming with such inter-linking. The sustainable building world adds an entirely new set of challenges. Gaps abound.

As a very hands-on residential contractor, I wrestle daily with the dichotomy that is referred to affectionately on-site as the ‘ever-present gap between hammer and pencil’. This adage has been put to use by myself and my crew to describe those sticky situations that can arise when an architect and a building crew lose touch with the differences in perspective afforded to each discipline. The more projects we do, the more I realize that this tension is what makes for the most interesting dialogues and resolutions of details few have thought even in need of resolving. To put it more succinctly: what works on paper in a dry and cozy office does not always translate well on a seemingly perpetually wet Northwest coast job site.

I mention this because it’s a good example of one of the many gaps in the building process that requires constant bridging. It’s akin to an even larger and far more complex gap that sustainability introduces: the gap between the practical and the philosophical.

It’s no secret that we as humans are prone to espousing great philosophy but less likely to fully engage that philosophy on the much more complex practical plane. We dream big green dreams but often allow monetary values to have the final say. To approach sustainable building from a philosophical position means engaging another set of criteria. The question might not be “how many years until I see a return on my investment?’’ but “how will this choice effect my yearly carbon footprint?” or “what are the broader effects of choosing this particular product?”

This process has its pros and cons of course. The most evident pitfall I have encountered is the relativity of being green. Our philosophies surrounding sustainability are informed and limited by many factors. Access to information varies. A client’s willingness to follow a sustainable choice through to its end i.e. ‘cradle to cradle thinking’ ebbs and flows with the budget and the schedule. Aesthetic preferences are also a powerful decision making force, for even the most devout sustainable aficionado needs that special something that complicates the overall sustainability of a project.

A sustainable philosophy can be very beneficial if it’s established from the design phase as a kind of consensual groundwork. A developed philosophy that is discussed and agreed upon from the beginning provides context for resolving issues and allows that proper time is given to find the appropriately sustainable choice for a given situation.

Often it’s the sheer volume of options that confuses and frustrates. A philosophy sets up criteria that in effect weeds out all the inappropriate options. This saves time, money and stress; three of the greatest challenges surrounding the building process.

As a contractor I advocate establishing a philosophy or looking deeper at the impacts of a current philosophy. Though the potential for conflict is always there, I believe the benefits outweigh the pitfalls.


Reading List

Cradle to Cradle
– William McDonough & Michael Braungart

Dark Age Ahead
– Jane Jacobs

Philosophy Of Sustainable Design
– Jason F. Mclennan

Testimonials

“I found Jake and the crew at J. Norris Construction exceptionally easy to work with. They were reliable, paid close attention to detail and provided me two beautiful new infill homes nearly stress free!”
– Joy Bezzasso, Strathcona


“J Norris Construction took on a very difficult build and reno for us, got it done on time and within budget. When this was completed we decided to use them again on another project which went equally as well. I would not hesitate to use them again. They do a great job and provide good trades.”

– Laurie Fraser, Belcarra BC.


“It has been my pleasure to work with J. Norris Construction on a beautiful custom home in Roberts Creek this past year. My painting company deals exclusively in high-end work, but this home is truly exceptional. Attention has been paid to every detail and the craftsmanship is superb. I’m thrilled to add this project to my portfolio. Jacob Rodgers and his crew are skilled workers and polite, personable people. Jacob is always knowledgeable and organized. His job site is always clean and welcoming. I’ve enjoyed my working experience with Jacob and take pride in our final product. I look forward to working together again soon.”
– Matthew Kliewer
Matthew Kliewer Painting


“As an Architectural Designer, I have had an exceptionally positive experience collaborating with J. Norris Construction. In our work together, Jake and his team showed a remarkable talent for the craft of building, and a sincere passion for resolving construction details to their most thorough expression. With an emphasis on open communication, there was always a willingness to engage in the design ideas of the project and work inventively to their completion. The site and work environment was enthusiastic, positive and well organized, and the communication respectful and thoughtful on all levels. Building construction and Design can be a complex endeavor and I believe J. Norris Construction to be highly capable in all aspects of the business, and uniquely skilled in the finer craft of building itself. I would feel privileged to work with them again, and would sincerely recommend them to anyone considering their company.”
– Sue Webster M. Arch., B.E.D.S., B.A.
Webster Design


“My experience working with J. Norris Construction has honestly been like no other and all positive. The current project I’m working on for J. Norris has been one which demands excellence and attention to detail but at the same time has had plenty of room for my own input and artistic expression. If something is not quite right then it is calmly and professionally communicated, and if it is right it’s embraced with great positive reinforcement. Challenges and unexpected changes are dealt with in a wise calm logical way and not the abrupt explosive manner of many construction sites. The whole crew has been a fun positive bunch that all sees the need for sustainable building practices and likes to look for solutions rather then dwell on excuses. Companies only have the integrity and morals of those who run them and Jacob is a man with a good head, good hands, a good heart and good humour. It’s been a productive pleasure!”
– Shane Vernon, Owner/operator
BioScapes Landscaping