Nick Ainis is a progressive thinker who leads by example when it comes to the construction industry.
As founder and CEO of Fusioncorp Developments Inc., Ainis spearheads one interesting project after another – all of which contribute to his vision of building a greener future.
“The industry has been volatile since the pandemic,” says Ainis. “We have been dealing with supply chain issues, record inflation, and lack of manpower and quality trades.
“On the economic side, this has resulted in a downturn and more uncertainty in the residential condo industry. Interest rates have risen, plus there is a war in the world with political change rampant.
“So, you name it, we have it. While all this is happening, there’s also a movement towards combating climate change and diversity, equity and inclusion.”
He says housing affordability is at the forefront of the situation, with a push to increase the number of units brought into the marketplace.
“But who is going to build it?” Ainis asks. “That is changing right now with the way the industry builds and constructs in the future. As I see it, the biggest problem in our industry is that it’s slow to innovate.”
Fusioncorp is working to change that.
Ainis points to a number of projects his company has been involved with that encompass criteria he mentioned – climate, equity, diversity and inclusion.
“We have built a number of affordable housing projects for York Region housing (Lakeside Residences in Keswick and for New Frontiers Aboriginal Residential Corporation (Amik II and Amik III),” he says. “In particular, Lakeside Residences achieved LEED silver certification (close to gold) and it was a brownfield site, constructed of insulated concrete forms, making the building extremely energy-efficient. Along with Amik II and III, these projects were built for people with a low income and the aboriginal community, so we are quite proud that we contributed to helping those in need.“
On yet another level, Ainis started his own non-profit company to give back and support the housing issue that he believes is at the forefront in the market right now.
“Oikeo Non Profit Housing Inc. was established to tackle the affordability of housing,” Ainis explains, “… not only by providing homes for those in need but also through innovation in the housing industry. I personally believe that we can solve our housing affordability issue through innovation – at least partially so.”
Even the most skeptical non-believer, Ainis says, can no longer ignore the inevitable consequences of climate change.
“We all know what we can do on a personal level to reduce our carbon footprint, but what about an industry that is responsible for the housing of our rapidly growing population?” asks Ainis. “How can developers and construction companies reduce their carbon footprint, as well as build more sustainable living environments that not only save new homebuyers money, but also our planet?”
To put those values into perspective, Fusioncorp has even compiled a list of seven steps to building a green future.
The variety and thoroughness of its approach speaks volumes about Fusioncorp’s attention to detail, with a full description available on the company website.
Basically, the seven steps are:
1) Use non-toxic building materials;
2) Refine demolition and repurpose reusable materials;
3) Use locally-sourced materials;
4) Water conservation and recycling;
5) Harness the power of sun and wind
6) Build green and multi-use spaces;
7) And empower homeowners to live green.
Ainis would be the first to admit that building iconic new developments is not easy. There is a high level of planning, preparation, analysis and management that goes into each project, no more so than when Fusioncorp tackles an adaptive re-use challenge.
“Converting and restoring historic properties is challenging but also very rewarding,” says Ainis, citing Garment Factory Lofts, Wells Street Schoolhouse Lofts, King George School Lofts and The Harbour Club, as examples.
From century old schoolhouses converted into condos to abandoned factories resurrected into iconic lofts and residences, Fusioncorp’s experience with such projects is industry-renowned and second to none.
“Through the art of constructing conversions and historic preservation, we are inevitably protecting the environment though adaptive re-use,” he says. “We also preserving the story behind these older buildings filled with stories from the past. I love history and learning about the past from these older buildings, which makes these projects even more rewarding to work on.”
Web / fusioncorp.ca