Business News


21 Jan The Company We Keep

Pick up a copy, it's FREE! The winter 2015 issue of HALIFAX Local Connections is hot off the press and features our friend Omar Gandhi on the cover. It's awesome to once again see Omar and his work in the spotlight. The article, page 22, commends Omar on his vision and passion for design and dreams that are specific to our East Coast. Our current Purcells Cove Road project is an Omar vision. Local Connections follows up 'The Architects' story with a worthwhile read on urban planning and future development in Halifax. It's exciting and energising to be a part of an industry with such vision and vigor for development and growth. ...

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13 Jan Northend neighbourhood| Sneak peak

Did you read the exciting news from the Chronicle-Herald last week? Our North End neighbourhood will soon be boasting it's very own Crossfit gym! MRB teammate Phil is hard at work fitting out the super cool 6500 ft space near Robie and North Sts. Already sporting the trademark 'Crossfit garage doors' this former bus garage with 8m ceilings is getting an MRB makeover in preparedness for its grand reveal. Phil has constructed two 16 foot reinforced walls, and a third 12 foot high wall. Each clad with beautiful milled barn board. Both vertical and horizontal installation has been used adding instant character and interest to the space. We'll get some more pics up when the renovation is complete. In the meantime, stay up to date with the business launch at CrossFit Ironstone ...

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Merry MRB Christmas

19 Dec Tis the Season

December is a busy month to get through. Holiday decorating, shopping, social gatherings, making sure the fridge is stocked for those surprise visits from friends and family. Making homemade Baileys and remembering to move that Elf…. Oh, the planning involved! It’s a lot to accomplish in what seems to be a two week month. Now, wrap up projects and make sure that everything is battened down for the holiday break. That’s what the team at MRB is rolling up their sleeves to do...

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I love North End

25 Nov A roundabout Kudos

No doubt you've seen the round works at the North Park intersection? With high traffic incidences, collisions and ageing infrastructure, the upgrade and improvement of this intersection was well due. Projects of this scale require enormous design and planning to be a success. With so many considerations; -Design and drawing -Engineering -Timeline -Budget To name just a few. Communication and cooperation are also paramount. Congratulations to the civil contractor on this project. The major tasks were completed quickly and efficiently, the timeline was adhered to, and the disturbance to our North End neighbours has been kept to a minimum. It's exciting to watch our neighbourhood grow. The fabric of the neighbourhoods surrounding North Park Street and the Halifax Common is changing. You can see the planned projects moving this change on the HALIFAX website using the links. Peninsula Bikeway Network (north/south), Cogswell Interchange, Open Space Plan, Halifax North Common Plan, Corridor Plan, etc. ...

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14 Aug Congratulations Omar

Congratulations to our friend Omar Gandhi. Omar recently became the deserving recipient of the Prix de Rome prize from the Canada Council. The prize is awarded annually to a young architect or architectural firm in recognition of outstanding achievement.  Having worked closely with Omar on several of our builds, Moore Studio, West End Addition and Oxford Street, we are so excited to celebrate his achievements and success. Omar Gandhi Architect Inc. design studio is responsible for the drawings of MRB's upcoming build at Purcells Cove Rd. For a sneak peak at the fabulous location New Project and drawings 'Stereo Vision' ...

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10 Jun Lobster | support local business

Wherever you go, when people hear you live in Nova Scotia, an immediate topic of conversation is Atlantic Lobsters. I hosted an international visitor last week. Played 'tour guide' around our stunning province and of course finished up her visit with a feast of local Lobster! At less than $5/lb, it's more affordable than any meat. There's no growth hormones, and it's nutritional value is awesome! (Without the melted butter!) But best of all, it's fresh. Most lobster vendors around the city claim it's caught the same day. As we support local business in the building industry, we should all make an effort to support our local lobster fisherman. After all, eating is everyone's industry! ...

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04 Feb Tasty Agricola St.

Agricola St. seems to be in constant flux. Luckily it's always for the better. In the last few months a few new doors have opened up to the public. The most notable additions are the Agricola Street Brasserie and Lion & Bright. The reviews for both of these places are quite positive so far and they definitely give the street a new vibe. Lion & Bright is an extension of the Local Source Market & Catering which has been in the area for many years now. Across the street are the classics like Smith Bakery and Nauss Bicycle Shop. It's great to see indy businesses thriving in our neighbourhood. ...

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MRB Contracting

16 Jan Team Profiles | Bryan Rockett

What's your name and job function? My name is Bryan Rockett and I'm a Carpenter Can you talk about your building trade background? My building background began in my grandfathers wood shop. I positively loved cleaning up all the saw dust he’d make, and most of all the smell and atmosphere of his shop. After graduating high school I spent 2 years working in commercial construction and soon came to realize if I really wanted to hone my carpentry skills I had to make a move to residential construction. I’ve been doing residential work ever since and proudly became a Red Seal carpenter. What's the most satisfying part of your job? The most satisfying part of my job is  when I can come up with a quick and correct solution to an issue that I run into during an elaborate renovation. I also love trying to come up with more efficient ways to complete tasks without compromising the end product. Favourite tool? My favourite tool is a toss up between my 21oz Dalluge hammer and my worm-drive Skill Saw. But if I had to choose I would probably go for the worm drive. Hobbies? I absolutely love playing squash, weight lifting, mountain biking, motorbiking and sharpening all my hand...

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net zero energy house, karuna house

19 Dec Inspiration | Net zero energy

What exactly is a net zero energy structure? Wikipedia tells us it's "a building with zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually." That means that it's both off the municipal power grid, and does not utilize fossil fuels for energy. As you can imagine, this is no easy feat and yet it has been done. The Karuna House in Oregon has just received 3 prestigious green building awards, including LEED Platinum certification. So as to obtain the three certifications, and become a net zero energy structure, Karuna House was designed and built to have an advanced building enclosure. It also features an optimized solar design that works to drive energy loads to very low levels. The energy needed for the household is supplied via a solar photovoltaic array of less than 10 kilowatts. At MRB we are utilizing most of these technologies - from the various types of advanced performance weather membranes, to HVAC systems, to carefully planned insulation. However, we've yet to ingrate these technologies in an intentional way so as to create a net zero energy home. We'd love to be the first company to do build a net zero energy home here in Nova Scotia. To learn more about the Karuna House...

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mrb donation

05 Nov Community involvement | MRB table for Scott Jones

Our photographer friend Kelly Neil is currently holding an online auction to help raise money for Scott Jones. Scott is the victim of a violent attack that left him paralyzed. You can read more news about Scott and community support efforts on his website.   The MRB woodshop designed and built a one-of-a-kind Baltic Birch exposed edge hoop table veneered with high gloss white laminate, on top of custom walnut ply base. You can bid on the table a bunch of other cool local products on Kelly's website. Proceeds go to the Scott Jones fund. Click here to see the items up for auction and help support this noble cause....

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Kingsburg, beach house, MRB Contracting

08 Oct Kingsburg I revealed

Those of you who've been following our blog over the last year will remember the Kingsburg beach houses. We chronicled the progress of two homes from start to finish. Now we are pleased to show you the homes as they exist with their owners personal touches. Photos by Kelly Neil. First off is Kingsburg I, designed by architect Chad Jamieson, Halifax. We'll let the photos speak for themselves. ...

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MRB Contracting, google analytics, web visits

05 Sep 10,000 – the magic number

Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers, has a theory that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in any given activity. This blog post is not about that. We simply wanted to say that we've now had over 10,000 people  visit our website. And that is something! Drop us a comment and tell us what you like about our blog so we can continue to create the content you love. ...

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MRB Contracting, appartment rental halifax, north end halifax, Ironstone Halifax

30 Aug IRONSTONE | 1 Bedroom flat for rent near Commons

You will be the first to live in this NEW 1 bed, 1 bath main floor unit, now AVAILABLE. • this house is registered with LEED for Homes and seeking Gold Certification • all new doors and windows • stainless steel countertops • glass shower • exclusive access to basement for storage • 5 appliances, including glass top stove, washer and dryer • concrete floors with electric in floor heat • lots of closet space • spray foam insulation Street parking is available for $30/year through HRM Rent is $1300/month includes water. Tenant is responsible for electricity. This is a non-smoking unit. Check out our ad on Please email if you have any questions or would like to view the property. ...

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27 Aug Inspirations: Larry Haun

What does it mean to be a carpenter? I ask myself that question from time to time. In today’s residential construction, being a carpenter includes knowing how to work with many types of materials and systems -not just wood. And yet knowing how to work with wood, how to measure, cut and assemble complex structures, is still very much at the core of what we do. For inspiration I always look towards the masters. Larry Haun is one such inspiration. The man could drive a framing spike with two strikes of his hammer. He grew up during the Great Depression and honed his building skills through the post war California housing boom. He was a regular contributor to Fine Homebuilding Magazine and wrote extensively about building practices. There's a great piece on Larry Haun's life's work on the New York Times....

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MRB Contracting, renovations, decks, garage, contractor, halifax

22 Aug Garage redux

What better time of year to tear down an old carport/deck? One of our teams has been working down in St. Margaret's Bay on just such a project. The old structure flanks a beautiful house with views of the bay. The new structure will feature a fully insulated two-car garage with a giant deck on top. Here are a few photos of the project so far.   The below-grade side of the garage will be protected from cold with ICF walls.     Summer mornings in Halifax. What an amazing place to live! ...

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MRB Contracting, demolition, Halifax builders

13 Aug 100th blog post

Wow! Time flies when you're busy building dream homes. It's been one year since we began blogging. And this is our 100th blog post. We'd like to thank everyone who's been following us here, on Facebook and Twitter. As I write this I wonder what has inspired you to continue to read our blog. Is it the photos? Or perhaps following the story behind each project? Or maybe you like some of the pieces we've written about building techniques and theory? Whatever it is we'd love to know so that we may continue creating content that you want to see. Send us an email or Tweet, or simply leave a comment below and let us know what you think. Below -a collection of  brief moments in time from the past year. Thanks again for reading.     ...

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