About Evolve Builders

Pioneers of Green Construction: Evolve Builders Group

About Evolve Builders

We are pioneers in the world of green construction. We are managers, planners, educators, researchers, artisans and craftspeople. We are Evolve Builders Group.

Specializing in green construction and eco-friendly renovations, Evolve Builders Group is a full-service general contractor and homebuilder, registered with Ontario Tarion New Home Warranty.

More than that, we are people just like you. We are managers, planners, educators, researchers, artisans, activists. But above-all, we are craftspeople. Together, we combine leading-edge skills with absolute integrity and impeccable quality.  We strive to be among industry leaders in all of our service offerings. With bases of operation in Guelph, Harriston and Orillia we service much of southern-Ontario, Grey-Bruce and Georgian Bay, Simcoe County and Muskoka.

Our friendly management team includes:

Ben Polley is an award winning business manager and founder of Evolve. With 16+ years estimating experience including 12 in green construction, he is also our cost-benefit guru. He participates in the design and estimating phase of new projects in order to locate savings opportunities and deliver the best quality for money on every project. A popular speaker at colleges, universities and industry events, and regular feature in green building media, Ben will often be your first point of contact when discussing your future plans.

Chris Vander Hout shares the responsibility of setting Evolve’s overall business direction, a skill gained in his past life as part owner of a metal fabrication shop. Today he oversees continuous improvement to our green construction systems and procedures while developing manners to integrate ever more unique products and systems into Evolve’s repertoire. On site, Chris is our senior project manager as well as being a certified septic installer/designer and a standing timber assessment specialist. He loves to participate directly, especially with all things wood, and handles work of all types in the Grey-Bruce and north Wellington areas.

Ian Findlay is Evolve’s Production Manager overseeing all field operations. He brings experience in business management, ICI construction and community engagement to all of his work. His passion for the environment dates back to the 1970’s collecting glass bottles for recycling to help fund Outers Club. He has a deep commitment to improving community energy efficiency and security. 

Melanie Scott is Senior Designer and Project Developer at Evolve following an earlier career in retail design. An ARIDO Registered Interior Designer, Ontario Qualified and Registered Designer, a LEED AP, together with a personal specialty in passive solar, Melanie S is eminently qualified to assist with widely ranging design needs.  When working from others’ plans or once construction begins, Melanie S changes hats and becomes your main liaison to aid in determining details and material selections not yet made and then ensures the project managers are appropriately armed to complete the needed tasks.

Melanie Martin is Designer and Project Developer with Evolve. Melanie M holds a B.A.A. in Interior Design as well as Certificate for Sustainable Design and Construction, is a LEED AP and brings a passion for permaculture and deep resilience, an asset to clients with future proofing desires. Melanie M’s career began in custom millwork and furniture design, moving to high end residential and then to corporate retail design. In 2009 Melanie M launched into sustainable design and 6 years of private practice focusing on residential and hospitality design prior to joining Evolve in 2017.

Dwight Burkhardt, Project Manager, brings decades of experience in residential and retail construction and applies his eye for detail to all tasks at hand. Floor refinishing with natural oils, window replacements and finish trim installation are among his personal delights and specialties. Dwight divides his time between leading tasks such as these and his important role as Evolve’s primary renovations project manager, in which role he is routinely thanked by clients for his caring and conscientious manner. If your work is in the Guelph-Tri-Cities area, you are fairly certain to see Dwight tending to details at some point in the project.

Michel Arseneault, Site Supervisor, has traveled around the sun nearly 50 times. He spent his youth divided between Northern New Brunswick, and Southern Georgia (USA). He has been building custom, energy efficient homes for twenty years. From footings to the last piece of trim, Michel loves building quality homes. The parts of the house that you don’t see are just as important as the finishing touches. On his jobsite you will see a blend of hard workers, high standards, and good attitudes. Michel encourages an open line of communication with his crew and especially with owners of the house. Building homes makes Michel happy, and he likes his crew to be happy too.

Chris Barry is a Project Manager with Evolve. After graduating from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Commerce he later attended George Brown for Art Foundation and Sheridan College for Architectural Technology. Chris is also a PHI certified Passive House Consultant. Gaining a wide experience set working with large production builders, custom modular and prefabricated systems, he brings a unique perspective to projects and a passion for design, construction and sustainability.

Syd Coghill, is an Assistant Project Manager with Evolve. Syd holds her Bachelor of Applied Technology in Architecture, Project and Facility Management focusing her studies during and post school on adaptive re-use, heritage conservation, sustainable building practices, modular construction, and low carbon/embodied energy materials and practices. Syd is excited to continue to learn and grow in many of these areas as she gains experience in building the highly efficient and sustainable homes that Evolve specializes in.

Adam Di Ilio, is an Estimator and Assistant Project Manager who is a graduate of Conestoga College’s Architecture, Project and Facility Management program. Adam has ambitions to learn how to build highly efficient and environmentally conscious buildings and grow into a Project Manager. He is also striving to become a Certified Passive House Consultant to build energy models using PHPP and assist in the construction and design of Certified Passive House projects.

Wes Naus, is one of Evolve’s Project Manager Assistants who also recently graduated from Conestoga College with a Bachelor of Applied Technology (Honours) in Architecture – Project and Facility Management. Aside from assisting Project Managers, Wes brings a positive attitude and an openness to gain experience in as many areas as possible. One of his main hobbies is being active in sports and trying new activities.

Michael Renaud, is a Project Manager and Project Developer/Technical Sales with Evolve who is a graduate of Laurentian University from their Honours Bachelor of Commerce program. Upon graduation he decided to complete a Carpentry certificate course at Cambrian College and gained work experience as a general labourer through to project manager. This led to starting a small independent design-build business in Sudbury and further experience restoring century homes in the area. An interest and passion in environmental building practices and materials has brought Michael back to Guelph to continue his growth in the industry.

Awards and Badges

  • Canadian Contractor Magazine Outstanding Renovator and Custom Home Builder
  • Minister’s Award for Environmental Excellence
  • Thorneloe University Mitre Award for Fostering Ideals of Excellence, Justice, Authenticity
  • TreeHugger Worldwide Top 10 in Green Architecture Award for K-House Project
  • Duravit Designer Dream Bathroom Award – 1st Prize Awarded to Nicolas Koff for K-House
  • Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) Gordon Couling Heritage Award for Heritage Makeover
  • Home Sweet Home Environmental Building and Design Competition Rudd Residence