2011.003 Extreme North Lodge

Designed (and built!) to cost less than $ 150,000, this modified Quonset structure  was designed as a prototype for First Nations Housing in Northern Ontario. This building doubles as the welcome centre and common utility building for the Domaine de l’O campground on the Ottawa River, near Pembroke, Ontario. The building design incorporates passive solar strategies (which contribute more than 50% of the heating load), with an innovative passive solar slab system that uses both an electric boiler and solar thermal gains to circulate heat energy from the South to the North end of the building.

The project totals 2,800sf including a storage loft on a quasi-second storey, that can also be used as a sleeping area, and has two showers, two bathrooms, two bedrooms and a multi-function kitchen/living and dining room. The structure is insulated to R21 with 2lb spray-in-place polyurethane insulation (walltite-eco, by BASF), and an interior steel finish layer is suspended from the outer steel structure from a thermally-broken network of nylon rods. Total energy costs in an extremely brutal Quebec Winter (the building is all-electric) came in at $1200, which included charging 2 electric vehicles for this same period.¬†Interior finishes still under construction, but all appliances and equipment is installed and fully functional. Our second version of this building prototype features twice the R-value, and Glazing R-values, and has recently been completed near Collingwood, Ontario. The second building has tested to exceed Passivhaus-levels of air-tightness ([email protected]), and features 24/7 indoor air quality monitoring.

Some stats:

  • Quonset buildings already in Attawapiskat and Northern Communities – a proven shell structure – mostly used as garages for heavy equipment
  • A single disassembled 40’x60′ building (2,400sf plus 1,200sf loft) can fit on 10 forklift palettes, including all insulation, framing, windows, siding, mechanical systems, etc.
  • Easy to ship via train to Moosonee, and transfer to truck to ship on the ice roads in Winter, four buildings per truck. Stores well through Winter for Summer assembly (but I built mine in -40C)
  • Slab on grade construction on raised gravel bed. Lightweight construction allows for a variety of foundation styles
  • Even, level floor plan allows¬†barrier-free access
  • $42/sf construction cost
  • $100/month in operating costs (Hydro QC rates)
  • Comfortable, radiant floor heating
  • Water systems fully within the insulated volume – not prone to freezing, storage in 1,000litre, stackable modular cisterns, easy to monitor water quality
  • Designed for Attawapiskat, Kashechewan, Fort Albany, Moosonee, Moose Factory after a visit by Design Points North group in 2010.