Sep 20, 2009
They did. It’s called the “Sustainable Northern Shelter”.
Jim Crawford referenced the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation in his commentary, “Creating a new vision for housing in Alaska” (Sept. 16). Apparently, the AHFC works with the Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC) based in Fairbanks.
This summer, CCHRC’s new “Sustainable Northern Shelter”(SNS), a 1,000 square foot house, was built on-site in Anaktuvuk Pass in far northern Alaska for less than $150,000 in about four weeks. That total cost included shipping all the materials to the community on one DC-6 airplane. Click HERE!
The home, an “energy-efficient, culturally-based, and environmentally-appropriate building”, is expected to require only 110 gallons of fuel a year, instead of the customary 1,400 gallons or more. The self-contained sewage treatment plant buried behind the home uses exhausted air from the bathroom to treat waste, which is then leeched into the ground.
For an interesting slide show about this house, click HERE!
“The basic construction method…involves a light steel frame structure with an interior plywood skin. A soy-based, polyurethane insulation with an r-60 is applied to this framework. This insulated layer is covered by a spray-applied coating, which is durable, waterproof, and resilient. Earth-banking and a sod roof are used to buffer the structure from strong winds and drifting snow. The home makes use of natural lighting, water conservation, and other energy-saving techniques. To further reduce the home’s need for costly energy, the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council installed solar panels and will be adding a wind power system to produce renewable energy.”
More excerpts from the links:
“Like traditional sod homes, the prototype house is bermed into the soil for insulation and a wind buffer. The foundation is 2 feet of gravel fill topped with a synthetic waterproof membrane that supports the home’s light frame.”
“The walls are technically inside-out. The frame is made of metal studs sandwiched between half-inch sheets of plywood. Soy-foam insulation, which would go inside the frame of a Lower 48 house, encases the frame here in Anaktuvuk Pass. As a final layer, a 1-inch coating of elastomeric liner, the same material used in truck bedliners, forms a tough waterproof shell.”
“In this climate, the insulation should go on the outside not the inside because of the condensation point,” says Judith Grunau, designer of the project. “You get moisture problems when the cold meets the warm. The insulation has so much R-value (thermal resistance) that the cold doesn’t ever meet the warm.”