Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Housing Congress Day 1

This morning kicked off at about 7am for me, thankfully I don't take long to get ready so I was able to hit the snooze button once or twice before making my way downstairs for the first session at 8am.

The day started with a panel and three presentations. The one I found most interesting was from Manitoba -on a project called the Accessible Home from the North End Housing Project.

The Accessible Home is designed to create low cost homes for people with physical disabilities in Winnipeg's inner city. It's mostly redevelopment on lots as small as 25ft across! (Amazing when in GP we are looking at 33ft lots as too small) The 3 bedroom homes sell at about $70 000 even though they cost $143 000 to build. They are all built "Green" to the R-2000 standard for environmental efficency and indoor air quality. Lots of interesting features in the design, many that relate to accessibility:

Single story, no basement.

Concrete slab on grade floor, acid etched for looks.
(Low maintence, low chemical emissions for people with sensitivity)

Windows and light switches are lower on the wall - plug ins are placed higher.

Open space under sink.

Walls reinforced in shower, and near toilet for installing assistance bars.

Very cool design which looks great - I wonder how much it would cost to build in GP?

All afternoon was spent travelling to Bob Ward Residence. The facility is a project of Horizon Housing and is very similar to Willow Place in GP and then out to Okotoks. The Drake Landing solar community is very cool but more interesting than that is the town's focus on sustainability targets - to the point that they have decided not to grow in population beyond what the Sheep River can support.

Mobile Bill

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