The developer of a kit home based on a traditional Secwepemc design says he hopes these units, now available for sale, can help “scratch the surface” of a need for more housing on First Nations reserves across Canada.
Mike Anderson, former CEO for Skeetchestn Natural Resources Corporation and the primary designer of the roundhouse building system, said the units are energy efficient, robust, durable and quick to assemble.
“We can ship it in a container or a couple of containers. It's easy to put up in three, four weeks to lock up. So for northern climates where you’ve got a very short window of opportunity to put a building up, it’s ideal for that,” Anderson said.
“It’s not an urban building, it’s a rural building. But across Canada, there's somewhere between 80,000 and 130,000 First Nations homes needed. Even if we can just scratch the surface of that need, it would be great.”
The kit homes are available for purchase after years of fine tuning the design. On July 29, a celebration and open house for Skeetchestn Dodeca-Homes was held near the building show home, located at 7109 Trans Canada Hwy.
Jada Britton, director of marketing and sales for Skeetchestn Dodeca-Homes, said it’s “really exciting” to be open for business.
“We'd love to see these units being used across Canada on First Nations reserves, hopefully to deal with multigenerational housing, just giving people better quality of life, on reserve, off reserve, rural,” Britton said.
“These things can be used multiple ways, as homes, offices, cabins and even shared living.”
Anderson said the original prototype design was constructed about two decades ago, and in 2006, a second prototype was made. Shortly after that, a grant was obtained to build a 12,000 square foot value-added manufacturing facility on Skeetchestn land.
“It's locally made. We can produce a lot of jobs right here by making these things and shipping them out — and then we can fulfill that need across the rest of the country,” Anderson said.
“There's a need across the rest of the country for fast, rapid, energy efficient, durable housing. And I think that's what we've got here, it's energy efficient, durable housing, that's reasonably priced and fairly fast to erect.”
He said the round design provides about 25 to 27 per cent more energy efficiency.
“You have a less wall area to floor area than you do in a square building,” Anderson said.
There are 520 square foot and 1,020 square foot modules available, and Anderson said they are in the process of designing a 1,450 square foot unit. The kits retail at about $90 per square foot, and those who purchase a kit will need to provide a foundation.
Anderson estimates the total cost of constructing a Dodeca-Home is about $220 to $250 per square foot.
Anderson said they hope to be working with the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation to ensure units can be scaled and replicated wherever there is a demand.
“Ultimately our business plan includes working with other bands and outside contractors in a franchise relationship. So we can train them how to put them up and sell them the kits, and they can do all the rest,” he said.
Anyone who is interested in learning more about the kit homes can reach out to Anderson and Britton. More information and contact details are available on Skeetchestn Dodeca-Homes’ website.