Saturday, 16 March 2013

Places & Spaces: The Shift Home Project

I came across an article discussing The Shift Home Project and I just had to share it because it is such a fresh take on design and just happens to be a local (Saskatoon) project that will, hopefully, turn into a movement.
The Shift Home during construction
Housing here in Saskatchewan, particularly in Regina and Saskatoon has become a major issue. While the rest of the country is in a recession our province is in the middle of a boom. Which is great cause it means lots of jobs and a low unemployment rate. However, it also means housing prices have skyrocketed and properties, particularly rental & low income housing are almost completely unavailable.

This is a big problem and one that the City of Regina and the province has largely ignored and instead decided to focus on building a football stadium. Yeah, that's right, a stadium, a resource stealing, life blood sucking stadium. I'm not going to go on and on about how ridiculously silly the stadium idea is except to say that if enough private companies/investors thought it was a good, profitable idea then there should be no problem in getting a new stadium privately funded. And if it were privately funded, I have no problem with it - people can do what they like with their money. However, if the vast majority of the money is coming from the city and provincial governments then that is a major shift in priorities as far as I'm concerned. Public money should be used for things that benefit the majority of the public like rental and low income housing or like not closing down 11 inner city schools because they've let the infrastructure go unmaintained for so long that the upkeep would now cost them a fortune (plus they want bigger classroom sizes so that more kids can fall through the cracks). Seriously people!?!
The Shift Home Project's Energy Recovery System
 Sorry about that, I'm done ranting now. Anyhoo, two smart, young fellas from Saskatoon decided to take on the challenge of low income housing in their own unique way. They came up with the idea behind the Shift Home, which is that a person making only $40,000/year can afford to build a brand new (& nicely designed) modern home for $289,900 (a major feat in Saskatchewan's booming economy). The main floor is an open concept, small, modern home for the owner & the raised basement is a suite with separate entrance for the owner to rent out. The home isn't just pretty though; it has radiant heat, rain water harvesting, domestic hot water, low flow faucets & toilets, and heat recovery and ventilation to further reduce living costs. What a brilliant concept! The City Councillors of Regina & Saskatoon should takes notes from theses guys!
Rendering of the Shift Home
Completed interior of the Shift Home

1 comment:

  1. I love this. And this type of home is my dream.. Maybe using shipping containers. (such a house is being built in my hood!) Thanks for posting this Linds!