2007 - [Sustainable Concepts] Yurts and Student Housing
2007, vol. 46
Happy New Year!
Welcome to the January 2007 newsletter from Design Forward.
Please take some time to enjoy this month's features.
Quote of the Month: "Man's heart away from nature becomes
- Standing Bear
Lisa A. Swan
ALEX AND SELENE Cole of South Mountain are sharing
the ancient craft of yurt making. To the untrained eye,
yurts look like fancy round tents, but as Wendy Elliott
of the Kentville Advertiser and NovaNewsNow.com discovered,
yurts go back 2,500 years to Mongolia and Kazakhstan
and are still used today.
The Coles learned how to make yurts while living in
a sustainable arts community in Wales.
"We spent much of our time building and helping others
learn to build low impact shelters such as Celtic round
houses, straw bale homes, green wood structures, compost
toilets, teepees, and yurts," Mr. Cole told Ms. Elliott.
"I guess itís fair to say we have a passion for ancient
techniques," Ms. Cole said.
While they can be used all year round, these days people
often rent yurts for events such as weddings, dances
Since moving to Nova Scotia, Mr. Cole has been working
with the N.S. Department of Natural Resources and the
Nova Scotia Forest Alliance to use coppice and round
wood production in the making of yurts to add value
"The tree never dies. Its shoots are ready every 15
years, so we can double the life of the tree," Mr. Cole
The couple will hold the next yurt-building weekend
For more information on this ancient craft see www.lfy.ca.
Article © Kim Kierans, The Halifax Herald Limited.
Picture © The Industrial Physicist.
plans for student house project
University of Waterloo School of Architecture students
are continuing to make progress with some grand plans.
The Grand House Student Co-operative Inc. intends to
build a 12-bedroom sustainable student residence on
a property in the area of Ainslie and Simcoe streets.
The building will be 4,000 square feet and provide affordable
accommodation, a common kitchen, living space and bathrooms.
"We are moving along quickly," said executive director
Chantal Cornu. "We're at the point of finalizing the
design and putting it together."
The goal, Cornu said, is to create a house that produces
as much energy as it puts out, using solar panels, a
green roof and a wastewater and grey water filtration/recycling
"We're trying to be as conservative as we can be," she
said. "We can really cut down on our heating costs and
electricity use. It's a sustainable house."
The project uses local materials - which have been donated
whenever possible - and items that are environmentally
friendly. Those involved - students and local professionals
- continue to raise funds for the residence, through
a Buy-A-Bale campaign. This campaign invites the community
to support the project by purchasing a straw bale. The
house will be of straw bale construction, which is a
highly insulating, renewable, local resource.
"We will be running the campaign through next summer,"
Cornu said. "People can purchase straw to support us,
but we're switching more towards focusing on material
Participants are looking to partner with local businesses
to accumulate materials that can be used in the residence.
For example, Grand House has already made arrangements
to receive hardwood flooring from a school in Preston.
The group will be looking for fixtures and a variety
of other items that could be used for the house. A list
of most-wanted materials will be available soon on the
"We're moving ahead quickly and it's very exciting,"
Cornu said. "We're proud of how far we've come."
Construction is expected to begin in the spring. For
more information, visit www.grandhouse.wacsa.org.
Article © Julianna Kerr, Cambridge
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