There is a housing crisis today in northern Canada today. Over 40 percent of homes in Nunavut now require major repairs, compared to a Canada-wide average of only 7 percent. Moreover, the territory requires 3,000 new housing units immediately to meet existing demand. This dearth has meant that housing units are overcrowded, with broken heating systems and high levels of black mould.
Moreover, with climate change accelerating permafrost melt, many homes will soon become structurally unsound as well. Canada needs to act immediately in the north: it needs to build differently, build better, and start building now.
Innovation in construction may contribute to this response. Today on Breaking the Ice, our co-hosts Connor Oke and Rebecca Rogers learnt about new and innovative techniques for building in the north. Rebecca spoke with Stig Hansen, the project manager for a student housing project in Svalbard, to learn about new methods for building low-energy homes on permafrost. Connor also sat down with Julian Bell, a mechanical engineer, to learn whether it is possible to 3D print a house.