Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Kuinerraq gets new houses?

I thought I posted about the Cold Climate Housing Authority's Anatuvuk Pass hosing experiment, where they built semi-subterranean houses like a napik. I've got a picture to the right. I think they're possibly good ideas, because the current houses are the same that are used in Arizona for BIA housing there. They don't work there, either. Here in Alaska, they rot, leak heat, and are very vulnerable to cold and blowing snow.

So I'm really happy that they've apparently worked well in Anaktuvuk Pass, and Quinhagak is considering them too. They want to make theirs octaganal, which is an interesting idea. I have a hard time imagining living in an octagonal house, though! The problem would be arranging things, so you don't waste space.

One other thing I wonder about is how they insulate the house from the permafrost, to keep it from melting into the ground. Would permafrost melting be more dangerous to a buried house? I wonder.


Cate said...

This is really interesting to me because I have been dreaming about living in a subterranean house here for a long time. These units that they build for us are like time shares on Virginia Beach -- perfectly lousy with energy waste. And why do we have to have houses that look like they're from a Desperate Housewives set? I have repeated for a long time that I would prefer something stable, sturdy, energy efficient, sustainable, and that matches the landscape. I have dreampt about living in a modern sod house -- Maybe someday....

TwoYaks said...

Hopefully it will work well in Quinhagak, and then other villages can get them too! And for 200k, that's very cheap for building in the villages! If houses were meant to be above ground on the tundra, they would have been build above ground by people long ago! ;)