Type: Indigenous Housing
Client: Gitwangak First Nation
Date of Completion: March 2019
Location: Kitwanga, B.C.
Size: 2,200 sq.ft. (1,100 sq.ft. each suite)
Project Category: Indigenous Housing, Affordable Housing, Multifamily
Scope and Challenges:
The Gitwangak First Nation required duplexes for house residents in a remote area of Northern B.C. known as Kitwanga. They were experiencing a housing crisis and finding suitable land upon which to construct new homes was difficult. The site in consideration was space-restricted, and powerlines overhead made traditional module craning nearly impossible. The original plan included the installation of concrete foundations, but winter in a remote community brings significant challenges. The ground was extremely hard, frozen and covered in river rock.
After delivering the pre-built units on time, Nomodic, along with the Gitwangak band, decided to install all three duplexes on the same lease. This decision solved the issue of finding appropriate land to build on and maximized construction efficiency. Less trenching for site services meant less impact on the community, and only one location required groundworks levelling and drainage rather than three separate areas.
In response to the restrictions affecting traditional craning, we utilized an innovative trans lift system to “walk” the units roughly 40 feet into place. A design was put in place to utilize screw piles and a wooden grade beam to adhere the skirting wall properly. This solution eliminated any potential risks of doing a complete concrete pour during winter in a remote location.
In the end, this project provided the best-fit solution for the Gitwangak band, overcame the issues associated with building on an extremely challenging piece of land and aided in the elimination of their housing crisis.