Go Green = Go Small In The Northwest Territories

What can you build that has less than 1300 square feet in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories?

Behold these smartly-designed compact pre-fabricated dwellings - each comprising 3 bedrooms and 3 baths!


Photograph courtesy of SMPL DESIGN Studio INC.

Designed by SMPL DESIGN Studio INC. in Hamilton, Ontario, fabricated by SMPLy MOD’s factory in Edmonton, Alberta, and installed by ModHome Developments in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, this energy- efficient portable property represents a Canadian start-to-finish evolution of a sustainable development idea that traveled from the south edge of Canada up to the far northern edge of our country.


Photograph courtesy of SMPL DESIGN Studio INC.


With its extreme winter climate, limited accessibility (link to map) and expensive utility costs, just imagine how much energy one needs to maintain indoor comfort during Yellowknife's typical −27 °C (−17 °F) winter temperatures. The solution for this property was to incorporate solar design, which requires at least 40% less energy than conventional building programs.

The building was designed to meet Energuide 80 home requirements, using super insulated construction, solar hot water  and solar electric systems. They hit a rating of 84, which is equal to 55% more energy efficient than a conventionally built home.


Photograph courtesy of SMPL DESIGN Studio INC.


Each unit was tweaked to each owners' style and comfort, turning a spec build project into a double custom home project.

We love the modesty of this project. Nothing more, nothing less, but just the right amount of space.

What could be more uniquely Canadian than that?

Researched and Written by Danni Li, Honours Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management at the University of Toronto, Mississauga

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