The "Next Home", Really!
From: Sarah Kerr (
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 1998 17:23:41 -0600
Oops, I sent a message out with the wrong title.  I'm happy to report that
people who have read it seem to have been able to figure out what I was
talking about and have answered appropriately.  The first message titled the
"Next Home" should have been titled "Labour Credits" and what follows is the
real Next Home message.  Is anybody confused yet? 

We here in Calgary are considering a housing model developed by the School of
Architecture at McGill University and are wondering if anybody has any
experience with it.  The model is called the Next Home and seems a perfect
match for cohousing.

The basic principle is a three story house (detached, duplex or townhouse)
that can be adapted to meet a variety of family structures and living needs
over its lifetime.  The footprint is 20' x 40', there are no interior load
bearing walls, and all the services are in the exterior walls and so interior
renovations are simple to do.  As well, each floor can operate as a separate
800sqf unit (the floors pass fire barrier codes), or two or more can be
combined to create larger houses.  The stairways are framed so that they can
be common entry space (providing access to three small units) or can be
easily turned around and made part of one larger unit.  There are lots of
possibilities for building in (an out) home offices,  teenager's suites, and
rental units, as well as for housing older parents (closets that line up to
install elevators, easily arranged  bed sitting rooms for hired caregivers). 
The houses are designed and constructed to be very affordable and energy
efficient...what more could we ask? 

We know very little about how the houses actually work and, as most of the
city of  Montreal is still without electricity, we haven't been able to
pursue it with th folks at McGill.  I thought I would just toss the idea out
to the list and see if anyone has heard anything about them.

Sarah Kerr 
Wholelife Housing in Calgary, Alberta
..where we are very excited about trying to purchase an empty 2 acre lot on
the recently closed 500 acre military base close to downtown.  The army is
under pressure not to demolish the old (but well maintained) houses, and so
we are considering the price and possiblity of moving the existing military
houses onto this land in a configuration we like.  It might make things very
recycled, affordable and relatively fast, but we would sacrifice energy
efficiency and 90's design know-how.  We are also considering building from
the ground up and using the Next Home design.
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