kobayashi + zedda

Inuvik Singles Complex
Inuvik, NT


The Northwest Territories Housing Corporation (NWTHC) has long strived for sustainable and affordable housing in NWT communities which meets local housing needs, energy efficiency and affordability goals and supports vibrant and safe communities. As communities across northern Canada struggle to meet the needs of shifting demographics, the NWTHC is constructing a 17 unit residential complex in Inuvik to meet the increasing singles population in the community.

The tenant demographic is between the ages of 20-65 with the majority under the age of 35. Many of the tenants receive financial support and spend considerable time in their apartment. The building and its systems are designed to be simple in concept, low in maintenance, and constructed of durable, and non-toxic materials. The facility is designed for longevity in an extreme cold-climate environment and has achieved over a 50% reduction in energy use from the National Energy Code 2011.

The building design is sensitive to site and orientation with large windows to provide daylight to occupants. The building includes a 10kW photovoltaic array in the south for solar energy harvesting and employs the concept of microunits which increase density, allowing for more units in a smaller building. This option is a more cost effective way of providing housing for more clients. Several iterations of microunits were prepared ensuring that the majority of NWTHC spatial requirements were achieved and liveability was not compromised.