Architecture BC Issue Ten Fall 2003 – Integration + Innovation: The Seabird Island Project

The Seabird Island Project, located in British Columbia five miles north of Agassiz on the Fraser River, is the first of its kind in the world. While other research and prototype developments have advanced the concepts and principles of sustainable housing, the Seabird Project has assembled a whole range of strategies, new technologies, innovations, and new products to demonstrate an integrated approach. A member of the Sto:lo First Nation, the Seabird Island community contains 1,943 floodplain hectares, of which 730 hectares are cultivated. The remaining 1,213 hectares are used for residences, community buildings, forestry, rights-of-way, and economic development projects. Project planning and design for its new, sustainable housing development began in May, 2002, and is now at over 65% completion. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Assisted Housing Department has partnered with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) and the Seabird Island First Nation, along with many sponsoring suppliers and manufacturers, to demonstrate a new way of financing and building affordable housing projects. The Seabird Island units have largely been financed by the regular NHA Section 95 program for social housing on-reserve, and will be rented to band members who have been on a new housing waiting list for a number of years. One of the housing units will remain open for tours and public education over the next two years.
from: Architectural Institute of BCdocument: Architecture BC – Seabird Islandin detail XlnkS603 XlnkC189B