Housing in Remote Northern First Nations Communities: Building Science and Local Solutions

Over the past few years, housing conditions in remote northern First Nations communities have repeatedly made national news.  Prevailing approaches to design and construction have resulted in many buildings plagued with moisture issues, poor indoor air quality and premature deterioration. This presentation will describe recent research in a remote Native Canadian community, look at lessons learned (including the importance of local solutions) and describe the critical role of building science in addressing unique challenges such as high water tables, deep frost penetration, cold winters, and seasonal flooding. Application of these lessons to sustainable design more generally will also be discussed. 

Session Details

Session ID: 
Thursday, May 25th, 2017: 10:30am - 12:00pm
1.5 Structured/Core AIA LU
Venue : 
Nova Scotia-Newfoundland

Session Speaker(s)

Trevor Trainor

Building Science Researcher, RDH Building Science Inc.

Trevor is a dedicated building scientist at RDH Building Science Inc. His major area of research has been modeling wood-frame building enclosure systems for net-zero housing and field exposure testing of High-R wall designs. Trevor is a member of Thessalon First Nation is passionate about applying the principles of building science to improve the condition of housing in remote northern First Nations communities.

Justin Breg

Master of Applied Science Candidate, University of Waterloo

Justin Breg has diverse experience in architecture and building science, gained from projects in Ontario, Malawi, Rome, and the Netherlands. His present work includes research in the complex territory of the subarctic James Bay Lowland muskeg, based mainly in the First Nations community of Kashechewan. Justin is presently finishing a Master of Applied Science at the University of Waterloo.

We're Starting In


24-27 May 2017
Ottawa, Ontario

About Us

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the Ontario Association of Architects have partnered to present the 2017 Festival of Architecture May 24-27, 2017 in Ottawa.

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For general information, please contact us at:

  • festival@raic.org 
  • 1-844-856-RAIC ext 200
  • 613-241-3600
  • 330-55 Murray Street, Ottawa, ON K1N 5M3