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An Investigation Into Culturally Appropriate Housing Designs at The UBC Farm

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Michael Peters

on 29 October 2013

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Transcript of An Investigation Into Culturally Appropriate Housing Designs at The UBC Farm

Materials:
- Pine or Red Cedar Trees
- 12~15 deer, buffalo, antelope or moose hides
- Sinew
- Rocks/Stakes
Michael Peters
Tim Shi
Christine Yi

An Investigation Into
Culturally Appropriate Building
Designs For The UBC Farm

Introduction
- Overview
Triple Bottom Line Assessment For Three Housing Designs
Tipi and Grass House For Background
- Residential Schools
Cultural Displacement (Elias, 1995)
Ongoing Effects of Residential Schools (Tait, 2003)
- Need For Cultural Appropriateness
UBC as a Community Leader
Re-Acquaintance With Culture
- Construction Considerations
Culturally Appropriate, Energy efficient, Eco-friendly, Cost efficient, Safe
Grass House
Conclusions
- Grass House and Tipi provided excellent cultural background

- Plank House: Culturally appropriate but most expensive

- Pit-House: Less culturally appropriate than Plank House, but less expensive and more energy efficient

- Wigwam: Not culturally appropriate, but very durable and inexpensive
- Characteristic building of
the Northwest Coast Aboriginal culture.
Recommendations
- Use Plank House design for first building constructed
Recommended by Elder Larry Grant

- Construct the Plank House with future symbiotic relationship with other buildings in mind

- Construct Pit-House after if further buildings are being considered
Air Circulation
Tipis
Pit House
The Quiggly Hole, most commonly known as ‘Pit-House’

Why Pit house?
- Used, and built, by the Aboriginal Bands of BC.
- Seemed to be structurally stable, well insulated which could be beneficial during long winter months.

Structure
- A circular, dugout dwelling with a domed roof built by the Coast Salish people
- Walls and frames sealed and insulated by a mixture of bark, dirt, grasses and the earth from the original pit.
Wigwam
-Made by North East Coast Algonquian Indians
Cedar
Sustainability
- Western Red Cedar is one
of the most sustainable
building material  

- Locally available in BC

- Durable, low maintenance
- Removable roof section for fire pit
Plank House
Why Pit House?
Social
- Originally built by the Salish-speaking tribes, such as the Thompson, Shuswap, and Lillooet (Nabokov,1989), lived in the interior region in BC rather than coastal regions
- Represent different bands from many regions in BC

Ecological
- Deforestation rate of Canada is only 0.02% annually (Carlwood Lumber Ltd. 2012).
- Saves energy
- Excavated earth does not need to be processed, transformed, or delivered for the construction of the house (assuming local Red Cedar is used).
- Wood is a sustainable material
Plank House Structure
Overview Of Learning Process,
Ethics and Culture
- UBC Farm meeting with Véronik Campbell
- Museum of Anthropology (MOA)
- MOA Library
- Xwi7xwa Library
- UBC Farm meeting with Hannah Lewis
- First Nations Studies Program, and Elder Larry Grant (personal communication, Nov 6, 2012), (Please see appendix A for the full interview notes)
- Jason Burtwhistle (personal communication, Nov 12, 2012), (Please see appendix A for the full interview notes)
- Lessons Learned
- Made from red cedar
planks, the symbol of
Northwest Coast
culture,
sustainable material
- Expensive
yet low
maintenance costs
Material Characteristics
- strong, lightweight, and straight-grained

- natural resistance to
moisture, decay,
and insect damage
- Cedar roof planks were overlapped and placed on top of the rows of rafters
- Watertight: roof planks were often gouged out on one face to both overlap, and interlock
Modern Wigwam
- Use plywood and tar paper for cover material
Cost Summary
-Oak or Willow
were used for poles

-Cover materials varied with the culture and local availability
The following tables show
material costs only
-Wigwam refers to a one or two family house of round or oblong floor plan
- Simple structure yet
durable for long term
usage
- Low construction cost and low maintenance cost solution

Total material cost is as
low as $1500 for 16' by 12 '
Structure
- A dome shaped structure with frame of poles, bent towards the middle
- Bound together at the top, enclosed with thatched grass
(Nabokov, 1989)
Materials
- Pecan, Elm or Hemlock trees, striped of their bark
- Dried pieces of swamp or buffalo grass
- Horizontal sapling stringers made out of willow
- Yard-long cottonwood needles
(Nabokov, 1989)
“Sometimes individuals painted their own tipis to illustrate their battle exploits, or depicted symbols related to their experiences during fast induced visions” (Nabokov, 1989).
- The floors were tamped earth
covered with sand
Taken from: American Indian
Literature and Cultures
Taken from: http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net
Taken at Indian City, Anadarko, Oklahoma
Photo taken by Tim Shi at
Museum
of Anthropology
Photo taken by Tim Shi at
Museum
of Anthropology
Photo taken from Native American Architecture
Structure
- Three or Four straight Pine or Red Cedar poles that were pointed and tied together at the top and resembled a tilted cone
- Exist in all Aboriginal bands in BC
- Plank house is long house, just better
L. Grant, (personal communication, Nov 6, 2012)
- 100% Aboriginal designed structure
(Nabokov,1989)
(Garrick, 1998)
Picture taken from http://www.norfolkwoodlots.com/western-red-cedar/
Picture taken from http://www.livinghistoryed.org/webalbumNYErie/pages/Hunting%20Camp%20Wigwam%202_JPG.htm
(Nabokov,1989)
(Nabokov,1989)
(Nabokov,1989,p. 73)
taken from Northern Aboriginal Communities, Economies and Development (Elias, 1995)
Full transcript