Spirit Works has been designing and building longhouses throughout British Columbia for more than a decade. These high-quality cedar buildings have offered to our clients gathering spaces, visibility on their lands, title and rights assertion where needed, and places to educate youth, and to practice culture and ceremony.
Over the last few years, we at Spirit Works have been working on something special: a modern version of our traditional longhouse.
In new design we have made a point to address numerous issues in keeping with our Indigenous needs, values, and beliefs. First and foremost we wanted this new version to be environmentally sensitive drastically limiting our carbon footprint. The first way we did this is by using SIPS (Structurally Insulated Panel Systems). These panels are made from highly insulated foam housed between lumber and plywood. By using the SIPS system, we were able create a structure that uses a fraction of the energy that would normally be needed to heat and cool a building of its size. Aside from the environmental benefits of using less energy it also saves the community much money in heating and cooling costs.
Furthermore because of the modern construction technique we can cut down by up to 75% the amount cedar we would normally use for a building like this. Our cedar is among our most important and sacred resources. It is vitally important that we do what we can to use it as wisely as possible.
We feel we have gone a long way to accomplish our environmental goal while not compromising on the beauty or the feeling one has when inside. This is because we have done our homework. Working with our architects and engineers, and using our own longhouse teachings we have used a variety of building techniques to achieve a beautiful building that also has a beautiful sound. The acoustics for song and ceremony are amazing!
Please feel free to contact us for more information on the Little Bighouse, and information on grant opportunities available to purchase one.