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Forbes: Extreme-Climate Homes

Arctic Refuge On Stilts--Kangiqsujuaq, Quebec

Location: Northern Quebec

When building on permafrost in northern Quebec, non-profit group Archimede Systems had to take into account the melt-and-freeze cycles of the seasons, the need to insulate heat, prevent condensation, and the necessity to keep the home from melting into the icy ground during a thaw. Answer? Stilts. What few pods were built above the Arctic Circle, in the Inuit town of Kangiqsujuaq, remain in use today, despite almost 30 years of unforgiving weather. “Due to the limited air circulation between outside wall and these boxes, condensation always forms, freezes and thaws with fungus quickly thriving,” says Jacques B. Poirier, the founder of Archimede, which uses rhombic dodecahedrons as its core design structure, lending a rounded look to the company’s homes. All Archimede houses have an underfloor cavity that is always pressurized with warm air, and a series of tiny holes punched next to the outside wall encourages a slow diffusion of warmer air that prevents condensation and fungus development.

(Image Courtesy of Forbes)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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