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Courtesy of Yukon.ca


38 & 40 Nijmegan Rd. is a privately developed residential duplex project. The project principals are based on bringing truly sustainable housing to the community. The building is based on a classic duplex from the turn of the last century—therefore is a classically lovable building. Each half is two bedrooms and relatively small at 960 ft2 plus a 480 ft2 unfinished basement. The size of the building is to fill a void in the Whitehorse housing market: high quality, smaller homes. The building site is centrally located in Whitehorse, Yukon in a residential infill development project called “Takhini North”. The building is designed with three major themes: Super energy efficient, Durable and Healthy. [1]

This is the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Canada for Homes certified project in Yukon. The wall design is a 38×89 mm (2×4 in.) double stud wall filled with low-density spray foam insulation. The house has electric heat, but also incorporates thermal storage in the basement floor to reduce electrical peaks on the grid. 

The designer-builder attended a talk on a SuperGreen house which Yukon Housing Corporation (YHC) built in Watson Lake. He was taken by the comment that “there is nothing simpler to do”. Building for sustainability and reducing the risk to fluctuating energy costs inspired his decision to build high-efficiency. 

The design approach was based on YHC’s design and included lots of insulation. A small-construction contractor agreed to take on the project. The contractor had no previous experience in building SuperGreen, but was willing to be innovative and try new things. The tradespeople who worked on this house had worked on other houses as a team. They worked well together under the jobsite supervision and coordination of the owner-builder. None of the trades prepared drawings in advance, but there was an initial team meeting to kick off the project and identify potential problems. Since the design was based on YHC’s SuperGreen, they did not use the EnerGuide Rating program to evaluate building options. While the EnerGuide program results were not used to model different “what-if” scenarios, the design was used in the EnerGuide modelling to achieve a LEED certification for the house. 

Provisions were made for solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar hot water, but systems are not installed at this time. This included installing chases from the attic to the basement for solar hot water lines plus pre-wiring from the attic to the electrical panel area for future solar PV. The long-axis of the house is East-West with the roof slope oriented south to facilitate the installation of solar PV or thermal panels. [2]


[1]      Pearson, Forest. Building the Yukon’s First Double Green-Certified Home. Accessed June 29, 2021. http://forestpearson.blogspot.com/2010/05/building-yukons-first-double-green.html.

[2]     “Super-Insulated Housing in Yukon.” Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Government of Canada, 2017. https://yukon.ca/sites/yukon.ca/files/yhc/yhc-super-insulated-housing-yukon.pdf.

Additional information:

Pearson, Forest. “Old Way of Seeing.” September 2011. Accessed June 29, 2021. http://forestpearson.blogspot.com/2011/09/.

Project Title: 38 & 40, Nijmegan Road
Artists:  Forest Pearson
Year: 2013

Place: Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

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