Our working project title for the current project is "Slide View". Why? Because we could see Moosehide slide from the front of the property... sound a little over simplistic and unimaginative? Thats why we're saying it is a working title, in case we come up with something better in a flash of inspiration. But it seems pretty fitting right now.
The project is a slow burn, the economic impact of COVID-19 can't be understated. The tourism sector has been hit pretty hard again as the "second wave" started to take a hold on Canada. So we have cut back on the renovation spend right now and everything is being done in our collective spare time.
This project aims to produce a single family dwelling with the option of having a rental suite. The decision for this was made in an effort to provide more accommodation in town that could be offered at an affordable rate and also to support a new home owner to be able to afford their own bills a little easier by having a supplemental income. We have played with multiple layout designs for the project (we'll keep the suspense going win the final layout for now) but all of them require the internal structures to be completely removed so that we have a blank canvas to work with. It also allows us easier access to the outer walls of the house and ceiling so that we can beef up the insulation, improve the air tightness, install new quad pane windows, modernise the electrics and plumbing to meet the needs of the building for the future and help the building exceed current building code requirements.
And with a little help from our friends who were bored on a couple of the colder winter days, this is where we are at. The final internal walls to be removed are the current bathroom and then shortly after that we will be extracting the bathroom and kitchen hardware and trying to find them a new home.
So far, the only thing that we have had to take to landfill are the drywall panels because we count find a way to reuse them due to varying degrees of damage. Sadly, while drywall is completely recyclable and can be turned into other gypsum products, this isn't available in Yukon and the environmental cost of shipping it to a recycling facility in the provinces would have been more environmentally damaging. However the impact of toxic gas release from drywall in landfill (because of the anaerobic environment) is concerning to us. This is one of those instances where we were forced to make a decision we really didn't like because of the options available to us. But understanding the problem of drywall disposal a little better has given us some ideas about future reuse. One those reuse ideas is in compost. The University of Alberta, in 2015, demonstrated better outcomes for planting in composts enriched with gypsum from drywall recycling. Their study even demonstrated soil that was devoid of nutrients and unusable being brought back to life.
Throughout the project we will continue to challenge ourselves to meet significant reductions in waste to landfill from construction. But the logistics of being in a remote community do make it challenging. We are hoping our experience and research can be used to positively impact policy change within our own municipal/territorial waste management services.