The Société d’habitation du Québec (SHQ) lead a two-day design charrette and included the SHQ and Nunavik officials, an architect, an engineer, and seven residents from four villages in Nunavik. The residents were drawn from among Elders, families, mothers, youth, young adults, hunters, and women who practice traditional sewing and represented a cross-section of Nunavimmiut tenants. Following the design charrette, the steering committee commissioned architect Alain Fournier, FIRAC, of EVOQ Architecture, to develop the concepts into tangible designs and technical specifications. A two-day Passive House standards seminar kicked off the architectural design phase. The Société d’habitation du Québec hired a qualified trainer so they, EVOQ and the Nunavik agencies would have a common base of understanding. The Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau took the initiative to circulate the drawings to a small cross-section of people in Nunavik. The feedback received was useful in developing the final design and construction drawings approved by the steering committee. A comprehensive remote monitoring program was installed. Sensors and other equipment were set up to measure 17 variables ranging from heat recovery ventilator functioning to energy usage.
In 2012, as part of their ongoing efforts to improve housing design, the Société d’habitation du Québec (SHQ), in partnership with Makivik Corporation, Kativik Regional Government and Kativik Municipal Housing Bureau, designed and built a pilot housing project suitable for Nunavimmiut families that would be culturally responsive as well as better adapted to climate change and preservation of the tundra. Nunavik comprises the northern third of the province of Quebec and is the homeland of Quebec’s Inuit. Inhabitants of this region call themselves Nunavimmiut and almost all 12,000 live in 14 villages along the coast of Hudson Bay and Ungava Bay. Designing and building housing suitable for Nunavimmiut families and their northern environment is a challenge due to harsh climate conditions that need to be highly energy efficient, with improved aerodynamics to reduce wind resistance and associated heat loss. The expectation was a design that would achieve a level of efficiency equal or close to the Passive House standard. The pilot project was designed as a prototype of sustainable housing that could be built throughout Nunavik.