Teacher Janna Vandermeer says the project is a great way to help prepare students for a potential career after high school.
âIn the design studies class, especially this advanced class, we focus on architecture and engineering,â says Vandermeer. âThe sea container project itself is a conversion project, we received from Tervita a donation of a 40 foot sea container and we are converting it into a small house, a small living space. The goal is of course to make it structurally sound, but also, so that we can potentially also have a warranty for the house. “
Students in the Vandermeer Design Studies class work on electrical blueprints, structural blueprints, HVAC, plumbing, and custom furniture designs that will work in a tiny space to make the project a legitimate living space and legal.
âIt’s wonderful to think, ‘Oh, how can I build this brand new football stadium?’ Says Vandermeer. âThat’s another thing to really think about, ‘How do I take a limited amount of material or even recycled material and turn it into something very useful for someone? “
Affordability of housing is another aspect that Vandermeer anticipates the project will address.
âIn fact, we’ve already been approached by a few local businesses that potentially want to turn some areas of Red Deer into small, vibrant communities,â she exclaims. âCommunities that welcome and focus on a lower carbon footprint, green living, the idea of ââsustainability within structure and materials and just kind of small living. “
Working with industry professionals who donate their time and expertise, the design studies students developed plans and models for building the cane house, while learning the requirements of residential construction. .
Elsewhere, Building Opportunities students have received and continue to receive hands-on training on how to build the marine can house, alongside a ticketed craftsman.
Meanwhile, landscape design students would work with professionals in the fields of architecture, skills, and project management to create a living roof for the house by the sea.
Now in its second year, the project will continue for another school year until its completion, with the hope of receiving grants.
Vandermeer believes that the students involved will also draw on their leadership, management and people skills.
âThis idea that when you work in a team of people in any profession, you learn from each other,â says Vandermeer. âYou have to be prepared to ask these questions, push each other and give each other constructive criticism, because it is this feedback that we need to grow in whatever we choose to do. “