Birdsong Studios 2.0 in Okotoks will now become Birdsong Studios 3.0 in High River thanks to some new innovative building technology.
Birdsong Studios is owned by artists Russell and Heather Thomas, and they've teamed up with Seed Homes. A new local home builder.
The Thomas' are excited because they're going to be the first-time owners of an entirely new kind of environmentally sustainable home.
Russell said their new locally pre-built home came all in one package that 'folded out'.
"It is new, it is innovative, you know in talking to the engineer that designed it, that house can be hit straight on by a tornado and it's not going anywhere. It's a solid, robust structure and it's going to last 100 years."
And it is extremely affordable.
"Well, it is the first one, the very first Seed Home ever. Getting a 1200 square foot bungalow for about $200,000 base cost is almost unfathomable but that's what the situation is with Seed Homes."
They're expecting to move in within a week or so.
The separate building for the studio will be coming within the next week or two. And if you're wondering about whether or not the couple's artwork is currently available, Russell assures that you still order online, and he'll make sure you get it.
"We'll have two buildings on the lot by just before Christmas so the studio building, which is coming next, and everything is connected together underground."
Russell said the ease with how this new home concept build is done just blows him away.
"It arrived as a 10-foot-wide package on a flatbed trailer and in a single day, they were able to unload it, unwrap it and unfold it. And its new technology, it's a new concept in terms of how you unfold a house. What's really remarkable is they only started the conversation about doing this about a year ago. And so, the amount of progress they've made in a year has been remarkable. The other interesting thing is in the inside the wall's not drywall. It's a different kind of a wall system that is completely environmentally sustainable."
And as far as why did the Thomas' move from Okotoks to High River? Russell explains.
"Well, my wife and I made the difficult decision to downsize earlier this year. And as we began, we very quickly sold our place in Okotoks and needed to figure out where do we go now? We were in High River and saw that lot for sale at the same time we had seen Stephen Morgan from Seed Homes do a live video from the trade show in Okotoks talking about the Seed Home concept. A combination of those two things... everything came together, and we started talking to Seed Homes two days later and it's been an interesting journey."
"The idea, the concept of what Seed Homes was doing, in terms of building an environmentally sustainable way, a new concept for home construction, the affordability of it. You know, High River is a community - community, there's a sense of community in High River that we are looking forward to embracing. So, it was the combination of all three of those things and it sort of happened at the same time as the housing crisis became a national conversation."
And Russell leaves us with his final thoughts on coming to High River.
"We are so excited to finally have our house in place in High River. It's been a long journey to get here but we just can't wait to plug into the community. One of the things we're really excited about is plugging into a community that is ten years on from a major disaster, is recovering and really thriving. And it's exciting to be a part of that and try to add some vibrancy to our particular neighbourhood that we're in.
You can go see the home for yourself at the corner of 1st St. SE and 4th Ave. SE.
And watch for a follow up story about Seed Homes.
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