Cold Climate Housing Research Center
For much of the 20th century, housing in cold regions used technologies and materials from more temperate climates. This has often resulted in houses that do not stand the test of time in our harsh climate and are notoriously energy inefficient. Furthermore, Alaska is experiencing dramatic environmental changes such as melting permafrost, changing vegetation, rising temperatures, a diminishing ice pack, and coastal erosion. Recently, unpredictable swings in energy costs have dramatically impacting the lives of both rural and urban Alaskans.
These challenges have made apparent the need to change our lifestyles and buildings to be more compatible with our ecosystems. The Cold Climate Housing Research Center is one local Fairbanks non-profit working to address the challenge of sustainable living in the far north. Through research, outreach, and consulting, CCHRC engages communities and provides alternatives to “business as usual.” The accompanying pictures represent CCHRC’s effort to demonstrate how we, in the far north, can produce heat and energy year round using renewable energy systems, develop energy effi cient housing, and live in sustainable communities.