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Recycled gas pipes keep this Canadian cottage high and dry

Why it matters to you

The Pole House's unique design and use of recycled gas pipes for stilts could provide a model for how to avoid flood damage.

While searching for the perfect building materials to construct a new home, turning to recycled gas pipes is likely the last option a typical homebuilder or architect would settle on. However, this is exactly what Canadian architecture firm DINS Projects decided on while building a unique cottage located near Lake Winnipeg. Due in part to the area’s flood problem, DINS went with the odd choice of recycled gas pipes to stilt the house, helping to protect it from damage should flooding occur. The finished product is a vertical marvel that sits perfectly against its nearby Canadian wilderness.

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After a provincial cottage lot lottery system secured the unique plot of land for the owners, DINS Projects went to work designing a home that not only boasts the ability to avoid flooding but one which also abides by the strict regulations native to the area. Aside from limiting how close to Lake Winnipeg the house sits, the firm also had to overcome the issue of the lot’s overburden and its extremely permeable surface. By building it on stilts, its high water table simply becomes an annoyance for anyone walking around outside the home instead of it posing an actual water damage threat.

With its stilts built out of recycled gas pipes, the residence’s three-story interior is composed mainly of exposed wood studs and plywood. To achieve maximum thermal efficiency, an insulation jacket covers the entirety of the abode, along with a network of internal ducting to give the owners the ability to specifically manage its airflow. However, its lone source of ongoing heat comes from a strategically placed cast iron wood stove.

Dubbed as the Pole House, its biggest claim to fame is the fact the architecture firm was able to turn ordinary gas pipes into a useful set of stilts and construct it to look like a natural part of the environment. With an open floor plan and a mainly basic (and casual) interior, it’s hard to imagine this serving as anything more than a weekend getaway for its owners.