Nunamiutuqaq is a locally-led project designed to produce knowledge that can be shared and used by Cambridge Bay and other Arctic communities. We understand that much of insight we need to create better buildings in the North can only be found in the North itself. Throughout the summer and fall of 2021, we engaged the community through meetings, workshops, design charrettes and dozens of interviews with local industry experts (construction and energy sector), home and cabin owners, Elders and knowledge keepers, traditional architecture experts and the municipal government. This wide survey of local knowledge and experience allowed us to build a comprehensive database to outline infrastructure recommendations for the new building. This database outlines key construction knowledge, including constraints and issues with existing renewable materials and technologies, how to increase the cultural and domestic usability of built spaces, Arctic-specific design needs and considerations for building envelopes, foundations, water/sewage, heating, shipping times and supply chain recommendations, building automation systems, and high-risk factors from climate change to human error.
One of the major challenges to innovation in the Arctic is that the results and experiences of new building projects are not being widely shared. This ultimately leads to the same mistakes being made time and time again. Our community database is a tool available to anyone who plans on building in the North, and one which we hope will continue to define and refine over time. If you have any suggestions for additional content that can be added to the database, please reach out to our project. In the future we hope to further develop this database to include observations and experiences of more specific material and technology performance under Arctic conditions.