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Excerpt (2:21)
A House on the Prairie
1978, production : Ron Bashford, Bob Lower
Rising oil costs in the 1970s prompted interest in more...
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A House on the Prairie
Excerpt  (2:21) 1978, production : Ron Bashford, Bob Lower
The film
Rising oil costs in the 1970s prompted interest in more energy-efficient houses. Forward thinking architects and homebuilders began exploring practical alternatives to the standard single-family detached suburban house. Relatively inefficient in terms of energy consumption, this housing model is still favoured by real estate developers.

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The promise of riches in a new land lured many settlers to the West, but it was a harsh climate where shelter was the most urgent necessity. A House on the Prairie describes the legacy of these early days: environmentally unsuitable dwellings that now either devour money and fuel to remain functional, or slowly disintegrate in the sun, wind and frost. People today are beginning to recognize the importance of housing suitable to specific environments, and some of these new examples of western Canadian architecture are presented, with comments by designers, builders, and the people who live in the somewhat experimental dwellings.